Blackhawks 4, Oilers 2

It took all of forty-four seconds for the Blackhawks to express their dominance over the Edmonton Oilers.  Patrick Kane gathered a head of steam into the Edmonton zone, flipped a backhand pass to Jonathan Toews and he ripped a shot through Jeff Deslauriers’ legs. 

For the next 38 minutes, the Hawks completely dominated the game while Edmonton slapped on a stamp and licked the envelope.  

Six minutes into the second period, Kane dangled all five of the Oilers on the ice, went wide on his backhand, and found Troy Brouwer all alone at top of the slot.  Brouwer did his job and beat Deslauriers to the short side to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. 

The rest of the period saw Dustin Byfuglien score his first goal in nearly two weeks when he tipped in a Duncan Keith one-timer.  Marian Hossa finished off a dominating power play by pounding a slap shot into a wide-open net and the rout was on. 

With a four goal lead and the opposition looking like they’d rather be skinny dipping in Lake Minnetonka, the Hawks let up off the gas.  What followed was the Hawks allowing another goal in the final minute of the second period.  Fernando Pisani scored his second goal of the season after the Hawks failed to clear their zone.  (On a side note, the Oilers have literally paid Pisani a million dollars for each goal he’s scored thus far.  And Hawk fans still want to bemoan the Brian Campbell contract.) 

Then early in the third, Ham Sandwich coughed up the puck on his goal line.  Patrick O’Sullivan found Ryan Potulny alone in the slot and after sleepwalking through 45 minutes, the Oilers found themselves within striking distance.  Unfortunately, the only reason they were in the game was because of mistakes by the Hawks.  The Hawks didn’t make any more blatant mistakes the rest of the way in and the Oilers really never threatened again. 

Well, Cristobal Huet did deny Dustin Penner on a really nice post-to-post save with less than ten seconds in the game but while it looked great, it didn’t make much of a difference unless you bet on the game.

Quickies 

It’s pretty hard to gather much emotion out of this one.  The Oilers mailed it in the second Toews’ shot went into the net and after the Hawks spent 39 minutes pounding them relentlessly, it’s only human nature to eventually let up.  While the two defensive miscues were still rather glaring, it’s going to get cleaned up.  The more encouraging part was just how easily the Hawks controlled the game.

–Maybe it’s just the trend in January but since New Year’s Eve against the Devils, the Hawks have developed an aggravating habit of allowing goals late in the period.  The old hockey cliche says, “The first minute and the last minute of the period are the most important.”  It’d be nice to the see the Hawks honor it.

Pat and Eddie are getting a solid D- so far this year.  I can live with every other player being called Troy Brouwer; I can live with Eddie’s “IMMMEEDDDIATTTELLY” and “NINE!” but what drives me up the wall is the conversational broadcast.  I know there’s some people out there that enjoy the back-and-forth banter between the two, but call me old-fashioned, I’d rather listen to them call the action.  Hockey isn’t like baseball or football where the constant stops in play allow side-conversations. 

It took about the 8 minute mark of the second period for them to basically ignore the game and break into all sorts of different talking points.  In the third period, Foley was trying to spit out when Dave Bolland is coming back while the Oilers were cutting the Hawks lead in half.  It drives me up the wall and there’s no doubt JWoww’s fingerprints are all over it.

–This probably flew under the radar but I loved what Joel Quenneville did at the end of the game.  With a two-goal lead, he let Brian Campbell, Jordan Hendry and the Toews line finish the last 50 seconds.  There are going to be games down the stretch where Keith and Seabrook aren’t available.  Other players need to start facing the all-out blitzes.  It probably doesn’t mean a whole lot against a truly pathetic Oilers team, but it was still kind of nice to see.

Patrick Kane’s first of his two assists pushed him over the 200 point mark in his career.  He’s the fastest Hawk to reach the milestone since his former coach Denis Savard did it early in his third season.  What a lazy bastard.

*On the Farm*

Kyle Beach was scoreless as Spokane was raped by the Kamloops Blazers 8-1.

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26 Responses to Blackhawks 4, Oilers 2

  1. Dave Morris says:

    I’m OK with this win.

    Hossa and Kane are AMAZING.

  2. Lou says:

    It was a good game to give Sopel a rest. Maybe his femur will stay in one piece.

    Does anyone think Versteeg has plateued again? I see Brouwer’s game continuing to grow. Heck, I even see Fraser creating some chances for himeself (now converting is a different animal). But I still see Versteeg over stickhandling and just not growing in his game. Any thoughts?

  3. Dave Morris says:

    Lou, the proposed Versteeg for Georges Laraque swap is being investigated by the league. News at eleven.

  4. CT says:

    “Patrick Kane’s first of his two assists pushed him over the 200 point mark in his career. He’s the fastest Hawk to reach the milestone since his former coach Denis Savard did it early in his third season. ”

    BUT HE DOESN’T BACKCHECK! /meatball

    Man, when the puck came right to Hossa in the slot and he had already wound up for the slap shot, you knew that thing was going in.

    Closest thing in hockey to a put-back dunk.

  5. cb says:

    Dave wins the gold for most hilarious comment on the pending Georges Laraque acquisition. Nice.

    Another thing that makes me burst out laughing is when Hossa scores goals with his slap shot. His breakaway on Jimmy Howard was the first time I experienced it. I hope he keeps me laughing as the season continues on.

    Steeger has not been himself lately but I say it has more to do with his current linemates than anything else. He’s a guy who needs finishers who can put his passes home. Big “No Hands” Buff wasn’t exactly up to Patrick Kane standards with this stickhandling last night. Since no one seems particularly interested, I’ll spare you any speculation on how the returning players might shake up the lines. In any case, I hope it’s to Steeger’s advantage.

