NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

We Have A Marker Down: Hawks 5 – Sharks 3

It’s been a while since it felt like the Hawks were playing a regular season game that was central to the hockey world. Saw a bunch of tweets and columns today from non-Sharks or Hawks affiliated people today. I don’t think anyone would say they were disappointed in the entertainment provided.

There really is no such thing as a “statement game.” It’s fun to think there is, and it feels better when you win one to think there is, but it’s kind of a myth. Who knows how we’ll regard this result in a month or two. But other than getting a win in San Jose for the first time in three seasons, beating your closest competitor, and now guaranteeing the minimum amount of points we all agreed was necessary for a successful road trip, we learned a couple things. Possibly. Though I wonder if any of them will be the overriding theme.


It’s not a huge shock that this team showed a pretty big pair of balls, because they did a lot of times last year. But being down 2-0 after the first keg hadn’t been kicked at the concession stand, with the building going nuts and the Sharks running around like that female character in Toon Town after sighting a man (I promised I’d try and cut down the pop culture references, but I do love that one so), that trait that I find most endearing about the Hawks shone brightest. That trait of dusting themselves off, a quiet smirk, and go about clawing the game back. Didn’t take them long either. No panic at all.

And after taking the Sharks best punch and not ending up on the canvas, they actually controlled the last two periods for the most part. Not only can they win in the tougher buildings around, they can control those games too. That’s encouraging.

We also saw that while it isn’t exactly a Picasso, Corey Crawford can get over a shaky start and at least make it work. That definitely didn’t happen last year. At least he got through, and his team didn’t roll his eyes at him, which did happen a couple times last year. So consider that encouraging as well. However, Crow was off on angles and feel. He has been a lot this year, but gotten the bounces. For instance, Braun’s shot that he stopped but got by him only to go out of play. At some point this year, those will bounce in. Important that we, and he especially, don’t lose their mud when they do.

Right, to it.

Observations

-Let’s get the main talking point out of the way here. It’s rare that I disagree with my colleagues here, but this is one of those times. Not that I think they’re wrong.

Logically, yes, it is completely correct to say that Keith chasing after Desjardins and getting a double minor, taking himself off the ice for 19 minutes, and possibly costing the Hawks a 5 min power play is stupid (but I’m not totally convinced Desjardins would have even been penalized had their not been shenanigans after it, which doesn’t make it right. Yes, NHL refs can work like this). It makes perfect sense. Even what numbers there are on such things kind of prove this.

However, the 40 guys on the ice believe it does have meaning. They believe that if you don’t respond, you can be pushed around. So in some sense, I guess it’s kind of true.

I know, you’ll call me a hypocrite. But my complaints about these sorts of things is when they come after an obviously clean hit. This did not look obviously clean at first glance. Replays showed it might be, but who thought that at the time? Keith certainly didn’t have time to figure it out. It was a reaction. And the fact that he can’t fight doesn’t really matter to these guys. They just want you to show up. Which is another non-sensical hockey thing, but it’s what they all think. I don’t have a huge problem with it. But I don’t think those who do are wrong.

How’s that for some fence-sitting?

-However, don’t buy the bullshit theory that says that changed the game, because the Hawks were already kind of gaining control of it anyway.

-Let’s get to good stuff now. Brandon Saad. I don’t think I need to say any more. He just seems to be everywhere he needs to be. His first goal, and one gets the feeling that it’s going to be the first of many in a short little stretch here.

-Back to bad stuff. The second line continues to be an issue. Patrick Kane had four shots, but one was obviously the empty net goal and the other was 4-on-4 with Toews. Sharp didn’t have one. Bolland had two. It’s not enough. I thought the answer was flipping Saad and Sharp. But now it’s clearer that Bolland and Toews need to switch wingers. While the fear in the past has been Bolland being right-handed would not lead him to getting the puck to Hossa enough, with the way Hossbollah and Saad are playing, Bolland would merely just have to stay out of the way. And they could recover the Bolland’s lost draws much better. Sharp and Kane would find themselves with the puck more with Toews. So simple, which is why we won’t see it.

-While Leddy had a couple of yippy moments, his composure with the puck in his own zone is miles ahead of where it was a season ago. I counted three times when he picked it up in a scramble around his net, and with three patient strides had skated himself out of trouble.

-Kruger had probably his strongest game of the year.

-The more Pat and Eddie bitch about Shaw on the PP doing the net-front thing, the more they make the case that he should be replaced by either Hayes or Ben Smith when healthy. They both have far more experience in front.

-Early in the 3rd protecting the lead, that sickness the Hawks can’t quite shake of getting jammed along the boards in their own end, and/or having their forwards drift to the neutral zone while the Sharks point-men stayed ahead of them in the Hawks zone reared it’s head again. Made me jumpy.

