Blackhawks 4, Lightning 0

Sooner or later, the Hawks were going to erupt.  It wasn’t a matter of if, but when.  Sunday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

The Hawks got on the board seven and a half minutes into the game when Duncan Keith intercepted a pass in the neutral zone.  He fed it to a streaking Patrick Kane who snapped a shot over Antero Nittymaki’s right shoulder to put the Hawks on the board. 

Six minutes later, Kane was skating for a loose puck in the Tampa Bay zone.  With Kane skating towards the boards, Lightning defenseman Matt Smaby stuck his stick in between Kane’s feet and sent him sprawling to the boards.  Kane banged the side of his head on the ice and for good measure, hit the boards with his whole body at full speed.  He wouldn’t return to the game. 

For whatever reason, the injury seemed to temporarily knock the wind out of the Hawks.  Even with a full minute and ten seconds of a two-man advantage, the Hawks generated very little pressure. 

Joel Quenneville may disagree here, but even though the Hawks didn’t score on the 5-on-3, the game wasn’t immediately a lost cause. 

In the second period, the Hawks had to kill off a 5-on-3 of their own.  They did, with Antti Niemi making the necessary saves and the Blackhawk defenders sweeping all the humongous rebounds out of harm’s way. 

Just a couple minutes after killing off the penalties, Marian Hossa beat Victor Hedman to a loose puck in the Lightning zone.  With his partner Matt Walker (SURPRISE!!!) overcommitting to Hossa, the front of the net was wide open.  Hossa flicked a back-hand pass to Ben Eager and all Eager needed to do was tap it in the empty net. 

Hossa wasn’t finished there.

With under thirty seconds left in the period, Hossa picked an errant Patrick Sharp pass out of the air, dropped it to his stick, and in one motion with the puck never touching the ice, Hossa batted it right through Nittymaki’s legs.

Jonathan Toews finished the scoring in the third when he banged in a Dustin Byfuglien rebound.  Toews sprung Byfuglien in the neutral zone and with a full head of steam, Byfuglien cranked a snap shot from the right hash mark.  Nittymaki kicked out the big rebound and Toews was more than happy to deposit the puck into the empty net.

Quickies 

Whoever is in charge of calling tv timeouts at the United Center is doing an awful job.  Two games in a row, the guy inadvertently turned on the red light following an icing.  On Wednesday night, it nearly led to an Ice Girl getting skulled by the referee.  On Sunday, there was a bit of a scuffle following an icing before WGN cut away to a commercial.  They came back to the action 15 seconds later.  How hard is it to remember there’s no tv timeouts following an icing?  It’s not like this rule recently came into affect.  Maybe, someone under the age of 74 should be in charge down there.

Matt Smaby was nearly successful in his attempts to completely destroy the Blackhawks season.  After taking out Kane with a dangerous play in the first period, he took a dirty and unnecessary run at Jonathan Toews with just under two minutes left in the second period.  A good two seconds after Toews released a shot on net, Smaby cut across the ice and finished his check on Toews.  The hit knocked Toews’ helmet off and as he came back down to the ice, his face grazed the ice.  A bit more contact there and really bad things could’ve happened.  

I know better, but a league office with a bigger set would probably suspend Smaby.  Either way, Toews took a nice chunk out of whatever was left of Smaby late in the third.  A few minutes earlier, Dustin Byfuglien finished off his check and left a permanent imprint of Smaby on the United Center glass.

–So a team with Rick Tocchet on its coaching staff and Todd Fedoruk on its roster engages in extracurricular activity when they’re completely out of the game? I’m shocked.  Really, just shocking.

–I really don’t want to see what the Hawks look like without Patrick Kane on the roster, but with an almost certain head injury, we may all have to find out, at least for a couple games. 

–Strap it in here, folks.  With his third shutout of the season, Antti Niemi is well on his way to legendary status.  While it looks nice and all, two of his shutouts (this one and the second game in Finland) were played behind the Hawks’ best defensive efforts of the season.  Niemi stopped one Martin St. Louis breakaway where St. Louis appeared to stop as he thought he was offsides and one mad scramble early in the second.  After that, they could’ve rolled Bobby Hull out of the Legends Lounge and on to the ice and the result would’ve likely been the same.    

–There is the Matt Walker we’ve all come to know and love.  Eager’s goal in the second period was a vintage mistake from Walker.  With his partner, Victor Hedman, taking care of his side of the ice, Walker completely forget his responsibility and left Eager all alone.  Somewhere, Brian Campbell was nodding in approval.

–Unfortunately, the only person who should’ve injured his head on the ice Sunday night didn’t, Jim Belushi.  It was hard to tell on WGN, but it certainly seemed like he got a rousing ovation from the Hawk faithful when he dropped the ceremonial opening face-off.  Please tell me I’m wrong here.     

