Following The River: Blackhawks 3 – Predators 1

Box Score
Event Summary
Extra Skater

If you look simply at the first period stats, minus the goals obviously, you might assume the Hawks were in danger once again of getting their asses handed to them. The team that averages only 27 shots against per game allowed 17 total in the first period. Those stats are so out of whack given the 3 trips the Hawks took to the penalty box in the opening twenty. Three trips to the box are always going to be bad but that’s especially bad when the team is also near the bottom of the league in PK%.

Sure enough, the Predators were able to score on their opening power play when Seabrook failed to clear the puck and the Hawks ran around their own zone like teenagers who snuck into the Playboy Mansion. Raanta made a few big saves but couldn’t find a slapshot from Shea Weber. Though to be fair… most goalies aren’t going to be able to stop that guy if he gets a few chances to really wind up.

Thankfully though, Patrick Kane still exists and that’s good enough for right now. Keith got the early one with a sneaky slapper that beat Hutton blocker side but it was Kaner’s incredible backhander that will go down as the game winning goal. With that beauty, Kaner pulls within a point of the overall league lead (though Crosby has games in hand… I’m getting really sick of realizing everyone has games in hand against the Hawks). Kaner also has 18 points in 10 games. Holy hell is he fun to watch right now.



  • Steven Konroyd filled in for Eddie and did his best to give the broadcast team a bit of professionalism… however boring he may be. Pat Foley really wasn’t having any of it though.
  • Speaking of Konroyd, he wondered if Shaw lead the team in drawing penalties after he was held by Colin Wilson in the first. In case you also wondered the same thing, he’s not. That would actually belong to Jeremy Morin with Shaw being second on the team. That’s a much smaller sample size though since Morin has played only 11 games but draws a silly 2.5 per 60 minutes. Shaw leads the players who see regular time with 1.8 per 60.
  • Kind of interesting to see Leddy play up by the circles on the first power play in the second. That didn’t seem to be on purpose, maybe a missed change, but he certainly had a few good looks from that area. He even ended up scoring from the same spot later on the Hawks second chance with the advantage that period. I can only imagine Q is spending the evening trying to figure out if 3 D-Men up front with Sharp and Hossa on the point could be a good idea.
  • While the idea of Seth Jones is certainly something to be afraid of… I’m just not really seeing it the longer this season goes on. The Hawks have been good on the forecheck (see what I did there?) but they’re certainly not a ferocious team. Several times though, the Hawks were able to get Jones to panic and throw the puck away or at least make the wrong play. He’s going to be a thorn in our side but he’s just not there yet. He is only 19. I was just a dorky college kid drinking PBR and throwing up in the bushes around campus at that age… at least now I drink better beer.
  • Bicks was back.. that was nice I guess. Right? Didn’t really see him out there much because it was a blink and you’ll miss his shift kind of situation.
  • For a moment there in the second period, I forgot Stalberg wasn’t a Hawk anymore. They announced his penalty and I began cursing his name. Some things never change I suppose.
  • For as ugly as the first could be with all the chances going the Preds way, they were held without a shot on goal for over 8 minutes to begin the second.
  • If the Hawks want to improve on their PK, this was certainly a game where they got a lot of time to work on it. I’d prefer they just do that in practice though and stay the hell out of the box during games.
  • The third, which was the only period I watched live, was boring as fuck. But two points is two points and the train keeps a rolling. See you on Friday for the Nucks.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    It seemed after the passive Hawks PK allowed Weber to bomb away from the point on the first preds PP, Q wised up and put more pressure on him. Seemed to work, perhaps this is the key?

    • Joe Banks


    • It was kinda like Q went, “Oh ya, they have that guy on this team.”

      • AirTrafficAJ

        Al MacInnis jr

        • Waylon

          as much as I loved MacInnis, Weber’s slapshot is actually harder than Al’s, and probably more lethal.