-Sharks fans, at least some of them, will claim things will have been different if Brent Burns had played. I will find this humorous.

-While you can’t use a regular season game to hammer more nails into a guy’s rep, it was another bigger game that Joe Thornton resumed his Passenger #19 act. The more the Sharks fans and organization keep heaping the blame that should go to him on Patrick Marleau, the more they’ll miss the point.

-At least most Sharks fans are catching on that Douglas Murray absolutely sucks.

-One of the most infuriating factors of this season is big games like this will be compromised by fatigue from one team. The Sharks were clearly flagging from three games in four days. Does harm the occasion a bit.

Player Of The Game

Kneel before Saad…..

  • Joe Banks

    Saads first Goal. Many more to come.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      How ’bout Hossa on that goal? Strong man.

  • BeverlyBrewmaster

    If you cut down on the pop culture references, I’m pretty sure I can legally recoup the money I spent on my Committed Indian subscription for the season.

  • BigCSouthside

    Hello motherfuckers. Some thoughts
    1. This site won’t let me comment on my iPad, which makes me want to hit babies with shovels
    2. I’ve never really gotten that “we’re fucked” feeling this year. Last year, Crow lets in 3, Q pulls him. Razor goes out, and Keith and seabs log a fortnight of ice time. Crow sits on the bench contemplating pulling a Sylvia Plath, all while the other goalie sees more rubber flying at him than the entire cast of “Mega Dildos 9″, but stops them all using some matrix style Keanu reeves shit. This year, three opposing goals hit twine before the team bus leaves the parking lot, the hawks just say “ah, the force is with you…but you are not a Jedi yet” and proceed to kicking ass using scoring depth while Crawford realigns his Chi.
    3. Props to The Stache for not pulling Crow. I would have.
    4. Keith can’t fight, but that scrap was worth it.
    5. Holy shit nick leddy is fast.
    6. Toews humiliated Murray on the GWG.

    • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

      Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne.

      • mightymikeD

        morning Bob

        Good points, BigC.. I agree, a year ago we would have lost that game (and the Calgary one)

        • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

          Reports this morning in San Jose say Murray is still on the ice looking for his jockstrap.

          • Accipiter

            All he found was shame.

      • Sparky_The_Barbarian

        Just getting up, Bob, or just going to bed?

    • wardrums

      “Crow sits on the bench contemlating a Sylvia Plath…” – if that wasn’t so sick it would be hilarious! What the hell is Mega Dildo’s 9?
      We’ve truly become a team of way more than Toews and Kane.
      Bickell was a one man wrecking ball.
      Saad is starting to feel like an old pair of shoes.
      I’m not sure why, but I really don’t miss Carcillo. I hope he come backs and proves me wrong – but to me Saad is an upgrade on the Captains line.
      Keith is just warming up for the next time he tries to ride Burrow and stay on for ten seconds.
      Crawford was huge again. Loved it when he kicked that rebound out to center ice – “Get that weak stuff out of here.”
      Leddy, Hjarmal’s and Oduya – yes, yes and yes.
      Glad Bollands back because I like the Bick-Shaw-Stals trio.
      The icing on the cake would have been if Toews dropped them with Jumbo Joe Jerk – haven’t seen the Captain that animated in, well, forever.

      • wardrums

        Actually it should be, Saad is starting to fit like an old pair of shoes. It was a late night.

      • raditzzzz

        to harp on a point, midway through the first period i also started thinking about carcillo. the sharks had been handling the hawks physically and i thought to myself how the situation would’ve differed had carc been in the lineup. my conclusion:

        he would’ve immediately started taking runs at people, caused a terrible penalty, or simply been called for one because he is carcillo. instead of the hawks scraping themselves off the ice and pulling together for a rally, it would’ve definitely been us back on the defensive, without much in the way of firing back, like we did.

        not that im a big carcillo hater, but i could so easily see that unfolding. lol, and here we are with saad in his place. so sorry for your knee injury, but you really put the team in a better position.

        • red palace

          This may be the place to give Shaw some recognition for keeping it together so far. Just one minor penalty dating back to the first game or two, and no dumbass reaction when Murray pasted him early on yesterday.

          With one exception that I can think of. On Calgary’s second goal, he was busy admiring how he had knocked Stajan into the CGY bench while the Flames streaked past him and rather flat-footed Sharp and Kane toward the slot.

          And while we have the Saadfest rolling here: no penalties taken against (I think) two drawn for #20 to date.

          • birdhead

            He took a slashing call (Saad) in OT against Calgary, IIRC, not the best time ever. But generally yeah, he’s drawn more than he’s committed.

