Blackhawks 3, Blues 0

It took a little while for the Blackhawks to get their bearings but while they waited, Cristobal Huet kept them in the game early.  He made a couple of tough saves in the first five minutes that helped keep the score at 0.  Then, the Hawks started to get a little pressure on the Blues.  Then, a little became a lot.  Soon, the Blues were having trouble getting the puck into the neutral zone.

The Hawks’ pressure finally culminated in a goal after a Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane cycle found its way to Troy Brouwer’s stick.  Brouwer fired a shot from the top of the circles and the puck squirted through Ty Conklin’s legs.  It was a historic goal as it was the first time Conklin ever let in a soft goal against the Blackhawks. 

Three minutes later and with the Hawks on the power play, Kane fed Kris Versteeg behind the net.  Versteeg turned and passed it to a wide open Brian Campbell.  Campbell collected the puck, took one step and wired a shot into the top corner and just like that, the Hawks opened up a 2-0 lead.

The Hawks ended up outshooting the Blues 21-9 in the opening frame.

The second started much like the first; St. Louis got some decent pressure, Huet made the necessary saves, and then the Hawks tried putting the game away.  Unfortunately, Conklin wouldn’t make it that easy.  He stopped Versteeg on a full blown 2-on-0 and then got a blocker on John Madden’s point blank shot from 25 feet out. 

After the Hawks killed off a penalty late in the period, Toews, Kane, and Hossa found themselves back together.  Kane found Toews behind the net who made a nifty move to spin off a check and then slid a back-hand pass to a wide open Marian Hossa.  The puck was on Hossa’s stick for a quarter of a second and then it was in the back of the net.

Both teams traded chances in the third but neither team found the back of the net with both goalies making solid saves.  Fortunately for the Hawks, they already had a 3-0 lead and it was more than enough for the two points. 

Quickies

Something weird was going on with Gene Honda tonight.  For the first two periods, during power plays, he was announcing how much time was left.  For instance, on a Blues power play in the second, he announced when there was a minute and a half left, a minute left, thirty seconds left, and ten seconds.  Even Pat Foley got thrown off after hearing Honda’s announcement when he said Huet’s big save came in the last minute of the period.  The only problem was there was still five and a half minutes left.  In the third, Honda wasn’t updating the penalty time.

–I wonder if someone told Dustin Byfuglien that he was one of the six finalists for the last three spots on Team USA.  Byfuglien was probably the Hawks best forward tonight.  He was all over the rink, hitting anything that moved, and creating turnovers.  For the second game in a row, he smoked an opposing player, who was taking liberties with the Hawks better players, with a clean check on the boards.  This time, Barrett Jackman caught the brunt of Big Buff.  Jackman did the heroic thing, though, by getting in Byfuglien’s face and then backing away as soon as his teammates surrounded him.

Cam Janssen, next year’s leading candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

–If John McDonough had a problem with how Brent Seabrook’s head was positioned in a post-game interview, I can’t imagine he was too pleased after hearing Patrick Kane’s post-game interview with Sarah Kustok.  Kane started off by making sure to give a shout-out to his ‘boys’ in the audience and then spent another five minutes rambling like he just chased a box of ‘No-Doze’ pills with a six-pack of Red Bull.

–This was probably Cristobal Huet’s best game of the season.  Save for a shot that trickled through his legs in the final few minutes of the game, Huet controlled every shot that was thrown his way.  By my completely unscientific count, I only recall one sequence where he gave out a juicy rebound.  Every thing else, he either soaked up or kicked out to the corner. 

*On the Farm* 

Shawn Lalonde went from being cut by Team Canada’s World Junior Team in the morning to Belleville in the evening for his team’s game.  He had an assist and was a +3 in the Bulls 4-1 win over the Brampton Battalion.

Byron Froese didn’t have a point in Everett’s 3-2 win over the Swift Current Broncos.

Kyle Beach had an assist in Spokane’s 3-2 loss to the Portland Winterhawks.  With the score tied 2-2 late in the third, Beach was sent off for goaltender interference.  Portland scored the winning goal on the ensuing power play.  Then, in the waning seconds of the game, Beach was sent off for a 10 minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct.

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16 Responses to Blackhawks 3, Blues 0

  1. dominator says:

    The penalty clock wasn’t working on the center scoreboard for some reason, Gene was announcing the time left because of that. Got fixed for the third period.