    • Country_Bumpkin

      The more the Hawks are active on the PK the better. I know they are missing Fro-fro but they still have Kruger and I bet the PK% hits 80 by February.

  • Yoder

    Whatever Kills. You still drink plenty of PBR.

  • SuperHawk27

    Stalberg seems very expensive right now…

    • Bannerman

      I liked Stalberg but there’s a reason he’s playing for his 3rd team.

      • CozBullsFan

        Super is right in that Nashville overpaid for Stalberg. It’s funny that Stals is on his 3rd team, while Verstig is on his 4th (5th?) team.

        • Waylon

          but I don’t believe that Steeg was used correctly in his other stints – I mean, one look at what the Leafs were doing with him and you realize that his best attributes weren’t being utilized in many circumstances.

        • Bannerman

          Steeg got traded twice because he made too much money.

      • Waylon

        yeah, I wonder if he’s thinking of whining again, albeit this time to Mr. No – Neck coach who doesn’t appear to tolerate that kind of BS. Good luck with that one, eh.

    • So does Bickell (and Crawford)?

      • Z-man19

        Give 2 years, they’ll be bargains

        • I have my fingers crossed, and my skepticism temporarily uncrossed (however that happens).

        • mightymikeD


      • SuperHawk27

        Not yet, but injuries aren’t helping their case. Bickell will likely prove his worth in the playoffs…unfortunately….

      • Black JEM

        We definitely overpaid for both, though Bickell had been on an extreme discount and will probably end up all right or traded to someone desperate for a big winger.
        Crow had us over a barrel and Stan knew it. As it turns out this season Ranta probably is a mild upgrade from what Crow has given us this year – though we hope for a better playoff push from Crow as well as at least three seasons of the six where he is in the top third of goalies playing. He is just wildly inconsistent from year to year. That is who he is.

        • Heh … and I just read this on puckdaddy:

          “We’re now deep enough into the season that it’s fair to start evaluating some of the big contracts signed this summer and boy oh boy are there some absolute stinkers…. You might want to start with the logical choice: The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. It’s not because any deal they signed
          this summer was more egregious than the others in the conversation (which, again, there are many), it’s because there were two of them. Corey Crawford and Bryan Bickell both got big raises because they played
          well in the playoffs, and both have promptly returned to sucking pretty hard once they got their nice, fat raises.

          Crawford’s — $6 million against the cap for the next six years — hasn’t even kicked in yet and he’s got a save percentage six points below his already below-mediocre career average. This isn’t an accident. Bickell, meanwhile, put up 17 points in the postseason last year, including two game-winners, and got bumped up to four years and $16 million. So far in 22 games this year, he’s got five goals and an assist, and that’s with having shot 14.3 percent. Fortunately for Stan Bowman, Dave Nonis isn’t about to take this kind of thing lying down, and that David Clarkson deal is looking worse by the day….”

          • SuperHawk27

            That blurb is kinda harsh. The only way to determine if a contract is bad is at the end of it. If the Hawks win 2 more cups in the 4-5 years of their contracts where they both play mediocre in the regular season and step it up in the playoffs…….is it still a bad deal?

          • You’re right, it’s definitely harsh, and I agree that you have to re-evaluate these contracts at different points through their term. They both look bad right now, though. I’m someone who never once complained about Bolland’s contract, and that one was argued by many to be way overpriced (at numerous times) … so I’ll be cynical about these ones now, but I’ll also wait until another post-season comes and goes before I really drop the anvil.

          • mightymikeD

            Lambert is a tool who has his Narrative and will stick to it, no matter what. It’s a crying shame, because buried underneath all the “Angry 15 Year Old In a Warcraft Chat Channel” stuff there’s a good and perceptive writer.

          • I agree with you about Lambert for the most part, mmd, but I agree with Lambert on those two contracts. Bickell, I’m fine with that one, though. He played into that contract in a big way and deserved it, showing that he can skate first line minutes when called on. 3.5 might have been more palatable, but he’d have received more than 4 million as a UFA.