          • Z-man19

            that penalty was a load of shit IMHO

          • red palace

            gah, you are correct. I remember the shot of him sitting in the box.
            /rushes off to sign up for stat-reading lessons

        • wardrums

          Boy, that was really well put. Still, Carcillo could be effective for us on the fourth line.

      • Fleshrifle

        Did Dumbo Joe sucker punched Toews last year at the tank? Didn’t that contribute to the dark room at the end of last year. Something must have gone on in that Team Canada locker room for these guys to be that animated playing each other.

        • justforkicks

          I think last year was when Joe was cross checking Hossa from behind and Hossa told him not to be a coward and do that and a scrum broke out as a result. I don’t remember the sucker punch on Toews though.

          • Accipiter

            The sucker punch started Toews’ brown brain.

          • Waylon

            Being a coward is all JumboTron knows – remember when he got all pissy about Bolland’s shadowing him during the playoffs and tried to break his wrist on a faceoff. Complete paper tiger, he only performs during the regular season, disappears when things get tough.

        • High and Wide

          Yup, you’re remembering correctly. It was in a bit of a scrum near the benches IIRC.

      • spie

        “Crawford was huge again”?
        Yeah, Crawford was a huge pile of shit, just like last year.
        The Hawks will never win it all with him in net.

        Just wait, his stats will trend back towards where they were last year.

        • CozBullsFan

          Whatever you say Negative Nancy. There is obviously a big difference between Crow last year, and Crow this year. Last year, he would have crumbled after 3 goals, and let in 4 more. This year, not really.

          • spie

            Good goalies don’t let in 3 goals on their first 5 shots. He did it a bunch last year and I’m betting he will do it a bunch more this year. His rebound control sucks, and his 5 hole is bigger than a hooker’s!

          • raditzzzz

            im not the biggest fan of crow, but he is definitely getting the job done right now. is he going to throw some stinkers out there? of course. look at it this way, the goalie on the other end of the ice did it just as much, and he backstopped us to a cup.

            his rebound control hasn’t been too bad, imo. but its funny you come out with this barrage against him, because just last night before the game started, i was contemplating the whole “regress to the mean” idea in terms of our goaltending. the difference is, its not how you start, but how you finish. and the hawks are finding ways to win, instead of lose, like they were last year.

          • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

            Much like Elliot currently seems to be regressing to his mean, last season may have been Crawford’s downswing to which this season he may over-perform to get to his true output. Its not an aberration if it keeps happening…

          • raditzzzz

            thats just the perspective i need on this situation!

          • wardrums

            always like your perspective raditzzzz. In your opinion, was Wingles goal an easy, piece of Butterfingers cake, stop?
            There is a lot of luck to goaltending, eh? You mention that sieve at the other end of the ice last night backstopping us to a Cup. While Niemi played spectacularly, I clearly remember Patrick Marleau rifling a shot from 10 paces in the slot in OT. Antti didn’t have time to blink – the shot hit him square in the face mask. If the puck is an inch to the left or right, it would have been the game winner and the Series would have went to 2-1 instead of 3-0.

          • raditzzzz

            sometimes you just have to give credit where it is due. that was a good shot. painted the top corner pretty well. i watched the replay of the goal on youtube a couple of times and crow was set up a bit early and maybe started to take himself out of position as the shot was coming off (slight move towards the short side), perhaps anticipating something on the short side. he could’ve gained to come out a bit more aggressively, although he did have a guy breaking down the slot.

            but imo, it was just a well placed top shelfer.

          • DesertHawk

            I didn’t realize that stats like GAA and Save% only counted some of the shots, apparently the first 5. Bugger off mate you’re just here to troll and no one wants any of it.

        • Waylon

          Gee, thanks for stopping by and giving us all the benefit of your excellent analysis. Oh, and since we’ve never seen you here before, please remember to come up from your mom’s basement and bring her cat in from last night – she doesn’t ask much of you these days, it’s the very least you can do for her.

          • spie

            Is that the best you can do? I don’t think I’ve never seen the “get out of your mom’s basement” retort on the internet before…douchebag!

          • Accipiter

            Calmer than you are, calmer than you are.

          • Nagelbett

            All water under the bridge…

          • Waylon

            Judging by your reaction, it might be wise for you to offer some actual proof for your assertions, anything else is just farting in the wind.

