Hawks/Panthers Running Diary–Panthers 4, Blackhawks 3 (SOL)

We’re coming to you live from the northwest suburbs.  It’s been an eventful morning at the Feather Headquarters thus far.  Bobby and I just finished a lovely breakfast at Walker Brothers.  We walked into his condo just in time to hear Chicago be the first city eliminated from the Olympics and I celebrated by taking my pants off and doing 30 laps around his living room. 

And I just took a sip of my first white Russian of the day.

I’m wearing my Quebec Nordiques vintage sweater and Bobby’s wearing his Blackhawks winter classic t-shirt.  I feel like this is important for you to know.

10:42 am– We’re watching the pre-game show with a hungover Denis Savard and comatose Chris Boden.  If you’re at work right now, you’re not missing a thing.  Now Boden is doing an interview with Marian Hossa that needs subtitles.

10:55 am– Savvy gives us his keys to the game: No turnovers and short shifts and play with an up-tempo.  Great insight.  It’s amazing he hasn’t had an interview since he was let go a year ago.  Bobby just asked me if I ever shot someone with a gun.

10:57 am– Oh the good ole’ hockey game, it’s the best game you can play.  By the end of the day, I may be purchasing a PS3 and NHL ’10.  Maybe if Bobby wasn’t running his internet off dial-up, I’d do it right now.  That’s probably a good thing.

11:00 am– Thankfully, CSN left Edzo in the States.  Now we won’t hear gems about momentum and long changes.

11:03 am- Savvy says if the Hawks don’t win today, it’s no time for panics.  Keep that in mind when it gets to the third and the Hawks are down big.  I’m voting that becomes the slogan for the 2009-2010 Blackhawks- No Panics.

11:07 am– How annoyed is Bobby with the coverage on CSN right now?  He just made the switch to Versus.  To his surprise, there’s deer hunting on instead due to blackout restrictions.  That’s just the man just trying to keep him down.

11:10 am– Jari Kurri drops the ceremonial first puck while amazingly still hanging on to Gretzky’s coat tails. 

11:12 am–  Here’s a shocking twist.  CSN is having problems with their audio feed.  What were the odds of them having some kind of technical difficulty?  No bookie would be foolish enough to take action on that.

11:13 am– Cam Barker saves a goal on a scramble in front.  Boden and Savard are breaking it down for us.  I’m so glad Versus decided to black this game out.

11:20 am– Foley’s back.  Nope, he’s gone.  Nevermind. 

11:22 am– ‘Someone roars, Bobby scores!  At the good ole hockey game.’ 

11:25 am– Looks like the stretch of Florida dominating the play has passed.  The Hawks have slowed it down for the time being with a nice cycle by the Toews line. 

11:27 am– On to our second white Russians and Madden has a good chance to score.  Bobby’s done watching as long as Boden and Savvy keep talking and just in that moment, Foley and Konroyd return.  It’s an opening day miracle!!

11:29 am– Florida’s Campbell misses a wide open net by clanking it off the far post.

11:34 am– Troy Brouwer gets the first penalty of the game after he yanks down a Panther.  Seabrook should probably have to serve half that penalty.  If he didn’t trip over the blue line, there wouldn’t have been an ensuing 2-on-1.

11:38 am–  Hawks kill off the penalty and then give up a 3-on-1 where Huet bails out Brian Campbell with a huge save.  Good thing this is the first game of the year.  Hawks look very sloppy with the puck and without it.

11:42 am– Kane gets up-ended to finish the period and then gets up slowly.  The perfect way to end an awful period.  The good news is it’s still 0-0.  Huet and some lousy finishes by the Panthers are the reason for that.  Maybe it’s the White Russians talking but I can’t remember one solid chance from the Hawks.  They’ll probably come back much stronger in the second.  And if they don’t, I’ll need another three drinks.

11:54 am–  Savvy names Troy Brouwer as his breakout player for the year.  The same guy who said Brouwer couldn’t skate or stickhandle, somewhere Barry Rozner is throwing his slipper at his television.

12:01 pm– Kane gets stopped point blank and Bolland gets drilled in the back to draw the first power play.  Sharp and Barker open on the points.  Interesting. 

