AS GOD IS MY WITNESS...: Blackhawks 3 Flames 2



...I thought turkeys could fly. I also thought this would be an easier game than it was.

The Chicago Blackhawks kept pressure on the Calgary Flames pretty much the entire night, only to find themselves down 2-0 as the midway point in the third period approached. Then Patricks Kane and Sharp scored 56 seconds apart to tie the game before Kane put a Lexus-sized bow on this one with 18 seconds left, allowing the Hawks to escape the ScotiaBank Saddledome with a 3-2 victory.

Let's get to this:

THE GOOD:

Kane. Tonight he notched his 14th and 15th goals. He is playing in such a fashion that it appears that everyone else on the ice is playing some lesser game, or skating on double runners while he's been touched by the hand of the Almighty and having the season of his life. He's now second in the NHL in goals scored, and the only player in front of him is Donald Steen with 20, and he is new to this rarified air.

Duncan Keith. Sure, Pat Foley and Ed Olczyk were pouring on the hyperbole early in the game, but you know what? Lately he's been Dunc Norris again. In fact, he looked absolutely demonic on a shift in the Calgary zone right before Kane's first goal, which he got an assist on.

Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya. 2 assists and a majestic +16 CORSI for Aspelund. No points for Oduya but a +17 CORSI. You almost want to yell "World Star" when they're on the ice, they're so dominant. And they made tonight a lot easier for...

Antti Raanta. Sure, you could see some of the flaws in his game. But hell, it was his first NHL start. Both goals Calgary scored were by moving the puck across the ice, and his lateral movement (or lack thereof) was exposed. Fortunately, this is very fixable. In fact, lateral movement was Corey Crawford's big glitch earlier in his professional career. But he did what you want your backup goalie to do - keep the team in a position to win. As long as he keeps doing this, Nikolai Khabibulin's nagging injury will continue to nag him.

The return of Marian Hossa. Mainly because it means everything is OK on the home front. But it also means the return of the Red Wedding Line. Hossa had some really great scoring chances tonight, and only the outstanding play of Calgary goalie Reto Berra kept him off the scoresheet.

THE BAD:

Brandon Pirri. He took a bad penalty in the second, then lost the puck and his stick, leading to the Sean Monahan goal in the third that put the Hawks down a pair. Peppers is bound to have a stinker here or there, and a goalpost is the only thing that kept this one from being a wash for him. Stinker or not, this one still resulted in two points in the standings. So chin up and go get 'em on Friday.

The Second Period Lull. This has happened a bit recently. The Hawks only had 5 shots on goal in the period, and looked like the bus was already running. They pulled it together eventually, but one of these days this will happen against a team that can make them pay more than Calgary can.

THE UGLY:

My boy Zus. When the Hawks have Pirri centering Kane and Brandon Saad, they have a dynamic second line that can give their opponent fits, even when they have the last line change. Putting Michal Handzus there gives them something significantly less. I feel like I sound like a broken record here, but Handzus should be on the 4th line and taking faceoffs in the defensive zone. Putting him up with Kane just makes him a boat anchor.

Here in America, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. On behalf of CT, Morph, Slak, Thrill and Umlaut I'd like to say how thankful we all are for those of you guys who stop by and read our musings or jump in on any of the dopey stuff we do on Twitter and elsewhere. And or course, nothing says "Thanksgiving" like...


 

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  • 11/28/2013 10:19 AM rich l wrote:
    Great stuff(ing) as usual. I haven't seen a WKRP episode in ages - great show.

    I love to pose the question "Who would you pick first if you had a choice, Kaner or Tazer?" I'm not sure there is a correct answer - however Crazy 88's must be starting to make people think twice about the easy answer.

    one thing about Zus, and trust me I agree with you on the 4th line scenario; he's a pretty good play maker - he actually has above average offensive skills. It's just the keeping up part that concerns most of us. Kaner is a master at creating time and space, but even he has his limitations.

    If I'm not mistaken, it looked like Q had Pirri back at some point in the third with 20/88 when they needed some momentum - or was that just the result of a bad line change.

    Like that Monahan kid. Raanta didn't have much of a chance on thatone or Stajan's. I believe they were both upper corner - well placed daggers.

    British Columbia - check. Alberta - check. Onward to the other end of the world to face a luke warm, but appearing to be heating up, Dallas team.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all
    Reply to this
  • 11/28/2013 10:57 AM rich l wrote:
    by the way - there is a lot going on in that picture. Who is the family of three with the hawk jerseys on in front of Cheyene - they look like they were photo shopped in.
    Reply to this
  • 11/28/2013 12:24 PM morpheus wrote:
    Nope, they were already in the pic. It does kind of look like they were "improvements" though.
    Reply to this

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