          • DesertHawk

            Don’t think I’ve ever* FTFY

        • wardrums

          Spie-dawg
          What did you think of Crawford in the 10/11 season. By he way, are defensemen appear to be an upgrade from last year – although i do miss Scott. He brought that intangible, “My dad can beat up your dad,” that we miss a bit this year.
          On last comment; in the Cup winning season I was at a friends house watching the game with a few friends. Huet was between the pipes and by this jucture of the season many fans were clamoring for his head – or at least that he be tarred and feathered. The friend who I mention hated huet so much that he went “Darn!” when Cristobal made three spectacular saves in a row.
          All that to say, I hope your not praying Cor-dawg fails so you can say, “See I told you so.”
          And yes my friend, Crawford was, and has been huge this season. In my Fantasy hockey league, (yes I admit being a loser, but at least I’m a first place loser), last week I offered to trade Luongo for Corey. The opponent never even acknowledged my offer. I’d still do it.
          Finally, yeah, his stats may start trending backwards – it would be rather difficult to improve upon them right now.

          • spie

            I agree with you that our defense is improved, which explains why Crawford appears to be playing better. He is an average goalie on a good defensive team. And no, I’m not praying that he fails. Believe me, I’d much rather admit that I’m wrong than to say “I told you so”. It looks like we are stuck with him, and so far that makes me nervous.

          • wardrums

            I think all goalies make us nervous. It’s the last damn line of defense!

      • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

        Carcillo on the 4th line would be a good addition if it means sitting both Mayers and Bollmovement. Most talented and defensively responsible 4th line in hockey, perhaps?

        • wardrums

          sure wouldn’t be afraid to let them log some minutes.

    • Joe Banks

      Goods points. The Toews “pantsing” of Murray was my favorite.
      Go Hawks.

    • JesusMarianHossa

      Welcome back, C.

      • BigCSouthside

        Many thanks. Pierogis and crazy game winning goals be with you.

        • Waylon

          Count me in as well among those happy that you’re back – funniest post yet for this season. Hope there are many more forthcoming.

        • DesertHawk

          MMMM pierogis….

    • justforkicks

      6. Toews stole that puck from between his legs. was freaking beautiful.

      But yeah the ability of this team to get their shit together, hold strong (Crow and Emery), and not panic has been great to see – and was definitely not how things went last year

      • BigCSouthside

        Seriously. If we lived in feudal Japan, Murray would have been honor bound to commit ritual suicide and allow toews to collect his head as a trophy.

    • Paul the Fossil

      Best comment posted on the night, hands down.

    • Z-man19

      I can use my ipad for this, it’s a little slow but it works

  • RWCrum

    I found it interesting that at the end of the game, when Foley askd Edzo what they “learned” from tonight, with Foley obviously fishing for a “they’re great!” from Eddie, Edzo was silent for a while and eventually gave him a very measured comment that amounted to “well, so far so good”. I forget the exact words, but that was the gist of Edzo’s response. Foley then kind of stammered and more or less agreed.
    And I think that’s where I am. I don’t think anybody could have predicted an 8-0-2 start, but they won’t play an Eastern Conference team unless it’s in June. It’s hard to say how they really stack up, especially when they turn in games like the one in Calgary. Then again, teams of destiny win games like that.
    I am completely with you fence sitting on the Keith fight. Had to be done, but the penalty on Desjardins was pulled out of a hat.

    • Waylon

      I think a cautiously – measured response is warranted at this point, mostly because the Hawks faced a team that should have been dog – tired after their recent stretch of activity, yet still got out – muscled in a few key moments during the game. This is the blueprint for other teams in how to play the Hawks, I’d like to see them counter this tactic more effectively, but can’t see any personnel available that could do that at this point. BTW, I know the most effective response is winning, so maybe I’m just a worrywart.

  • RWCrum

    oh yeah- I think Saad is really going to be a keeper.

    • Accipiter

      But he is so good at the forward position.

      • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Beat me.

        • Accipiter

          Only by 3 minutes. Your delivery may have been better.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      I like him better on the wing. BA-DUM!

  • cliffkoroll

    I got no problem with Keith fighting there- his defensive teammates picked him up.

    What I’m finding increasingly aggravating from Dunc is the 80-foot stretch pass. Even more aggravating is the 80-foot stretch pass that goes for icing. And head-asplode aggravating is the 80-foot stretch pass that goes for icing with the Bolland line out there.

    I’ve seen quite enough of Patrick Kane chasing the puck in his own zone, thank you.

    Good win. Crow might be kind of an average goalie, but I’ve never doubted his mental toughness.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

      Never? Maybe he has matured since last season and not doubting it now is understandable but there were definitely some games last season where he exhibited the mental steadfastness of Pvt. Pyle a la FMJ.

      • cliffkoroll

        I remember reading a lot of comments about Crow’s lack of mental toughness, but I think this is a go-to explanation when a goalie gets torched, and I think, in this case, the explanation is plain wrong. I’m happy to consider specific examples though.

        Do you remember Huet? Now there’s a sensitive plant.

