Blackhawks Gone Wild . . . on Ambien: Wild 4, Blackhawks 3

Ladies and gentlemen (a term I use more loosely than Fork uses self-restraint) of the Hockeenight realm, I present to you the evidence and ask you to arrive at a verdict. Has Q lost it, or not?

This is a night that started with a Keith-Hjalmarsson defensive pairing, which despite its brief appearance for about one shift, did make me think that Q had used a 20-sided die to come up with his pairings. That, coupled with the obvious use of the Random Line GeneratorTM throughout the evening (made necessary, in part, by the fact that Andrew Shaw didn't dress due to an upper body injury and Bryan Bickell is still healing his lower body), made even me (who some might call a total fucking homer) wonder if Q picked the wrong week to start sniffing glue. Sheldon Brookbank on the third line. Bollig on the ice with Hossa and Toews. I REST MY CASE.

But let's not make a federal case of it (the feds would only fuck it up, anyway), and let's just get to this thing.

The Innocent: The Red Wedding Line. Res Ipsa Loquitur. (Plus, I'd drop my legal briefs for any of the three, despite the fact that in the first Sharp had what feels like the 1000th breakaway he couldn't convert.)

Duncan Keith. He's good at defense. Odd-man rushes against the Hawks don't feel so odd when he's defending them. At least they didn't tonight. Don't let it go to your head, Duncs. We remember 2011!

Brandon Saad: Holy shit, this kid is the truth. His goal in the third is what every young player should aspire to. Even when he's not scoring, he's generating opportunities for his linemates, Kane and whoever happens to win the Random Line GeneratorTM Lottery, sponsored by Wirtz Beverage (which tonight was a very happy Kris Versteeg).

The lack of demented elf sweaters. Thankfully, the Wild wore their alternates tonight.

The Indicted: Yet another pathetic start by the Hawks. Through 27 minutes they had 7 shot. No, that's not a typo. S-E-V-E-N. For the first and much of the second, they looked like Michael Jackson hopped up on Jesus Juice: sloppy, unfocused and happy to allow Wild play in their own end. The first Wild goal, by "reformed" assclown Matt Cooke, came about when 4 Blackhawks became mesmerized by a puck in the corner. That shit just can't happen.

Comebacks are fun. Putting yourselves in a position to have to come back practically every night is not. It's a recipe for failure, and better teams will feast on it.

Versteeg is competent, but he's not a 2nd line center. At least not the 2nd line center we need right now. Though the jury's already in on Handzus, and he's been found to be old, so between the two Steeger is the less unappealing choice. Kane and Saad deserve a real center who can skate with them and generate chances. I wonder where the Hawks might find someone like that . . .

The Guilty: Johnny Oduya. He scored 2 power play goals for the Wild. The first one was credited to Zach Parise, who made more for that non-goal than any of us will see this entire year. The second one was an inadvertent deflection. Just a terrible, unfortunate night.

He wasn't guilty until the third, but Crawford getting beaten for the game-winning goal by a guy who should be making pasta in his grandfather's I-talian restaurant pretty much encapsulates this game. It just shouldn't have happened that way.

Mike Yeo's facial hair. You are not a 90's grunge rocker. Get a real beard or GTFO.

The Blackhawks brass, for the all-too-obvious edict requiring the constant plugging of Kane as a Hart Trophy candidate and Keith as a Norris candidate. In December. Not that they wouldn't deserve votes, if the season ended December 31. But it ends April 12. The fact that Steve Konroyd is contractually obligated to say "Norris Trophy" or "Hart Trophy" whenever Keith or Kane is mentioned is not the players' faults, but could we GIVE IT A REST until at least the Olympic break? Thanks.

 

What did you think of this article?




Trackbacks
  • Trackbacks are closed for this post.
Comments
  • No comments exist for this post.
Leave a comment

 Name (required)

 Email (will not be published) (required)

 Website

Your comment is 0 characters limited to 3000 characters.