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Blackhawks vs. Predators 5-3 Win Recap

Saturday, March 4, 2017 20:55
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“Locked In”

By Patrick Norton
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Tonight’s tango with the Nashville Predators wasn’t going to be easy. Riddled with injuries, traveling overnight after playing yesterday, and forcing the goaltender to string together two games, the excuses were in place in the event of a loss. Anisimov returned to the second line after missing last night’s victory against the New York Islanders, but Nick Schmaltz remained sidelined for both ends of the back-to-back. In an attempt to keep the six game win streak and seven game road win streak alive, Quenneville rode with Crow and kept Jeff “Glove Of” Glass far, far away from the ice.

In typical Blackhawks fashion, the first period did not provide the start Chicago hoped for. A Michal Rozsival penalty aided the soaring shot total for Nashville and halfway through the opener, the Predators led the shot column, 10-1… but they didn’t lead the game. Jordin Tootoo fought Cody McLeod at center ice venturing to spark the Blackhawks. Later in the frame, Anthony Bitetto high-sticked Tootoo leading to Chicago’s first powerplay. While Filip Forsberg did a dandy job killing off the first thirty seconds, a quick regroup and a pass from Seabrook gave Patrick Kane an opening near the left circle. Kane ripped it past rookie goaltender Juuse Saros for the PPG. Heading into the second, the Hawks trailed in shots, 14-11, but led in the goal column, 1-0.

The Blackhawks seemingly removed their head from behinds to begin the second period. Out of the gate, the Blackhawks came out shooting. Saros held his crease well, though. The best efforts of Kane and Anisimov to double the lead were unsuccessful. Instead, it was Jordin F***ing Tootoo who shipped the puck into the back of the net for the Blackhawks’ second goal of the night. The two goal lead only lasted a measly minute-thirty as Viktor Arvidsson put on past Crawford to bring the Preds within one. After a few minutes of back-and-forth skating, Jonathan Toews tallied seconds into a powerplay on a rebound with Panik shielding Saros. But once again, we can’t have nice things and a Seabrook defensive blunder paired with a lack of hustle allowed Jarnkrok to score the second goal of the period for the Preds. After a one goal first, four combined tallies made for an exciting, but mighty frustrating second period of hockey. Luckily, the Blackhawks escaped to the second intermission with a lead, 3-2. Unfortunately, it could’ve been 3-1 or even 3-0. No bueno.

The third period started with a resounding Crawford chant. Doesn’t get much more Nashville than that. Each team got their fair share of opportunities throughout the first few minutes of the period, but nobody could get anything through. Finally, Arvidsson had Crawford down early and tied it up from a horrible angle. Cue the Crawford chants after the soft, soft goal. It seemed inevitable after the defense seemingly went into a shell, but the style of goal had absolutely nothing to do with the defense. Crawford just went down too early, simple as that. Then, a whole lot of nothing. Finally with sixty-five seconds remaining, Brian Campbell jumped into the play and rifled a shot past Saros. Kane added an empty-netter for his second of the night and twenty-ninth of the season and that’s all she wrote. Hawks win, 5-3. “Crawford” this, you dumbass Nashville fans

The Good
  • Corey Crawford was phenomenal. It’s not easy playing both games on a back-to-back, but Crow made it look easy. The first period was a true test for #50, but he stood on his head and stopped everything. Hat tip to the man with thirty-two saves.
  • Patrick Kane saved a powerplay quickly sliding downhill. The Blackhawks’ point leader ripped a wrister from the left circle and gave the Blackhawks the first period lead.
  • It pains me to say this, but Michal Rozsival actually had a decent game. Even the penalty that he committed was a weak call. Uncle Rozsival can put the candy bar down, no need to panic.
  • No, I’m not sucking up to Gate for a raise, but #KempGod played a few solid shifts. Couldn’t complain about him. And I really haven’t been able to for quite awhile, either.
  • The fourth line doesn’t get a whole heck of a lot of ice time, but when they skated together tonight, they held great sustained pressure in the offensive zone.
  • TOOTOO, #22, born on 2/2! He scored! The ol’ son of a bitch did it! Drinks (of water) on me!
  • Traffic in front. It’s what always seems to work. This time on the second powerplay, Toews’ goal. That trade value just keeps climbing.
  • Brian Campbell jumps into the play and good things happen. Good on ya!
  • The Bread Man to Kane is beautiful. Even if it’s just an empty-netter, it’s still magnificent.
The Bad
  • Corey Crawford was tested early and often. The defense played very lackadaisical for the first ten minutes of the night. No days off, boys.
  • The Blackhawks had a lot of trouble clearing their end, which led to far too many unnecessary opportunities and chances for the Preds.
  • After Tootoo tallied his first goal of the season, the Blackhawks couldn’t wait to give it right back. Can we please just have a comfortable lead? Anybody?
  • Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Seabrook standing still. 14 seconds after Toews’ second period goal, Calle Jarnkrok brings it back within one. Tighten up. Jeez.
  • Crawford wasn’t receiving great help from his defense, but Arvidsson’s second tally was soft and inexcusable for the netminder. Sad!
  • Don’t you just love it when there’s that one guy who never ceases banging the boards. Quick fact about those types of people: The boards are the only thing they’ve ever banged.
The Ugly

  • Oh, Sweet Eddie-O, please don’t go. Intermissions aren’t getting better. I’d rather listen to Eddie Vedder.
  • TVR got absolutely ROCKED by Cody McLeod (which eventually led to the Tootoo/McLeod fight), so yeah, it was clean and a hockey hit, but it was ugly. I laughed, though…
  • Predators fans insist on chanting Crawford for no damn reason. How stupid must they all be? Chant “defense” if you want to scream who gave up that first Preds goal.
  • I’d be willing to bet that Rozsival with a backwards ankle could beat TVR in a forty yard dash. He’s so slow, it’s unbearable to watch.

I’d like to send a quick shoutout to recap reader and shoutcast listener, Beth Sweeney and her son Ryan. Ryan dropped the puck at the Icehogs game tonight for Autism Awareness Night in Rock Vegas. Follow Beth (@beth_sweeney4) on Twitter to see the photo.


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