        • raditzzzz

          i recall a certain playoff game against phoenix where he let the ot winner slip through his five hole and reportedly sat in the locker room in his pads until just about everyone left.

          but honestly, i don’t pretend to know what knocks around in his skull. all i know right now is that the wins are piling up and his numbers are good. we can truly discuss his fortitude come playoff time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

          It might be a chicken/egg thing but as Crawford found himself having less favorable outcomes last season, he seemed to try to do more things with his game than he was capable. I do remember many times where his positioning was overly aggressive, if not poor, while he noticeably increased his puck handling attempts. It seemed that these were increasing in frequency as the season wore on and his performance began to frustrate him.

          I’ve already used a whiskey eraser on last season so I can’t come up with specifics. I remember Crow being described as very “even-keeled” so my guess is that this season is a result of him being able to do mentally what I had to do with whiskey.

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      80′ stretch pass is something in the water (or Q’s ‘plan’) cuz it’ s not just Duncs, they all do it, though Leddy and Oduya tend to think twice (sometimes) accounting for their better +/-

      • cliffkoroll

        Maybe, but Duncs is the key to the whole puck possession strategy. I love how Marlboro calmly shuffle the puck back and forth patiently, wearing out forecheckers and allowing passing lanes to open up. Hammer and Oduya are getting in on this act too.

        Keith is so situationally aware though, that when he pulls that stretch pass shit, unpressured, with Bolland’s line on the ice, it’s just so head-up-ass out-of-character, and I notice.

  • Bwana

    “Jersey” Records:
    Away Bolland: 4-0-1, Home Hjalmarsson: 0-0-1, WC Kane: 2-0-0, Socks: 1-0-0, Hat: 1-0-0

    If I’m not going to post game day beers, I’ll at least keep up on this (even though no one cares).

    • Accipiter

      No pants 8-0-2.

      • Joe Banks

        I tried pantsless in OT in Minny. Though liberating, I didn’t feel the luck.

        • Accipiter

          It’s not something you try, it’s a way of life.

          • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

            wearing pants is something you try. not wearing them is something you were born to do.

      • cliffkoroll

        Don’t you hate pants?

      • Sparky_The_Barbarian

        No pants?

        I hope you’re watching at home, and not in a bar…. or at the UC….

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      I tend not to wear colors on game day (old superstition going back to high school), but the new scotch is 2-0-1

      • Joe Banks

        Name your Scotch. It’s more fun.

        • Accipiter

          Laphroaig.

          • raditzzzz

            always a solid dram. the 10 year, quarter cask, or something even more fun?

          • Accipiter

            It’s a 10 year, but not the quarter cask. I haven’t tried that one yet. For my money I prefer the 10 over 12 year.

          • raditzzzz

            its a great go to, imo. im partial to islay scotches, myself.

            i really appreciated the quarter cask, but haven’t had it in quite some time. im working my way up to the next release of ardbegs supernova.

          • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

            delicious

        • Sparky_The_Barbarian

          So far this year:

          Glengoyne 4-0-0
          Cragganmore 3-0-1

          GlenGrant 1-0-1

          • raditzzzz

            nice, unfortunately the pocketbook only allows me to work on one bottle at a time.

            right now, its compass box flaming heart.

          • Joe Banks

            Excellent!

          • DesertHawk

            Well the GlenGrant is right out.

      • raditzzzz

        i like your style. but i am going to have to try jersey and new scotch on the next one.

    • Joe Banks

      Keep it going. It’s building momentum…

    • mightymikeD

      you want a real innaresting stat?

      Hawks When mmD watches game: 7-0-0
      Hawks When He Don’t: 1-0-2

      I’m never going to sleep again, am I?

      • CozBullsFan

        You can sleep all you want when you’re dead.

      • wardrums

        what if you watch a replay without knowing the score – does that count?

      • HealthyScratch

        My “pregnancy beard” aka “lockout beard” record: Zero regulation losses. Not only does the Mrs. hate it, my boss is threatening hateful things. So it looks like I’ll be broke and lonely, watching the Hawks win with you fuckers!

    • laaarmer

      Who the fuck buys a Hjalmarsson (Jalmarsen) jersey?

      • Waylon

        a contrarian?

      • DesertHawk

        I’ve got a Crawford jersey, I reckon that’s a bit more of the wall than Hammer.

    • Skags

      I care. I’m enjoying this actually.

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    Once Saad figures out how to consistently get the puck past the goalie, he’s gonna make some noise (and become rich). He’s already doing (almost) everything right.

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    Read four different columns on the game last night. Got eight different opinions on the hit and ensuing fight. Shanny says Desjardin shouldn’t have been given a major.

  • Toews still makes funny faces!

