(Before It's News)“Smiling Like A Killer”
by GatekeeperTweet to Gatekeeper
I cannot remember a time when the Calgary Flames came into Chicago so early and so close together, but here were the Blackhawks facing the Flames in the United Center for the second time in 2 weeks. This is all fine and well, because I have always had a soft spot for Calgary. They were my 1B of favorite teams from 86-94. Then they let Mike Vernon go, and I lost most of my fandom. There has always been a small part of me that has kept a warm spot in my heart for the city of Calgary and their team, so when they face the Blackhawks I pay special attention. They are team trending in the right direction, despite all the flack that President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke catches. That said, the Blackhawks had a game to play. Quenneville had the lineup blender on puree, sitting Michal Kempny and Ryan Hartman down, and bringing Gustav Forsling back into the lineup. The Blackhawks were coming off a pretty dominant 3-0 win over the Kings, so it's odd to see Quenneville make any changes. Normally he sticks with a winning lineup, to a fault.
The Blackhawks and Flames did nothing to take the attention of what was going on in Cleveland during the first period. A couple of powerplays both ways were hardly noticeable on the scale. The only sign of life from the Blackhawks point of view came with a minute left, and in an unlikely fashion. The Flames even out shot the Hawks 13-6, and had no business going into the intermission down 0-1. Luckily for the home team, that's exactly what the score was after twenty minutes. I mean, it was no 7-0 early lead, but the Blackhawks would take it.
The Blackhawks weren't able to sneak out of the second period as luckily, as they came away with a slightly better shot advantage but surrendered the game tying goal. To add insult to injury, the tying goal was scored shorthanded. The final shot count was 13-9, but this had the Blackhawks in pretty good position to finish with a strong third period.
Finish strong is exactly what the Blackhawks did. They opened up a comfortable lead and pretty easily finished off the Flames. All this happened before things got a little chippy, including a little conversation between the #AdequateVersteeg and Captain Serious. When all was said and done, the Blackhawks sent the Flames back to Calgary with a 5-1 loss.
- With a minute left in the first period, and all hope looking slim, Patrick Kane threw on his cape and put the Blackhawks up 1-0. Corey Crawford made a few really nice saves back in the Blackhawks end and Kane rushed up the ice, by himself, while his line mates took off for a change. Kane hit the Flames blue line and it looked like three Flames defenders had him snuffed out. He cut towards the middle of the slot and gained a step on the defenders, but still had to beat Brian Elliott; from about 30 feet out. That is exactly what he did. I certainly don't enjoy glorifying this guy one bit, but that goal was impressive. He was one on four, at one point, and beat them all plus the goalie. Credit where it's due.
- Just when the powerplay was looking terrible, the Blackhawks answered the bell almost halfway through the third period. Panarin basically banked a shot right off Artem Anisimov's stick and into the net. I think this calls for an #ArtyParty.
- Tyler Motte had an absolute highlight goal, with about seven and half left in the game to put the Blackhawks up 3-1. He looked to be all alone and pushed to the outside when he suddenly took two steps and cut hard to the net. Motte then out muscled and got past Lance Bouma, who could only try and hang on for dear life. He lost the puck in his skates but kicked it forward to his stick, which was enough to wrap it around Brian Elliott's right pad. Methinks that we might start seeing more 64 jerseys around the UC and Blackhawks Land.
- Artemi Panarin looked to have closed out the scoring with an empty netter with three minutes remaining in the game, but there was still plenty of time for a #DickFuckingPanik to Hjalmarsson tops shelf clapper, ending the Flames night.
- Steve Konroyd might have had his broadcasting career highlight when he whipped out a “Wakey, Wakey” on Pat Boyle, when Boyle opened up the second intermission stating it was Wednesday.
- It's not something that gets pointed out often, but Corey Crawford played the puck several times very calm and smoothly to his defenders. We love to give the fat guys in the big pads shit when the misplay the puck, so I feel the need to give him some credit. It should not go without mentioning his 33 saves, as well. If not for his first period play, the Blackhawks would have had to
- I don't want to jinx it but the penalty kill seems to have somewhat righted itself. Not that it could have gotten much worse.
- Did I mention that Goldberg is back in the WWE? Hell, and YES!
- The third line with Schmaltz and Motte at wing and the third pair of Forsling and Rozsival was scary in their own end during the first period together. Poor Marcus Kruger.
- Vinny Hinostroza is young Italian Viktor Stalberg
The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
- Seven minutes into the second period, and with the Hawks on the powerplay, the Flames struck back. Duncan Keith avoided hitting defender right in the shin pads, as he resorted to his second favorite thing to do from the point which is shred his stick as the puck dribbles off like a bad case of Chlamydia. The Flames took the puck and turned around the other way. Artem Anisimov tried to catch Michal Frolik but just wasn't fast enough, and Keith's attempt to get a stick from the bench failed when he dropped it. This all contributed to the game tying shorthanded goal. Swell.
- Sam Bennett went knee to knee with Dennis Rasmussen in the third period, which could have been ugly. Thankfully for the Hawks, Moose was fine after and the Hawks took the lead on the powerplay.
- Stop interviewing the people for the “shoot the puck”. It's painfully awkward, and useless. Joey the Now Adolescent reporter could do a much better job than any of these clowns.
- The Blackhawks came close to taking the lead back with 20 seconds left in the second period, but there were two problems. First, the whistle blew. Second, the puck didn't even come close to completely crossing the goal line, after sneaking through Elliot's pads. It won't stop some ball bag from spreading some grainy screenshot from a ridiculous angle to try and prove that it was in. Dumb asses.
- I think everyone one, including the hockeystats.ca people, closed up shop for the Cubs game, so I'll give them a rest
Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Panik – Toews – Kane
Panarin – Anisimov – Hossa
Motte – Kruger – Schmaltz
Hinostroza – Rasmussen – Tootoo
Keith – Campbell
Hjalmarsson – Seabrook
Forsling – Rozsival