Blackhawks 1, Canucks 0

In their first meeting this season, the Hawks were nursing a one-goal lead late in the third period with Antti Niemi standing on his head.  Two horrendous goals later, the Canucks walked out of the United Center with a 3-2 victory.

This time, the Hawks were nursing a 1-0 lead with Niemi playing strong in net.  On this night, however, there would be no letdown. 

Niemi stood strong during Vancouver’s push for the equalizing goal as did the Hawks defense.  Every shot they pushed to the net was turned aside and the Hawks played the last five minutes as if they were holding a one-goal lead in April or May. 

The game was scoreless heading into the third period.  A minute and a half in, Jonathan Toews hit Patrick Kane with a cross-ice neutral zone pass.  With the Canucks defensemen bunched up, Kane had a little breathing to carry the puck.  He crossed the Vancouver blue line and stopped at the top of the circles.  He fed a saucer pass to a streaking Brian Campbell.  Campbell carried the puck to the outside and tried to cut across the slot.  As he did, he lost control of the puck where it hit Toews’ skate.  Bryan Bickell was standing nearby and got two whacks at the puck.  His second one went in.

From there, the Canucks ditched their trapping scheme and started sending two forecheckers on the Hawks defense.  In turn, the Hawks defensemen did a terrific job of taking the intial hit, reversing the play, and stalling Vancouver’s aggressive forecheck.

There were a couple close calls, though, including Alex Edler hitting the post on a rocket shot from the top of the circle and a mad scramble in the closing seconds with bodies lying all over the crease. 

Quickies

Last year, the Hawks started off 3-0 on the Circus Trip when they swept through Phoenix, Dallas, and Toronto.  This kicked off a massive celebration where Blackhawk fans were spotted for days after running around the streets of Chicago with their pants down. 

Needless to say, the trip was already deemed an overwhelming success regardless of the outcome of the final three games.  Then, in their final three games of the trip in California, they went 0-2-1, which inspired the now infamous Martin Havlat rant from Tim Sassone

Basically what I’m trying to say is, if you think this trip is already a success, then whatever happens in these next three games shouldn’t affect how good you feel right now. 

–Tonight was not the best game I’ve seen from Kris Versteeg and I think Joel Quenneville agreed.  Versteeg made a ton of mistakes with the puck on both sides of the blue line.  In the second period, he almost got killed when he held on to the puck too long as he crossed into the Vancouver zone.  He only saw 13 minutes of ice time.

–There may be a few chalk outlines along the GM Place courtesy of Dustin Byfuglien.  On more than one occassion, Byfuglien went out of his way to rail-road a Canuck with a huge hit and he delivered.  Hey, if he’s going to botch a couple of odd-man rushes, at least he’s doing something worth while.

–Someone in the GM Place production staff is probably feeling pretty sheepish tonight.  With a face-off in the Hawks zone and less than 20 seconds remaining, Kevin Bieksa fired a shot wide of the net.  Someone got an itchy trigger-finger and blasted the goal horn.  This led to mass confusion and everyone slowing down for a couple seconds.  Of course, the Hawks didn’t exactly take advantage as Duncan Keith just flung the puck up the boards to feed Vancouver’s point and keep the puck in the offensive end.  Can’t say I’ve ever seen that before. 

*On the Farm*

The Rockford IceHogs were unable to overcome their slow start against the Texas Stars in 4-3 overtime loss on Saturday night.  Rockford set a season-low with only 2 shots on goal in the first period.  In the second, the Stars scored at the beginning and the end of the period to give themselves a 2-0 advantage. 

Forty-eight seconds into the third, Simon Danis-Pepin scored his first career AHL goal with help from Danny Bois and Mark Cullen.  The Stars scored a minute later for another two goal cushion.  Five minutes later, Cullen scored on the power-play with assists from Peter MacArthur and Jack Skille.

With just under three minutes left in the game, Cullen scored again to knot the score at 3.  Nathan Davis and Brian Connelly were credited with assists.  

Both teams were skating for the extra point in overtime and it was Texas who walked away with it when they scored with a minute and eight seconds left in the extra frame.

Joseph Fallon stopped 24 of 28 shots in a losing effort. 

Shawn Lalonde scored a goal on the power-play and had an assist in a 3-1 win over the Plymouth Whalers on Saturday night.  Belleville was shutout on Sunday afternoon 3-0 by the Brampton Battalion.  Lalonde was a -2 (though one of the minuses came on an empty-net goal) and had 2 penalty minutes.

Kyle Beach was held scoreless in Spokane’s 3-2 loss to the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday.  Sunday, he had a goal and an assist in the Chiefs 3-2 win over the Calgary Hitmen.

Byron Froese was a non-factor in Everett’s 4-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday.

–The UMD Bulldogs completed the weekend sweep over their intra-state rival, the University of Minnesota, with a 3-2 win on Saturday.  Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals.  Dylan Olsen assisted on two of the goals and had 5 shots on goal.  Dan DeLisle dressed but did not figure in the outcome.  

Billy Sweatt scored two goals and had an assist in Colorado College’s 4-1 victory over Robert Morris.  In his senior year, Sweatt is bouncing back from his worst season at CC with his best.  After scoring 12 goals and 11 assists in 37 games last year, Sweatt currently leads the team in points with 8 goals and 11 assists in 12 games.