            Crawford, though … that one stinks. Admittedly, I’m sure even if Stan waited till now to negotiate, he’d have been signed for something like 5 mil over 5 years (wishful thinking to imagine he’d get under that). 6 for 6 years for at best an average goalie … that distresses me more than a little (and I’m a Crawford liker!). Also, like I say, I’m happy to re-visit my opinion after this coming post-season!

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    7 penalties in one game, and against the Preds…..
    Probably drawn up on the board that way in order to pad the woeful PK stats cuz Q is sick of hearing questions about the PK he clearly doesn’t know how to answer.

  • Jim

    Hawks could have scored 5 at least, but Hutton got good after the first 2 goals. The only one that got in after that was Kane’s backhand roof shot. Hutton stopped a couple of real good chances by Kane, Hossa and others.

  • Deborah Mosca

    Steve Konroyd may be as bland as toast without butter and jam, but I’ll take him over Ed-Zo’s frosted blather any day. Anyone else muting the t.v. to avoid another lesson for ‘all you young hockey players out there?’ Watching the Hawks with Miles Davis in the background is pretty wonderful.

    • … oops, I wrote about this above. Could’ve replied here to make it simpler. Oh well.

      • Accipiter

        You complicate everything.

    • guest

      But but how am I supposed to get through a tedious, boring part of the third period in a one-goal game with lightning-quick possession changes and legit chances at both ends of the ice without pat and eddie bringing me on a lengthy digression about how long horse races are?!

      • Deborah Mosca

        I’ve used those golden opportunities to engage in equally boring, tedious tasks, like sorting my laundry…

  • Gabble Ratchet

    That’s a much smaller sample size though since Morin has played only 11 games but draws a silly 2.5 per 60 minutes.

    Might that be skewed slightly by the 14 minutes Roussel took at the end of the game against Dallas? Morin himself had 16 penalty minutes in that period.

  • Konroyd is better than Eddie but still bad … others must have
    caught his hilarious summary of Raanta, how he’s always square to the shooter and never loses his net. I laughed. I like Eddie better for knowledge and detail, but I like Konroyd more for listening to, despite the bland, because Eddie alongside Foley … I grind my teeth into dust.

    I hate Foley. I hate him. I have a great deal of respect for the history
    he brings to the Hawks, and it’s even tinged with a warm nostalgia, but
    I want to throw things against the wall whenever I hear him call a
    game. When he talks stats … fuck me, there are two single categories
    he’s familiar with: number of hits in the last x games, and plus/minus
    in the last y games. He’s beyond bad … and I haven’t even mentioned
    the “jokes.”

    • Z-man19

      Can I be your dentist?

    • raditzzzz

      while i don’t have the same vitriol for foley, i did chuckle when konroyd mentioned raanta is strong in not losing his net. not complaining about how raanta has performed thus far, but i would disagree with that mr. konroyd.

    • Waylon

      I look at Foley now much the same as when Harry Carey was with the Sox, then later on with the Cubs. Both were excellent play by play men in their prime, then got progessively sillier as the years progressed. But when I look at the other folks calling hockey games around the league today, Foley and Edzo still look very good by comparison.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Totally agree, Waylon. They both went from great to mediocre and unfortunately mediocre is pretty damn good compared to some.

      • It says something about the general state of affairs when this is the case. And ya, I can’t disagree.

      • mightymikeD

        I had the LA feed for the Hawks Kings and found their call to be interesing, informative and impartial. Any HNIC call is also miles ahead of Pedzo. The Dallas callers are pretty good, as are Nashville. PHX, COL and VAN are terrible, as is the entire East, with a special mention for Boston.

        • M7

          Dallas and Nashville are two of the best. Darryl Reagh (DAL) and Terry Crisp (NAS) are really good colour men.