    I have zero issue with D2K fighting there. At first t looked like a head shot to me. We have the benefit of replay, Dunc’s could only go off what he saw. It did not readily IMO look like a clearly clean hit. . Jammer comes to the defense of ALLOT of teammates, I am very happy to see others, especially one with an “A”, come to his defense.

    • justforkicks

      exactly – he left his feet and Mayers went down hard – until the replay, i was really unsure on whether it was clean or not

    • Accipiter

      Keith saw the hit from behind the play and had no way of telling if Mayers got hit in the head. His reaction was fine with me.

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      I think it’s obvious that it looked like a head shot to Duncs, and that’s why he charged in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

      If anybody on the team needs to know the team appreciates his efforts, its Jammer. Old, tough-as-nails and good at the dot, he excels in some of the veteran leadership areas better than Madden. He may not have the offensive uptick of Madden, but the chemistry of the team with him in the lineup is starting to feel like another favored team of a few years ago.

  • JesusMarianHossa

    I’m still not sure I’m ready to start fussing over that 2nd line yet. That’s not to say that I think Fels doesn’t make valid points about swapping the wingers on lines 1 & 2, but we’re looked at a very small sample size right now. I saw some back and forth with Fear the Fin suggesting that Kruger would be better off playing on the 2nd line and reuniting Bolland with his old Rat Pack buddies. I’m just not there yet. Behind the Net, while incredibly useful, is pretty much null right now. There’s 10 games logged and as it stands I’m not seeing the reason to fuss over what the top 6 has done so far. Especially seeing how well Saad is playing with 19 & 81. This is not to say that a change won’t ever be warranted, but I just don’t think we’re dealing with enough data, or even film, to make such a judgement yet. And while I am hesitant to agree with Quenneville on a lot of things, let’s not change what appears to be working right now. At least in the column that matters most.

    As you say, how’s that for fence sitting?

    • Joe Banks

      I have been thinking (to myself) that the simplest thing would be to swap Kruger and Bolland.
      Like chicken soup, it couldn’t hurt.
      First line isn’t broken, Please, pretty please, don’t fix it.
      Second line needs fixing.
      Sharp is showing signs of life, but sputtering.
      When Bolland touches the puck, something bad happens
      another thought is putting Sharp at 2C again. (might wake him up?)
      Or in a couple of weeks, Carcillo – Sharp – Kane? (is that an earth quake?)

      • chidiver

        Its funny how we’re now complaining about how Q has lost his random line generator.

        • JesusMarianHossa

          Not me… I love the consistency. It’s why I am hesitant to start making changes.

          • Hack

            As you might imagine with Kane’s high even strength point total despite dreadful CORSI numbers thus far, the team’s 5-on-5 shooting percentage with him on the ice is currently at 19%; he’s never finished a season in double digits in that category. The league leader in that category over the past few years typically finishes in the 12-14 range. When inevitable regression happens and his points dry up, we’ll all be hollering for a change.
            The Kane-Bolland combo on the 2nd powerplay unit makes me equally unhappy.

          • JesusMarianHossa

            Shaw on the 1st powerplay unit makes me want to waterboard an orphanage so we share the thoughts on wanting to tweak the PP setup.

          • Waylon

            so the question is how is Ben Smith progressing, and when will we see him up at the big club again?

          • JesusMarianHossa

            WELP. Here’s the thing. Not sure if you’re a baseball fan or not but I think Andrew Shaw is to Joel Quenneville as Neifi Perez or Ramon Martinez was to Dusty Baker. All those players listed have a use, but the manager/coach thinks that use is greater than what it actually is. Shaw definitely has a purpose, I think Joel is just extending it beyond what he’s capable of. I like Shaw, think he’s a nice player for how young he is. Just think he’d be better served in the bottom 6 creating havoc than trying to stand in front of the net on a powerplay unit. Q doesn’t share my thoughts, at least, I don’t think he does.

            We haven’t seen Ben Smith at the NHL level for an extended time in over a year now. Jimmy Hayes had a nice showing in the venti coffee he had last year. In an ideal world, we’d see Shaw do what Carcillo is supposed to (they’re very similar, just Shaw is less prone to Ralph Wiggum moments) and Carcillo not here for another two years which would make room for one of the two we’ve mentioned at the Rock. Unfortunately, this isn’t an ideal world and I’m sitting at a desk typing this and not from Kate Upton’s couch.

          • DesertHawk

            He does that every year, I’d rather him do it with a Shaw, than with a Scott.

        • raditzzzz

          nononononono

          i think one of the main reasons for the success in the season so far is that has been lost. the whole throw the chips into the air and let them fall where they may approach hindered this team the last few years. this is the first time Q has been putting people into the best roles for them to succeed, and guess what, its working. wherever the random line generator is, someone please shoot it, bury it and don’t mark the grave.

