Blackhawks 3, Canadiens 2

It’s 11:00 in the a.m., and if you’re reading this, I can only assume you either (a) saw last night’s game or (b) already read a re-cap.  I’ll spare you the recap, and get right to my thoughts from last night’s Original Six tilt.

— Of course, Andrew Ladd was given the boot early for his jarring hit on the Canadiens’ Matt D’Agostini.  With hits to the head being the hot button issue of the NHL day, Ladd’s trip to the box following the play seemed to be short-lived.  Indeed, the refs asked him to exit the box and sent him off the ice with an elbowing major and a game misconduct.

What to do now?  Well, the NHL will review the hit and likely revoke the game misconduct assessed on the ice.  Translation: don’t worry about a suspension.  It’s quite clear on replay that Ladd (a) didn’t elbow D’Agostini and (b) didn’t leave his feet to make the hit.

So, if (a) the NHL currently uses instant replay for certain situations to make sure the call on the ice was correct and (b) it’s clear, in this situation, that Ladd was not guilty of the serious infraction called against him on the ice, why not allow the referees – or the NHL “war room” as it were – go to the video to assess penalties when a misconduct would – or maybe should – be called.  It’s nearly impossible to decipher whether a player skating as fast as Ladd elbowed another player skating as fast as D’Agostini, so why not allow the refs to slow it down and make the right call? 

After all, it cost Ladd his night.

— Kris Versteeg was once again masterful on Friday night.  He dangled all over the ice in Patrick Kane-like fashion.  Coach Q even used the two together in an effort to jumpstart his offense. 

Needless to say, Kane was fantastic himself.

— Sure the Hawks won, but their offense has struggled of late.  Of course, this isn’t surprising as they’re missing Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.  But, it seems most forwards have caught a case of Patrick Kane-itis.  Now, whenever any forward enters the zone, rather than going hard to the cage, the puck handler stops just inside the blue line and waits for trailers to pass to.  While Patrick Kane and Wayne Gretzky have done well using this strategy, it’s not exactly the best idea for Thomas Kopecky.  Q needs to instruct the forwards to get the puck to the net, rather than emulating The Great One himself.

— Oh man, the power play is yucky.  I’m not sure what else to say.

— OK, I relent.  Waive Cristobal Cristobal Huet.  The goaltender not named Annti Niemi has now given up four goals in his last four games.  Not bad for someone who was being run out of town two weeks ago.  For the record, Huet was cheered during pre-game introductions, but received Bronx cheers for stopping the first puck he touched all night – a long range dump in on net.

— It looked like Patrick Sharp had officially slipped into a slump when he mishandled two pucks in the offensive zone, including a one-time attempt, during one shift on the first period.  Sharp got things together, though, and one-timed the game winner past Carey Price in the third.  He played well nearly all night, which is, ya know, a nice change.

— Cam Barker continues to look like a defenseman playing without confidence, but his second period goal was the equivalent of a broken bat home run.  Barker one-timed a behind-the-net Versteeg pass for a goal, but his stick broke in half in the process.

— Finally, from the Blackhawks’ web site recap: Ben Eager skated yesterday for the first time since being injured.  Q called it “encouraging”; I’d say.  He and Toews will make the trip next week to Phoenix and Colorado.

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12 Responses to Blackhawks 3, Canadiens 2

  1. Lou says:

    Kane is easily a step faster and has elevated his game.

    I was at the game and the Ladd play happened so fast and in front of us it was hard to tell. More impressively, then Ladd pounded back at Chipchura. Another tough play from a non-traditional tough guy… NHL on the Fly hammerheads Berg and Osborne said Ladd saw it and shifted his weight. They are idiots.

    From what Q said post game was that the ref told him the guy was hurt or something like that so they gave him the misconduct. David Booth was out cold and Toews was into his orange tux on the ice. They were hurt. Sounds like Gregson needs to have a little chat with his officials to establish some consistency. He also needs to explain that cross checks-knocking a goalie into his net are likely some form of penalty at least in most games… As for changin the misconduct etc. do remember we are dealing with Clown Colin Campbell here.

    I was glad to see that Barker was not recognized as one of the stars last night. Yes he had two points but he was freaking horrid again defensively. It is getting ridiculous with him and much of it is mental and lack of basic fundamentals. Sopel on the other hand was again rock solid. John, how much is a bus ticket?

    DOes anyone have any thoughts on Ebbett?

    Penalties, Penalties, Penalties, Bolland and Kopecky are consistently taking some bad penalties. Bolland has a penchant for the late third ones as well. If he is to be a #2 C for a while he has to increas his discipline and hockey smarts and he can learn that from Madden or Q can sit him at the end of a game

    As for Captain Serious, either he is feeling much, much better after consciously donning that orange tux in dumb-dumberesque homage or, he is really fried and he is starting to take fashion cues from Burish who may have told him it is a nice black tux. And don’t tell me any of you guys out here don’t have at least some relative in the 70s who got married in the light blue tux!!!!

  2. Dave Morris says:

    Geez…after Lou’s speech, what can I say?

    The Hawks survived October.

    8-4-1. Top of the Central. 3rd best GAA in the West.

    Not bad for a team playing without four regulars.

    Not bad at all.

  3. Lou says:

    Dave, had some energy today. What can I say?

  4. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> all those Red Bulls, eh.

  5. dominator says:

    My thought on Ebbett: ‘meh’

  6. Lou says:

    @Dave, no redbulls, Dew or Coffee. Just pure energy!

  7. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> BTW do you have a light blue tux?

    But seriously, folks, the November schedule looks pretty tough…

  8. Lou says:

    No, I am too young but I have several uncles who got married in the 70s and they wore, light blue tuxes.

    Good October, guts coming back in November! And away we go

  9. jm says:

    I’ve heard that wearing the blue tux at a wedding was meant to convey that the groom had a child outside of the marriage.

    Maybe your family is bigger than you thought, Lou.

  10. kevin k says:

    excited for Eager to come back, glad he’s making the trip. Think that we’re noticing some of the effect he has on the way we play our game. It’ll be nice to have a genuine ‘big guy’ roaming around.

  11. Lou says:

    At JM, um yeah no. In the 70s it was just a fashion statement, the whole world would know if these relatives had extracurriculars. It would have been signs of the beginning of the end…

  12. Jack says:

    Does anyone know exactly what was (is) wrong with Eager?? I saw an interview this weekend on CSN and he (Eager) said that it was a carryover from last year…he didn’t feel right at the start of camp and it just got worse. Then, after taking a big hit in Europe, he took an 11 or so game hiatus and feels much better now. Both he and Q were hinting at something other than a concussion and I am just wondering what’s going on here. Thanks in advance for any info.

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