*On the Farm*

The IceHogs went touring through the State of Texas this weekend and came away 1-2-0.

Friday night, they dropped their opener to the Texas Stars 4-2.  Rockford appeared well on their way to owning a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission when Kyle Greentree scored on the power play with a minute left in the period.  Then, they gave up a goal with one second left in the period and Texas never looked back after that.  Texas scored once in the second and once in the third to close out the scoring. 

Rockford’s first goal also came on the power play when Daryl Boyle scored with assists from Greentree and Mark Cullen.  Cullen also notched the lone assist on Greentree’s goal.  Chicago-area native Greg Rallo led the Stars in scoring with a goal and an assist.  

Joseph Fallon stopped 26 of 30 shots in the losing effort. 

On Saturday, the IceHogs got some revenge by rebounding with a 3-2 win over Texas.  Rockford jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Bracken Kearns and Richard Petiot.  Danny Bois, Kyle Greentree, and Rob Klinkhammer were the assisters. 

Peter MacArthur scored, shortly after Texas cut the lead to 2-1, to give Rockford a two-goal advantage just past the halfway point of the second period.  Mark Cullen and Ryan Flinn had assists.

Dan Cloutier returned from his one-game suspension and stopped 19 of 21 shots in his first win as a member of the IceHogs.

A Sunday matinee in Houston saw the IceHogs come out with a 4-1 loss to the Aeros.  Trailing in the second 1-0, Evan Brophey scored his fifth goal of the year with help from Bryan Bickell and Rob Klinkhammer.  The Aeros scored a power play goal six minutes later and it was all they would need. 

With no points in the game, Kyle Greentree saw his point streak snapped at 9 games.  

Dan Cloutier stopped 23 of 26 in the loss. 

Shawn Lalonde was a -1 in Belleville’s Friday night loss to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.  He didn’t play in Saturday night’s game as he headed to Team Canada’s National Junior Selection camp which will conclude next Wednesday.

Byron Froese had an assist in Everett’s 3-2 loss on Friday to the Prince George Cougars.  He also had an assist on Everett’s game-winning goal on Saturday when they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 2-1.  Sunday, the Silvertips came out flat in their final game of a back-to-back-to-back and lost to the Portland Winterhawks 2-0.

Kyle Beach scored two goals and had an assist, and had six penalty minutes in the Chiefs 7-1 thrashing of the Chilliwack Bruins.  He was scoreless on Saturday in Spokane’s 2-1 loss to the Swift Current Broncos.  He did get called for cross-checking, though, as the game ended.   

Dylan Olsen was held in check in Minnesota-Duluth’s 3-2 loss to Denver on Friday.  He did have two shots on goal.  Saturday, Olsen also headed to Canada to participate in Team Canada’s National Junior Selection camp.  Dan DeLisle dressed in both games, but was a non-factor. 

Brandon Pirri had three assists in a losing effort for RPI on Wednesday night against Union.  RPI gave up two goals in the final minute to lose 5-4.  Pirri also had an assist Saturday night in RPI’s 5-3 win over Boston University.

Billy Sweatt scored for Colorado College in a 4-4 tie against St. Cloud State on Saturday.  He was held off the scoresheet for the Tigers 4-1 win on Saturday night.  Sweatt currently leads his team in points with 20 in 18 games.

David Pacan had an assist in Vermont’s 3-0 over St. Lawrence on Saturday.

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20 Responses to Blackhawks 4, Lightning 0

  1. dominator says:

    I booed Belushi, but yes there was a disappointing amount of cheering.

  2. Matthew says:

    First of all, why do we all hate Jim Belushi (because we all do hate Jim Belushi)? It’s not like he ever really did anything. He just has the unfortunate curse of being the unfunny younger brother of one of the greatest comedians of the era.

    Secondly, since we all do hate Jim Belushi, why do the Hawks (and other Chicago sports teams, but especially the Hawks) keep him around? Jim Belushi doesn’t even give a good interview. At least Vince Vaughn gives a good interview.

  3. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, the excellence of your recaps mirrors the excellence of the Blackhawks.

    And how about Mr. Hossa. Leads all forwards with 20:27 TOI; a perfect set up for Mr Eager; a magical, backbreaking score.

    A point a game for The Hoss Man so far…and he’s just getting warmed up.

  4. Lee says:

    I know the reaction this will get from Dave and John but after seeing Tampa go after Kane and Toews, do you still think we dont need just one goon enforcer type to throw out when that happens. I know that both Buff and Toews went after him but we need those guys on the ice not in the box. Both of these guys have now been injured and the season is not half over.

    Ok guy’s, go after me now!!!