  6. blackhawkbob says:

    This game’s aftermath is a lot like Saturday night’s aftermath – eh, let’s move on.

    I think there’s a more general point there, too, though: although many people seem to disagree with me, I think we know where the Hawks stand. There’s no doubt in my mind the Hawks are one of the league’s best two or three teams, and other than an unexpected event or trend, there’s nothing I will see in any one game that will change my mind about that.

    In that way, the rest of this regular season has turned into a bit of a waiting game for the Hawks, and most games will lose some of their appeal from here on out.

  7. blackhawkbob says:

    As for Versteeg, he is what we thought he was: a streaky secondary scorer who is, for the most part, incapable of carrying a scoring line. Plus, I think cb’s right: John Madden and Dustin Byfuglien aren’t necessarily capable linemates from an offensive perspective.

  8. dominator says:

    I was going to say that Versteeg put up pretty good numbers in the playoffs playing with Byfuglien and Pahlsson but he scored most of his points on the power-play so thats not really true. And playoff Byfuglien > regular season Byfuglien. I just don’t see how he can move up though, especially with Bolland coming back into the lineup soon.

  9. Dave Morris says:

    Stop the presses…Laraque *may* sign in Sweden.

    Is the Hawks’ Cup window now suddenly closing?

  10. blackhawkbob says:

    Agreed, Dominator.

    I like Versteeg quiet a bit, but for my money, he’s the most easily replaceable player on the current roster. He’s not a checking or fourth line player, so if he’s not a top-6 forward, it’s hard to make a case for him on the roster, what with all the Hawks’ cap issues.

    I think he and Barker are the two “definites” to be moved when the time comes, and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of disagreement on that point.

  11. John says:

    Who replaces Versteeg as being the creepy guy in the corner with his sunglasses on?

  12. ennuigogo says:

    Pat and Ed spent a solid minute trading approving comments about Jordan Hendry’s stint as a forward earlier this year. guh!

    If the game is boring and they want to stray, the least they can do is identify a half-dozen items that are actaully interesting before the game for this contingency.

  13. John says:

    ennuigogo– Ya know, I was thinking about it this morning and the reason why it drives me so batty is because how bad Foley is at it. Most of his off-the-cuff conversations, he’s trying to finish his thought while trying to decide whether or not to call the play.

    If he just decided he wanted to be an entertainer and soap-box pontificator while basically ignoring the action, I don’t think I’d have as big a problem with it. When he can’t decide what words to spit out though, it just becomes an extremely frustrating broadcast.

  14. Dave Morris says:

    Were the limo photos taken by a Hawks fan or a Nucks fan? Inquiring minds need to know.

    PS you can trash those Strudwick and Moreau for Barker rumors right now. Dreger just tweeted.

    Versteeg for Stortini, however is, confirmed by ‘sources’. Stay tuned.

  15. Dave Morris says:

    @John> is Foley confirmed for American Idol yet? Apparently he’s Simon’s first choice as replacement.

  16. John says:

    You tell me, you’re the one breaking all the news this afternoon 🙂 I think the photos were taken by the female passengers madame. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin.

  17. Dave Morris says:

    @John> aw come on, the guys were just doing community work and the gals were from the Vancouver Olympics Welcoming Committee.

  18. Otter says:

    Pat Foley: yet another reason not to send your kids to Loyola Academy. Though I should say that, I loved Pat ten years ago. But I’m not sure what happened since… maybe because he knows he’s only on TV he doesn’t have to focus as much on the game? I have not clue what’s going on, but they mos def has a case of the Hawk and Wimpys.

    Question: Is it a law that males who ride in limos in Canada must do so with their shirts off? Or is this just a one of those weird Canadian things that they do to piss of the Québécois?

  19. Lou says:

    I like Toews even more now. Beer Bongs!! Former Presidents toked up. So Toews is just a normal guy. Good for him.

    Let ye who never snuck a beer/drink in college be sent to the box for two!!

    I can tell you, I never ever ever did that. Honest. Really. I am not lying here. Okay, Okay, I had just a single beer once. Okay a single 6 pack once a week. And we all know Dave Morris didn’t either

  20. Dave Morris says:

    Otter> Canadian government studies have concluded photos of topless males in limos have no effect whatever on Québécois. It’s a language thing.

    And Lou, I’m really getting concerned about your drinking. All that beer will just slow you down. I suggest you switch to vodka.

  21. Lou says:

    Beer was the college days. Scotch Whiskey my friend. Good Scotch Whiskey!

  22. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> single malt I suppose…only the high class hooch for a class guy like you.

    Hey, guess what, Sharks, Hawks and Caps now lead the rest of the league by six points.

    So Lou, who’s your money on to win the Prez’ mug?

  23. Lou says:

    That’s a tough one of those three. I obviously want the Hawks to win every award but I’ll obviously trade em all for the cup.

    I think the winner of the SJ-Hawks game tomorrow is the front runner. But it is going to be close either way.

  24. CT says:

    I like the Caps odds on the President’s Cup, if only because they play in such a brutally bad divison.

  25. Dave Morris says:

    I tend to side with CT’s choice for Prez Trophy winner…though the Caps’ ‘goalie issues’ make the Hawks’ alleged ‘crisis’ look insignificant. BTW Washington is an offensive steamroller right now.

    @Lou> don’t forget–winning the President’s Trophy gives the team the top seed overall, which can useful in the Finals.

    I have consulted with Madame Zara, she who sees all…and the great gypsy hockey prognosticator sees a Capitals-Blackhawks struggle for the ultimate prize.

    So Les Hawques would be wise to see every game from here on in as a ‘must’ win…starting with Thursday night in San Jose against Los Tiburones.

  26. Lou says:

    True on the ice advantage but I think someone will sneak up in the east once playoffs start

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