      • JesusMarianHossa

        I am hoping that once Carcillo comes back he takes Bollig’s place in the press box and dresses sparingly. Send the club bouncer back to the AHL where he can log minutes and do whatever it is that he does to entertain the folks in Rockford.

    • justforkicks

      I’m going to be honest and say I’m super frustrated with the 2nd line. What good is Kane if he’s stuck in his own zone, never has the puck, or linemates are still looking iffy (looking at you sharpy). I’m happy that the 1st line is doing so well, but at the level they are playing at a 1 to 1 swap (saad and sharp or kane and hossa) should only balance things out – not calling for a full on line jumble. It seems like in 10 games the line has just gotten worse and worse with the other teams having their best opportunities when the 2nd line is on the ice.

      • JesusMarianHossa

        you wouldn’t be wrong about other teams having their best chances against our 2nd line. Kane and Sharp are also top 5 for GF/60 though too.

  • JesusMarianHossa

    One more thought as it relates to the item that had the most hand wringing last night. I’m OK with someone sticking up for Jamal Mayers after he got his clock cleaned. I would overwhelmingly prefer that someone not be a top pairing defenceman. Heat of the moment as it were but I’m still hesitant to see Duncan Keith drop him gloves. Yes, we lost him for 19 minutes in this game. There’s the chance he is lost for longer by putting himself in harm’s way when he looks like Glass Joe vs Soda Popinski out there with his gloves off.

    These are good “problems” that I enjoy discussing as opposed to last year’s headdesk moments as it pertained to scratches.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      The interestingest part of the Keith fight for me is that it SHOULD have resulted in us being on the PK for four minutes. Instead we score on the 4-on-4, and get a minute of PP time to boot.

      We may have been thinking of the penalty differently if San Jose had scored twice on the PP they should have had.

      In any case, I’ll try to remember this call the next time I want to assault a ref for a bad call against.

      • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

        The league needs to stop tolerating “the puck was in the area” hits. Those are by far the most dangerous hits. The Havlat hit a few years ago, the one on Seabrook, this one. You just don’t have a chance if you are getting hit before you can catch the puck. It is interference in the NHL rulebook, the refs should call it that way.

        And every time a player leaves his feet before he makes the hit, he should be given a charging penalty. That is what the NHL rulebook says. You want to limit headshots, don’t let them jump in the air.

        What blew me away was Eddie O looking at that hit and “having no idea” where a penalty could be called. We are just so ingrained on “letting the rules slide.” When a guy jumps in the air, we should be surprised when it is NOT called a penalty. Not the other way around.

    • birdhead

      Was it not partly because he was the one who made that pass to Mayers that meant he had his head down when he got hit? I thought it was at least a but of a welllll that was my fault response.

  • Preacher

    Could only listen to the game on the radio, so someone please tell me: Bickell has been irritating me with his inability to catch a pass that would lead to a quality scoring chance. (The last few games he’s absolutely RUINED some really good odd-man rushes!) But on the radio, it sounded like he was really moving and using his size to do damage, which is what he should do. Did he?

    And Listening to the Mayers incident, the announcers felt like we totally got a break on the match-penalty call. But watching the replay later, my thought was that ANY fog-inducing hit where a guy isn’t looking up is going to be penalized immediately. Isn’t this part of the whole “player safety” emphasis? I’m sure we’d all be screaming if it were our guy getting the penalty for a clean hit, but I expect we’ll see these calls the rest of the year.

    • justforkicks

      I thought Bickell had a great last night – very physical, moving his feet, doing good things.

      I’m also pretty sure mayers had his head turned back the whole time, it wasn’t a last second thing he did, so maybe that had an impact on the call as well?

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      It’s not just Bicks. Passing has been poor in general, often at the feet rather than the stick, and when we do get a tape to tape pass, something else happens, right Tazer?

  • ballyb

    This game was a good summary of what we get w/ Crawford.

    • DesertHawk

      Yes this game where he let in 3 goals and then locked things down… rather than all the rest where he’s only allowed two goals max. This 1 game out of 8 is the one that summarizes his play the best.

      • Bullitt315

        We’re doooooooooooooomed! 8-0-2 is a terrible start! We won some of those games in overtime! OVERTIME!!!!!!!!!! Good teams win every game 5-0.

        • Waylon

          yeah, and Crow’s suddenly reverting to form! GET HIM THE HELL OUTTA THERE, Q!!! MEATHEADS RULZ!

    • BigCSouthside

      A goaltender that can give up shit goals early in a big game. Not lose his shit, and lock that net down for 50 minutes against one of the best offenses in the league. I’ll take it

      This is like having Mila Kunis as a fuck buddy (or Ryan Gosling for the ladies) and complaining that they only blow you 3 times a week.