  5. Lee says:

    By the way, all Walker haters, I am not one of them, should check Len Ziehm’s column in the Sun Times today

  6. Lou says:

    Lee, what game were you watching? Who went after Kane? He got tripped. It wasn’t like this was some cheap shot. He got cut by his face shield, who said he is out for an indefinite period?????

    Every time someone hits a guy you want an enforcer. It’s called Hockey. Smamby took a cheap shot at Toews and he got walloped later. Fedoruk took a run at Niemi and Sopel hit him.

    Just give it up. The Hawks are not going after an enforcer.

    Whatever Niemi is sacrificing to the Norse Gods, he should continue to do so.

  7. John says:

    Why do we hate Belushi? Let me count the ways….First off, he’s a front-running buffoon. Secondly, for whatever reason, he seems to be annointed the number one Chicago Sports Fan by the media. If you’ve ever heard him talk about the teams, he’s basically the mouthpiece for meatballs everywhere. He’ll talk about old-time hockey, Bear Weather, and the Billy Goat Curse. Finally, can you name one good movie he starred in in the last 20 years? The only semi-watchable one I can think of is K9 Cop and the dog carried the movie anyways.

  8. Lee says:

    Lou, you are entitled to your opinion and I mine. Hopefully you will prove right going down the season but I think someone is going to get hurt. What Toews and Buff did, I do not consider payback. Obvioulsy Detrot must have thought different when they picked up Brad May(undersized goon). St Louis has Jansen and D.J King, when not injured. Minny has Boogard, Edmonton and Vancouver and all the rest have one. WE DON’T AND WE NEED ONE. If i am wrong at the end of the season i will be the first to admit it

  9. Patrick says:

    We don’t need a goon, we just need the league to step up and tell certain shitbags to knock this stuff off (hey, Smaby, you don’t get points for taking a good player out on a cheapshot). If they don’t, they don’t play – and yes, I feel that Tochett deserves some face time with the league office for this. Sure, you see some of this in MLB, but the league will draw lines and somewhat stick to them – the NHL is always changing their lines. Crap like this is what gives the NHL a bush-league rep.

    As far as Fedoruk goes – doesn’t he realize he ran Hawks a goalie last year WHEN HE WAS PLAYING FOR A DIFFERENT TEAM? Stupid to carry a grudge like that – find a winner to play for journeyman. Sounds like the animal can’t tell the difference and just needs to be put down…

  10. Lou says:

    Lee, yes you are indeed entitled to your opinion and you will continue to be called out on it.

    As numerous dialogues have gone of which you have been a part, and multiple people have stated, if the person can’t contribute a regular shift, they are not going to be on the Hawks. I don’t know what else to say. Boogard and his 6 minutes a week, on a cap pressed team is not going to happen.

    The presence of a goon doesn’t stop a tripping penalty from occurring. It might stop a cheap shot from ocurring but going back to the Mitchell hit it wouldn’t have done anything. It was a clean big hit. Again and enforcer would have had zero deterrent effect. And the fact that Toews showed some fire is even bigger.

    @John, Vince Vaughn is giving Beluishi a run for the money as the Chicago super fan…

  11. Patrick says:

    One more thing – difference between Niemi at the start of the season and now is rebound control. He’s much better at it and doesn’t seem to have to scramble as much, putting him in better position for saves. The Hawks need to resign him over the summer for next year and beyond.

    Also – I think that Dave Morris called this out earlier – the Hawks are playing the Wings ’08-’09 style now – play virtually flawless D and wait for their opponent to make a mistake and then work to capitalize via constant pressure. Are these Hawks as “wide open” as fans would like? No, but then again, this is the style that wins Championships.

  12. modnar says:

    oy. goon talk makes my head hurt.

    first up, let’s look at your quote:

    “Obvioulsy Detrot must have thought different when they picked up Brad May(undersized goon). St Louis has Jansen and D.J King, when not injured. Minny has Boogard, Edmonton and Vancouver and all the rest have one.”

    let’s take a look see at the standings shall we: detroid (9), st. louis (14), minnesota (13), edmonton (11), vancouver (10). last time i checked only the top 8 make the playoffs. and yes i realize it’s december and it’ll all change, but three of the teams you mentioned (st. louis, minny and edmonton won’t make the playoffs)

    next up, let’s look at the top teams in the west shall we? who exactly are their goons?

    calgary: team toughness, no real meathead
    san jose: don’t say jody shelly because i had partial season tickets there last year and he doesn’t scare anyone
    colorado: more of a pesky 4th line, like the hawks

    and what about the east? i’ll admit to not knowing these teams as well because i don’t see them as much:

    pittsburgh: since leroux left do they have a good? no, more of a 4th line that can play.
    washington: don’t think so, but open to someone telling me otherwise
    boston: more team tough as lucic, chara, et. all can actually play

    so i’d love to hear how putting a knuckle-dragger who only plays 5 minutes a night (and doesn’t play them well) on a high-flying, fun to watch, competitive as well team would actually be a benefit.