12:03– Kane high-sticks Jordan Leopold.  4-on-4 now.  Corey Stillman gets stoned by Huet on a rebound. 

12:05 pm– Brouwer gets stripped on the doorstep.  His bid for the first shorty of the year goes into the corner. 

12:07 pm– Kane comes out of the box and makes a ridiculous move on Tomas Vokoun.  That puck was rolling on its side ten feet from the net and Kane was able to corral it.  Sick hands, sick move, Hawks up 1-0

12:14 pm– Eager misses his first goal of the year by not having his stick on the ice.  Kopecky’s shot laid right in front of the crease and Eager couldn’t knock it in.  Bobby already predicts Kopecky’s last year will be bought out.  There’s your irrational thought of the day.

12:17 pm– Peter DoBoer uses his timeout; Bobby rants about vertical lines on Reebok jerseys.  Hey bartender, Jobo needs a refill.

12:20 pm– Robert Frolik ties it on a broken odd man rush.  Ham Sandwich and Troy Brouwer didn’t do the best job there.  Game tied 1-1

12:25 pm– ‘The Bulldog’ Byfuglien takes it hard to the net and gets stopped by Vokoun.  The Hawks get nice pressure following that.  Then CSN cuts off Foley for the ninth time today by going to commercial.  You’d think it’s their first game of the season or something.

12:30 pm– So far, Brent Sopel has played fairly well.  Don’t let me down, Brent.  I have faith in you.  By the way, there’s plenty of room on that bandwagon.

12:32 pm– Kane waits too long on a give and go with Keith and puts the shot right into Vokoun’s glove.  Bobby says he thinks Kane didn’t realize how out of position Vokoun was.  Either way, great save.

12:34 pm– David Booth hits the post on a breakaway.  Seabrook and Keith were both horribly out of position on that.  Please, no more Norris talk with Keith.  Needs to stop.

12:36 pm– Second period ends with the Hawks on the power play.  A line of Bolland, Kane, and Byfuglien to close it out.  That’s a horrendous waste of Kane’s talent.  Sharp needs to be on Kane’s off-wing 95% of the time the Hawks have a man advantage.

12:53 pm– Really, the outcome of this game is irrelevant to me at this point.  The fact that Mayor Daley was embarrassed on an international stage is all I needed today.

12:55 pm– Vokoun stuffs Kane on a one-timer again.  Konroyd is talking about rim jobs.

12:59 pm– Kane and Byfuglien come in on a 2-on-1 while Bobby and I both scream “Don’t pass it!!!”  Kane hits the cross-bar with a backhand and Byfuglien pops in the rebound.  Hawks up 2-1.

1:03 pm– The Hawks are really turning it on now.  They’ve been swarming Vokoun and he’s partying like it’s 2002.  Meanwhile, the Hawks have taken another too many men penalty.  Are we really in for another year like this?  Either the players are dumb as rocks or the coaching staff isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

1:05 pm– Ville Koistenen ties it up with with a wrister from the top of the circle.  Huet had to see that through about 4 guys.  Hawks will be short-handed soon.  Big short kill coming up.  Game tied 2-2

1:09 pm– Hawks kill off the penalty and Sopel gives Hawk Nation a heart attack with his first shift of the third period.  Stop that please.  Ten minutes left to go. 

1:14 pm– Foley gets cut off again.  Good game for Foley today.  It seems like he’s finally figured out who Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien, and Kris Versteeg are this year.  Meanwhile, Bobby asks me if I think Chris McKendry is hot.  Yup, we’re cutting him off.  Now he’s replayed the Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount knocking out the Boise State player about half a dozen times today.

1:16 pm– Hacking and Whacking!!!  A big scramble in front with Versteeg occupying three Panthers and Sharp knocks home the rebound.  Hawks up 3-2 with 8 minutes to go.

1:22 pm– Kane is an absolute beast today.  He’s a mediocre goalie away from having 4 goals.  Instead, a goal and an assist.  Bolland and Byfuglien were both denied on a scramble in front of Vokoun.  If Florida can get consistent play from the goalie like this, they’re making the playoffs in the East this year.  You heard it here first.