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20 Responses to Blackhawks 1, Canucks 0

  1. Lou says:

    And just think we Have Hossa coming as early as Wednesday…to steal a quote from the Great, Great Keith Jackson, woooaaahhhh Nellie here come the Blackhawks!!!!

  2. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, thank you for an outstanding postgame wrapup.

    it’s obvious the goal horn operator at GM Place suffers from Premature Hornaculation Syndrome.

    And don’t forget, Vancouver is that town that had their Stanley Cup Parade all planned last year before the Nucks discovered who the Hawks were.

    BTW Lou is obviously excited this morning, and for good reason.
    😉

    Carpe diem, Lou.

  3. Lou says:

    Thanks Dave. you too.

    BTW guys Bickell is the 20th different Hawk to score and we have only two multi-goal games. Can you say balance, firepower and everyone is a threat.

    My ticket bud AC and I were discussing Hossa. Two questions, does he score in his first game and do you take the over/under on 10 goals before New Years?

  4. Dave Morris says:

    Don’t look now, Lou, but the Hawks are now 2nd overall in the NHL.

  5. Dave Morris says:

    And Lou, the Vegas line now has the Hawks 7-1 odds for Lord Stanley’s punch bowl.

    http://www.belmont.com/live-lines/hockey/nhl-stanley-cup-lines/

  6. Lou says:

    Play it one game at a time!

  7. Lou says:

    You have to love the ESPN insiders this morning. Sopel and a Second to Toronto.

    I am not sure who is dumber some of the commentators on the buzz or the guys writing this stuff.

  8. Patrick says:

    Best thing about the Hawks is their goal differential – they’re second to SJ. They play a responsible game at both ends of the ice.

    With Hossa playing soon, who sits? My thinking is its Bickell, but I think it should be Kopecky.

  9. Lou says:

    I think Kopecky or Fraser. Leaning towards a Kopecky-Bickell rotation.

  10. Lou says:

    lastest ESPN scuttle is the deal with Ottawa is done but the league is making issue. Barker for Picard and Shannon – not really sure if that is good for us.

  11. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> you have to stop rummaging through the rumor rubbish bin….bad for your blood pressure.

    There is no Ottawa deal. Not now anyway.

    Here’s why…read the thoughts of Chairman Stanley Glenn Bowman right here:
    http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=507059

    “Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman wouldn’t normally be ready to give a complete evaluation of his team after 20 games anyway, but he is reserving any and all judgment until Marian Hossa not only makes his Hawks’ debut, but makes an impact in the lineup. Only then will Bowman, the first-year GM with the famous last name, realize exactly what kind of a team he has inherited from Dale Tallon.

    “(Says Bowman): ‘You’re starting to see it now, guys getting into their rhythm, but we have one guy coming back and ice time will get moved around so we need to see how that plays out. It’s a necessary step for us to assess how it is with Hossa.'”

    Cool runnin’, mon.

    😉

    PS Bickell is back to Rockford.

  12. Lou says:

    the link is on the ESPN insider which I can’t seem to post and have it work. So I put up the highlights of it.

  13. Lou says:

    @ Dave, just lunch time reading and sharing info.

    The rumor mills are better than some of the celebrity crap to read…

  14. Patrick says:

    Rumor is just that – rumor. The Blackhawks won’t make a deal – no need to. This team is set, and its only going to get better without giving anything away.

    Feel bad for Bickell, but I guess it was expected. That means that Hossa is definitely playing Weds…

  15. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> My Hawkey Brother, I empathize…few of are immune to the lure of salacious stories and other fantasies from the grist mill.

    ESPN INsider appears to have fallen prey to that hunger for eyeballs, and has thus compromised their previous standards.

    Which is what makes Fifth Feather a superior destination for Hawkey Talk.

    So here’s some more grist for the mill, this time from The Daddy Puck…something about Brent Sopel being invited to sell hotdogs at Maple Leaf Gardens.

    “Brian Burke appears willing to take veteran defenseman Brent Sopel’s(notes) contract from the Chicago Blackhawks, provided the ‘Hawks kick in a draft pick in the salary dump. Spector has more on Fadoo.”
    http://www.fadoo.ca/blog/display/leafs-blackhawks-talking-trade-906

    Enjoy!
    😉

  16. feyer says:

    StanBow didn’t just wake up one morning and suddenly realize that he had this tagging issue to worry about. I believe he knows the ins and outs of the CBA as much as anyone.The team he puts on the ice now has as good a chance to win the cup as any other, so mortgaging that opportunity just to announce that the holy trinity is signed for future cup runs makes no sense to me. I suggest that this is the team that will finish the road trip. Maybe after an assessment of the team chemistry once Hossa plays a few games will produce am obvious spare part that can be moved with little impact, but my uniformed opinion is that any spare part won’t be on the blue line.

  17. Jim says:

    Speaking of ESPN, the Hawks have topped the NHL power rankings:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/powerranking?season=2010&week=9

  18. Lou says:

    BTW – Kronwall go taken out by Laraque on a questionable hit…

    I am not abdicating cheap shots by any means but is it poetic justice and what goes around comes around??????

  19. Dave Morris says:

    Lou>bite your tongue…hockey karma.

    Justice is winning the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961. Anything else is just a cheap thrill.

    Stay thirsty, my friend.

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