          Charlie Simmer in Calgary is pretty monotone as a colour man but is solid as well (but I hate their play-by-play guy Rob Kerr). Colorado guys are embarassing as is John Garrett in Vancouver. What’s with all these old goalies all over the place (Garrett)? A lot of the goalies I know have some of the poorest understanding of the game going. HNIC panel is loaded with them Hrudey, Weekes, Healy (the worst), Millen (east coast colour usually). I don’t get it. As back ups they must get a lot of time to politic for post-NHL jobs or something.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      I used to love Foley in the 90’s when Dale was in the booth with him. They may not have been the height of professionalism, but they were sort of like listening to 2 silly drunken fans who had access to the players and new a thing or two about hockey. Foley’s calls (Baaannnnnneerrrrrrmmmaaaaannnnnnnn!!!) seemed epic and legendary.

      Now, I have to say that he really is grating on me too. It’s like he’s become a parody or a shell of what he once was and just goes by a script that is the same every game. The same goes for Edzo who, while he can often make quick, sharp observations, falls into the same “for all you young hockey players out there” routine that gets boring and redundant.

      All that being said, I’d still rather have them than Konroyd as he just puts me to sleep and I literally tune him out which isn’t a conscious decision… he’s just white noise to my ears.

    • Paul the Fossil

      Well said. I’m watching half the games on mute now unless people are over.

    • jordyhawk

      I respect Foley for being part of it through the dark days, but now he has become hard to listen to. In fairness, it’s not like the old days when the audience was hockey fans (and a few rats) and that’s it. Now we are a marketing juggernaut and the product for many is the event than the hockey game. Perhaps part of that is the price of success.

      • Also good point re marketing … there’s little to challenge someone to be a talented “filler” when mostly you’re just reading ad lines. Bet that almost trains the brain to be less involved

    • berkley

      How much of this comes from the fact that Foley’s TV only now?

      • Good point … could be related. I find Weideman and Murray call a pretty good game for the most part.

  • The_FFF

    “For a moment there in the second period, I forgot Stalberg wasn’t a Hawk
    anymore. They announced his penalty and I began cursing his name. Some
    things never change I suppose.”

    Similarly, there was a point where Pat mentioned Stalberg and Versteeg in the same sentence, and I spent about 5 seconds having no idea what teams I was watching anymore.

  • How do you mean?

    • (This in reply to Accipiter.)

      • Z-man19

        Point made I think

        • Accipiter

          Is he trying to be the new Waylon ?

          • Z-man19

            He’s making an excellent case for it

          • Waylon

            there is only one Highlander.

          • Accipiter

            You try telling that to not Chico.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            wouldn’t that be more of a waaaylon

          • Accipiter

            Thaaat wasn’t there originally.

      • From here on out I’m replying to Accipiter in this thread.

        • There’s only one Chico, and only one Waylon. But there are any number of not Chicos and not Waylons.

  • justforkicks

    Konroyd is a jinxy jinxer who jinxes

    • DesertHawk

      And I hate him.

      • mightymikeD

        There. Are. No. Such. Things. As. Jinxes!! :p

  • berkley

    Does Jones make the US roster?

    • M7

      Of the USA World Junior team? His performance right now is in the bottom 1/3rd of NHL Dmen. The US should hope he’s nowhere near the Olympic roster.

      • I agree … but the Canadian Juniors are hoping he’s nowhere near the US roster!

      • mightymikeD

        I keep hearing “Team USA candidate Jones” and “Norris Candidate Jones” (seriously!) and can’t for the life of me figure out why. Like you say, his numbers aren’t great at all. I’m sure he’ll be one hell of a D-Man in the future, but right now he’s a kid in at the deep end

        • M7

          Yeah… I mean, he’s got the tools. I don’t doubt his progression towards being a #1 or #2 on most teams. But right now, he’s the kid in the deep end (as you put it). He’s 19! If he’s playing like this in 3 or 4 years the Preds will have a problem but for now – kid needs to learn.

    • Jim A

      He seemed to be a pretty good forechecker. Three or four times he was back behind the Hawks net. I guess that’s better than having him handle it in his own zone.