  2. Drew says:

    Re: announcing time on the penalty.
    The main UC scoreboard wasn’t displaying penalty time for much of the game, so I assume he was announcing it so players/fans could gage where they were in the pp.

  3. KofC says:

    I was there, and it didn’t occur to me how people watching/listening at home would be hearing the time left on penalties, guess it really stood out! Yes, the Jumbotron wasn’t able to post the player # and time of the penalties. (Too bad, because I wanted to see 55 & 55 with the same penalty at the same time…)

    I want to see video of just what happened at the end, because I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on…

  4. Dave Morris says:

    The Blackhawks keep lowering that league leading team GAA…now sitting at 2.00.

    This was probably the Hawks’ most methodical and disciplined game this season…even though the Blues came out strong in the early part of the first, it was as if–to quote Steve Konroyd–the Hawks “flicked the switch”.

    The carpet bombing of Tyrone Conklin was thoroughly impressive. 21 shots in 17 minutes?

    The Blackhawks didn’t run up the score, but then, they didn’t have to.

    It could have been a 5-0 or 6-0 win, but for some desperation by Blues d-men to keep pucks out that had already gotten past Conks.

    Now–if the Hawks can keep playing like this through the end of the month….and especially against the Red Wings….

  5. John says:

    Ah, thank you all for clearing that up. That makes sense. I thought maybe it was some kind of new scheme somebody in the Hawks organization cooked up.

  6. Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler says:

    I would exactly call the first goal Conklin gave up soft. It was an odd deflection off Jackman. I’m pretty sure Brouwer’s shot wasn’t even on net.

  7. Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler says:

    wouldn’t* call it a soft goal

  8. John says:

    Maybe, but after some of the saves Conklin has made against the Hawks in years past, that’s usually a save he can make with his eyes closed.

  9. Patrick says:

    Two questions:

    1. Do the D-men make Huet and Niemi better or do Huet and Niemi make the D-men better, or both?
    2. What happened to Barker last night and will he be out for any time?

    This team is perfect – a real machine – and even better with Kopecky watching from the press box. Long live Jordan Hendry…

  10. John says:

    1. Think it depends on the night. Some games it’s the goalies, some it’s the defensemen. Last night, it was the goalie. Keith was pretty brutal last night. His mistakes alone led to about three golden chances for St. Louis.

    2. Don’t know, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

    If Barker misses any time, Kopecky is back in. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  11. Patrick says:

    I figured as much on the Barker thing – I think that Hendry should get more time on the ice though. He’s playing his role of occasional utility man pretty well, and to my knowledge, he’s not sulking while sitting either. My thinking that the money being better while sitting in Chicago rather than playing in Rockford has something to do with it…

  12. Otter says:

    Is Beach Ron Artest insane or Sean Avery insane? Is he going to become the all time favorite Blackhawk because of this? Is he more like the illegitimate son of Jeff Hanson or A.J. Pierzynski? I’m totally scared yet can’t wait for the Kyle Beach Era. It seems like anything is possible for him and this is only going on a few scouting reports and what’s posted here. I totally fear him ruining the Hawks, yet at the same time if the Hawks win the Cup, I totally want to experience the Kyle Beach Era. Does any of this make sense?

  13. John says:

    Otter, I dont know if we’ll ever find out. Call it a hunch, but I think he gets dealt at some point. He was Tallon’s draft pick and a guy that Tallon wanted. Without someone in the Hawks front office staking out their reputation on him, I don’t see him lasting long.

  14. Andy says:

    I heard something at last night’s game that would have been unfathomable to me at the beginning of the year…the Hawks fans chanting “Huet” in honor of Cristo! It was great to hear, especially since it came after Huet cleared the front of his net himself (again) by taking on Blues players in front of his net and then tried to challenge Conklin from the blue line to mix it up!

  15. Dave Morris says:

    @Andy> Having watched Cristo play for both the Habs and the Caps, it appears he is surpassing the level he displayed in Washington when he posted a 1.63 average in his 13 regular season games there.

    The upcoming contests during the next six nights against the Bruins, Wings (Sunday and Wednesday), and Sharks are going to tell us how good he and the Blackhawks really are.

    Fasten your seat belt.

  16. Lou says:

    @Dave,

    Andy and I’ll will be thinking of you from the Bruins game as we watch the third O6 matchup of the year for us!

    I want to see how we respond to Chara this time around

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