      • laaarmer

        Mila Kunis. Remember when all you assholes made fun of me because I said Mila Kunis was hotter than Scarlett JO? Huh? You all fucking remember? Well, I was right!

    • justforkicks

      if what we get is a goalie who stands tall and hold his ground even after some flubs, I’ll take it

    • ballyb

      Hope you are all right, but I’m ………

      WORRIED!

  • zacked

    I had a question related to Keith’s fight: it’s an extra two if you instigate with a visor on. Can you just drop the helmet as you skate over to avoid that?

    • Waylon

      I believer the answer is yes – and a lot of players have been nailed because they forgot to take their visors off.

    • girlphoenix

      Yep. That’s exactly what they want you to do. Also if you drop it before the fight really gets started, they aren’t supposed to call the penalty.

  • laaarmer

    Sharp and Kane
    Kaner is producing points. He scored 2 goals, but also turned the puck over most of the time he didn’t score. Kane needs to be smarter with the puck. The little flip passes at the blue line are costing his team. If Hossa is not on the team, they lose in CGY. Sharp is even worse right now. It is not Bolland’s fault that Sharp can’t hang on to the puck. If both of these guys cut the turnover/giveaway in half, we won’ care about Bolland except for the faceoff futility.
    At 8-0-2, Q ain’t switching anything.

  • laaarmer

    Who noticed Murray running around hitting everybody the size of Shaw, but as soon as Bickell stepped in, he went -3 for the night?

    What about Havlat? He should go back to #24. At least he was a factor then.

    • raditzzzz

      those are some zingers larms.

      • laaarmer

        I was just joking about Havlat. He’s a good player, just not a winner. Murray though is a hack. He is a brutal defenseman. And like I said, as soon as somebody big stepped up and took him on, he want away.

        • raditzzzz

          dont mind me, i thought both comments were hilarious.

    • Waylon

      you should’ve heard the SJ announcers rave about how awesome Murray was, until he lost the puck to Tazer – they pretty much mumbled something along the lines of “well, you have to know that he’s not going to give up on that one.”

      • mightymikeD

        “#24. At least he was a factor then” boom-tish..

  • 334Rules

    I thought the only mistake D2K made was not tossing off his hat before going after Desjardins. That guaranteed the extra 2 (he might have still gotten it, but . . .).

    As for Lines 1 and 2, I think the best option is to swap 88 for 81. We saw once again the magic between Crazy 88 and the Captain. More of this, please. And Hossa can get the puck back when Bolland inevitably loses the face off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

      It just proves how little Duncs actually cares to fight….but also that he is a leader that will do whatever he needs to help the team, OTOH.

  • wardrums

    ok I was thinking…

    We need to put some captions to Hossa’s reaction to Saad’s inaugural goal;

    “C’mon, give Big hoss some sugar!”
    “I told you these guys suck.”
    “Who’s your daddy?”
    “I love you this much.”
    “don’t worry, I told Toews to fetch the puck.”

    • wardrums

      in the above photo I mean

    • mightymikeD

      “Ha! Finally about time you score. maybe Marian let you have his puck more now! Good Jobs!”

      • wardrums

        your second one was my favorite

        • mightymikeD

          “Ha! Was all one! maybe Marian let Brandon bring him Pierogis if he keep up this.”

          • Accipiter

            Bollig ( a Brandon ) already has that covered.

          • mightymikeD

            “Bollig not allowed to touch Marian’s Pierogis: taint of Useless spoil appetite”

  • PainSt

    Well that’s some sillyass shit
    Advocating the taking of a double minor penalty in response to what was from all indications a legal hit and quite obviously fully intended to be a legal hit
    while we have kamikazi bickel running round trying to do the exct same thing
    because
    1. the 40 guys dressed in uniforms expect it
    2. keith doesnt have benefit of replay
    you can’t be serious
    it was a stupid play that risked the outcome of the game
    anyone who insists otherwise
    1. thinks it is politically correct to do it even tho they believe otherwise
    2. doesn’t want to throw keith under the bus
    3. is a complete moron
    4. is trying to get a rise out of their readership by being controversial
    responding with a costly illegal play in response to a legal one is poor sportsmanship pure and simple
    and really really stupid

    • DesertHawk

      Cause it’s clear on the ice that was a legal play. I still think it was an illegal hit and agree with the refs. Nice job insulting folks though.

  • Skags

    If #19 was a passenger last night, Havlat was the seat.

    • laaarmer

      Who said 19 was a passenger? Is that up there? Fuck he saved Kaner on one of his 10 TO’s.

      Also, Kaner needs to pass that puck to Frolik at the end. Frolik deserves that much respect from that little shit.

      I see now you mean Jumbo #19, so it’s all good.