  13. Dave Morris says:

    @Lee>I’m just here for the beer.
    😉

    To your point…the Hawks have Eager, Truck Brouwer, Seabs, Buff and Capable Colin Fraser…plus ankle-biter and bull terrier DaSteeg. They all fight, and they all actually play hockey, and rather well.

    And you saw last night why the Blackhawks said bye-bye to Marvelous Matt Walker.

    Next question?

  14. dominator says:

    Another reason to hate Belushi is that even though he’s supposedly Chicago Super Fan #1 he was wearing Kings and Ducks jersies during those teams respective playoff runs (2001 and 2007).

  15. The Roar says:

    A goon is not someone that can play. An enforcer is someone that can contribute on the ice but step in to throw bows when needed. We do hace people that should step into that role (Eager, Frasier [Burish, ha] & even Buff. We dont need to make any moves to get one.
    But hockey is getting SOFT of recent… It’s not something i like. EVERY player that laces em up should be willing to go when the time is right.
    Our young pups are out playing w the big boys now. It’s time to step up. I did like Tazers response.

    As for whoever the dumbass is talking about the Mitchell hit being “legal”… might’ve been, but you can’t let something like that go. I can’t tell you how dissapointed i was that the benches didn’t clear. I almost jumped out of my seats in the 300s to the ice myself. Sometimes “legal” hits deserve a response w fists. Like when someone open ice SupeR-Power strides into 1 of your superstars wearing a C on his jersey.

    It’s a violent game. There IS a place for violence in it. At times a violent response is warranted. If you dont like it you should go someplace else. It’s bad enough we no longer have our stadium, don’t bring the sport down with your talk of league rules or stepping in. Let MEN be MEN & settle it as they may..

    wow

  16. Lou says:

    @The Roar,

    Sad but true reality of the new game. But the Cup is the Cup.

    First Mitchell was a legal hit. If you recollect, Steeg jumped right on Mitchell. Never did anyone say we shouldn’t hit him or frankly the Sedins back. So, in the context, of the long standing dialogue with Lee about an enforcer I am not sure how that makes anyone a dumbass.

    Nor do I recall anyone saying that hitting or physicality isn’t part of the game. When was the last time there was a bench clearing brawl in this NHL? Again not sure who the dumbasses are. Different opinions are just that.

    Yes, the Hawks will have a chance to get back at Vancouver and I am sure all of are for smack a Sedin and pummell hairpulling sissies. In the era of suspension (no one is untouchable – Ask Ovie) the game is different.

  17. Lee says:

    Modnar: I dont know where you get your facts but you have not got a clue. You really should make sure your info is correct before posting

    Calgary: #1 in fights-McGratin-And Prust
    San Jose: #5 in fights-Shelly and Staubitz
    Colorado: #9 in fights-Koci and McLeod

    Now if those arn’t 6 more enforcers than the Hawks have than my following the Hawks since Hull-Mikita-Pilote-Nesterenko and my buddie Reggie Fleming means nothing- Yes I have had season tickets that long and still do

  18. Dave Morris says:

    @Lee> I have followed the Hawks, as you have, since The Golden Jet had his original head of hair and Reggie Fleming scored to help them hoist the Mug.

    We are all Hawkey fans here, and all of us entitled to our divergent views.

    Just as the late Mr. Fleming served as a reminder of the Hawks’ robust character, and those Champion Black Hawks were, in general, a feisty bunch, so are Mssrs. Eager, Brouwer, Byfuglien, Fraser and Seabrook, among others, eminently qualified to assert themselves on behalf of The Black Hawk Tribe.

    As the playoffs arrive, Mr Bickell, something of a bruiser himself, may arrive along with a few large bodies from the Rockford files.

    If it’s The Big Bad Black Hawks you want, you will no doubt see some of that before the end of the current campaign.

    But this year’s edition is about discipline, i.e. controlling games by keeping the puck away from the other team and keeping it out of the Hawks’ net while potting timely tallies.

  19. Lee says:

    Dave

    You must be as Senior as me if you remember Bobby’s original head of hair. My seats were beind the goal about 10-12 seats up in the old stadium and I remember ducking every time he’d come down the ice and wind up for that slap shot of his. Yes, I would like to see at least a little bit of the big bad Hawks

  20. Mike says:

    Ive been OK with the marketing stuff until I saw that dufus Jim Belushi drop the puck. That POS should not be allowed anywhere near a Chicago sport team. The fact that the marketing dept. would think that anyone would want to see that dope is beyond me.

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