(Before It's News)
By Patrick Norton
Coming off of a four game homestand sweep, the Blackhawks headed to Washington DC to the surging Capitals. Both teams coming off of victories, this would be the first true test of the New Year for Chicago since playing St. Louis in the Winter Classic. Corey Crawford would start in goal in the Chicago crease, while Braden Holtby would stand two hundred feet away guarding the net for the Capitals. With Rozsival breaking the lineup and Michal Kempny in a press box somewhere, the Blackhawks were disadvantaged from the start. But one defenseman doesn’t make that big of a difference, right? Right?!
No, one defenseman won’t make a detrimental impact on a game, but when each defensive pairing is God awful, that’s where you have your detrimental impact. First period got off to a bang when Corey Crawford was forced to make a sequence of tough saves one minute in the frame. Crawford was standing on his head until #NotedHawksKillerJayBeagle put the Caps up one. Among the five skaters on the ice for Chicago were Michal Rozsival, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Andrew Desjardins… coincidence? Not at all. After that, it was an avalanche of goals and the defense imploded. Off of the ensuing faceoff, the Capitals quickly entered the zone and with a beautiful succession of passes from Ovechkin to Oshie and over to the goal scorer, Niklas Backstrom, the Capitals had tallied their second goal in just thirteen seconds. Later in the period, a Crawford mishandle and the pure incompetence of Brent Seabrook on defense gave an open opportunity to Brett Connolly and he buried in past Crow to end the first period with the Capitals ahead, 3-0.
The second period brought a few chances for the Blackhawks early and it seemed like Vinnie Hinostroza had finally broken through for the Blackhawks. But after a lengthy review, Marian Hossa was ruled to have interfered with Holtby and the score remained with the Blackhawks scoreless. A few minutes after the review, Tom Wilson put one past Crawford while van Riemsdyk and Campbell were the pairing on the ice. Heading into the third, the Hawks were still slumbering and now trailed, 4-0.
The final straw for Crawford’s night came in the third period when #AmericanHeroTJOshie put the fifth puck behind the Stanley Cup champion netminder. Scott Darling was inserted into the game, but by then, this game was over. Darling let in one, a rebound picked up by Jay Beagle, and finally, the game was over. Capitals stay hot and take this one, 6-0.
- My night. Had to babysit, so I watched this game after I knew the final score. That obviously made me excited to watch this game, right? Instead of watching the game, I was stuck playing “Clue,” watching Shark Tank and eating Domino’s. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but still… Made a nice payday and had the kids clean up after themselves. It went swimmingly.
- I don’t think I’ve seen this poor of a defensive effort from the Blackhawks this season. Quickly being outplayed, they just gave up after the first goal of the first period. Disgusting and frustrating. Sure, Kempny probably wouldn’t have added much, but Rozsival was caught flat-footed far too often.
- The powerplay was absolute garbage. In fact, actual garbage could’ve had more possession time on the powerplay than the Blackhawks. Ridiculous. I noticed Jay Beagle getting a ridiculous amount of chances on a powerplay, but it took me a few seconds for it to register in my brain that the Capitals were the ones shorthanded. Beagle got off a decent shot when outnumbered four to one. How can you let that happen? Pathetic.
- In one week, I’ve been told that the Blackhawks will be made great again and the Capitals are draining the swamp. Not sure if I’m getting conversations confused, but I’m sticking with my gut.
- I fast forwarded through the intermission reports, so I wasn’t graced with the vocal talent, or lack thereof, of Steve Konroyd, but if somebody would like to back me up, I’d be willing to bet my soul on the fact that his analysis was unbearable, per usual.
- Corey Crawford faced thirty shots without completing the game, had a horrendous defense in front of him, and stood on his head until the first goal was scored, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that he let up five tallies. Nobody wearing a Chicago sweater had a good night, but with Crawford having a good stretch as of late, this one jumps of the page.
- Unless you’ve randomly skipped to this exact sentence, you’ve read my beratement of the defense tonight. But the offense’s alarm clock still hasn’t gone off. Time to… Panik? No, but this was a true embarrassment to the true capabilities of this team.
- As I just mentioned, nobody wearing a Chicago sweater had a good night. That was a recurring theme on all three phases of the game. No excuse for this performance.
- This recap. It might be the shortest game recap the Puckin’ Hostile site has ever seen. Why? Because this game was a heap of nothingness. I had to watch all sixty minutes, but if I wasn’t writing this tonight, I’d be asleep before 2 AM. Wasn’t the case tonight. Sad.
- I haven’t done a #Fatrick’s Fatsy Stat segment in a while, but here’s a good one: Blackhawks won 12/43 faceoffs. That’s a whopping 27.9%! Still better than my grade in AP Environmental Science.
- The Hawks didn’t commit a single penalty all night. I’d put this in the good, but it stays down here for two reasons: Comic relief; It means that they gave up SIX EVEN STRENGTH GOALS. That. Is. Not. Good.
- This whole game was the definition of “The Ugly” section of this blog. This game being a part of this season is the equivalent of Fatrick being a part of this blog…UGLY.