1:27 pm– Brent Seabrook and Colin Fraser combine for a turnover.  David Booth goes up top and the game’s tied 3-3.

1:31 pm– Headed to overtime.  Hawks grab a point in the first game of the season.  Vokoun has kept the Panthers in this game and Colin Fraser’s two defensive breakdowns are the reasons the Hawks aren’t walking out with a guaranteed two points.  Here comes the extra period with an extra point at stake.

1:34 pm– Sharp stoned on a breakaway.  Vokoun is your first star no matter the outcome.

1:37 pm– Bolland stopped on the doorstep.  Vokoun with another save.  50 seconds left, Hawks with a draw in Florida’s zone.  Here’s an important draw.  Stillman vs. Toews.

1:39 pm– Shoot-out coming.  You’d have to think Kane, Toews, and Sharp are coming up for the Hawks.  Booth, Horton, and Weiss is our best guess for the Panthers.

1:44 pm– Toews scores for the Hawks, Kane and Sharp are denied.  Registered snipers Ville Koistinen and Steven Reinprecht score for the Panther.  Hawks drop the opener in a shoot-out 4-3.  Vokoun was, without question, the difference tonight.  He made a ton of huge saves.  I’m sure they’ll be plenty of hand-wringing over Huet tonight but really shoot-outs are 50/50 so it is what it is.  Because, you know, how you start the season is definitely how you finish it.  We’ll see you all tomorrow.

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8 Responses to Hawks/Panthers Running Diary–Panthers 4, Blackhawks 3 (SOL)

  1. Patrick says:

    Mmmmmm – Walker Brothers. Closest thing we have out here in Colorado is “The Original Pancake House” – not the same…

    What do you guys think of the lines?

  2. Jason says:

    I like Buff on the Kane and Toews line.

  3. John says:

    I would have liked to seen these lines play together more during the preseason but injuries prevented that. So not surprisingly, they look like this is the first time they’ve played together. I just hope Q gives them a little time to click because I like the combos thus far.

  4. Jason says:

    Yes!! PK88 on the breakaway!!!

  5. Sharon says:

    Favorite moment of the radio broadcast (listening to WIND 560 stream at work): Troy Murray discussing Byfuglien’s combination of size and stickhandling (?!), “Byfuglien has a unique package.”

    I won’t ask how he knows.

  6. Lou says:

    A Finnish D Man beats us on a shootout goal???? Our guys missed opportunities and looked like they were coasting. I’d hate to be in that locker room. Can’t let Booth be in that position. We need to destroy teams like this.

    Huet got beat high and mostly high glove. He has got to take that away soon or that is gonna get played until it hurts like the stupid NHL10 commercial. The other really good saves he made today will get overlooked if he gets smoked on those.

    I wonder if Campbell found his jock yet from that Frolik Goal. He got faked out of it going for the block.

    Get off the Sopel Clown Parade now. He looks plain lost in space.

  7. John says:

    Sopel was perfectly fine for a 6th defenseman today. I’ve got some Matt Walker video here that you should watch if you think otherwise.

    I would hardly say the Hawks coasted through the 2nd and 3rd. They were all over Florida. If this game was played in December, we’d shrug this loss off as a goalie standing on his head. Since it’s the opening game, it’s going to be dissected ad nauseum.

  8. Lou says:

    You’re right it is game 1. I wasn’t impreesed with Sopel and I just don’t think we can win it all with Sopel as a regular #6 let alone any of the other guys, Johnson, or Hendry. But he didn’t make the big TO to tie it Seabrook did.

    You’re right our offensive efforts, they were really there in the second and third. My bad on calling it coasting. To clarify, I probably should have said have defensive lapses and that is when we get caught. It happened last year too. I feel the last two goals came like that. We forget something and it costs us.

    I would like to see Huet close that high hole to make that less frequent. If not teams are gonna fire at it until he proves he can stop the high stuff. But Vukoun played a solid game.

    On a different note, how many times does Versteeg shoot from a tough, wide angle at the goal line? It seems to work as frequently as Crowton’s old WR Screen call on 3 and 20. That play can lead to more bad than good, often trapping a forward or two leading to an odd man break.

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