Blackhawks 3, Kings 2 (OT)

It took a sudden death fourth period, but the Hawks got their two points at home against the well-to-do Kings. Patrick Sharp goals bookended a Kris Versteeg game-tying tally in the second.

Since the devil’s in the details – and since John and I were separately busy following last night’s game – let’s skip the typical recap and get right to it.

– Adam Burish is back! Adam Burish is back!

In what, admittedly, turned out to be quite a nice shift for the agitator/motivator, Adam Burish registered an assist and a fight in his first twelve – or so – seconds of the season. (That’s more than John Madden’s done since the calendar flipped to 2010.) But, for the love of Pierre Pilot, can we get him to do something other than hold on for dear life like a cowboy on top of a bull when fighting?

Nonetheless, Burish seemed to bring early life to his teammates and, certainly, to the home crowd. He also gets to the net like no other Hawk forward; hopefully, that pays dividends again next month.

And, he’ll get his hands as his comeback progresses. (That was a joke.)

GOALIE WATCH: TWENTY-TEN

If you had Antti Niemi – with the blocker – in the UC – in mid-March, you may have won. In what has become one of the most watched line-up issues in the NHL, Niemi only strengthened his grip on the reigns on Wednesday evening. He made a couple tough stops, but more importantly, he made those he should have made.

With a back-to-back on the schedule this weekend – in Philadelphia and at home against Washington – it’s safe to assume Cristobal Huet will get one of the starts. Even with Huet coming off a disastrous start Sunday, Niemi’s last back-to-back attempt went nearly as wrong. We’ll give Huet the start on Saturday – away from the pitchfork wielding mouth-breathers – and Niemi the nod at home on Sunday. If Huet struggles on Saturday, put Mike Haviland out there.

– It’s getting to the point where Blackhawk 5-on-3’s make me mad before they even start. The defending triangle sags, but the Hawks insist on making passes low. (Remember Benjamin Franklin’s definition of insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.) The Hawks desperately need to take a page out of the Red Wings’ book: Get the goalie moving from side to side from up high, like Detroit did on Sunday. Forcing the square peg through the round hole down low hasn’t worked for the past six months; doubtful it’ll start any time soon.

When Big Buff took a stick to the head on the 5-on-3, the referees did everyone at the UC a favor and allowed the teams to work towards playing at even strength. The lack of argument that seemed to come from the Hawk side was funny as well.

– After struggling through about five weeks in January and February, Kris Versteeg has two goals since the trade deadline. Coincidence? Well, maybe, but I say not.

– As usual, the Heritage Night festivities were well done. Denis Savard seemed to enjoy himself, at the least.

Video montages ruled the evening, complete with Savvy’s greatest hits, including his spin-o-rama goal against the North Stars and his skate-around-everyone-at-least-once goal against Edmonton. (Savvy pointed out that he didn’t skate around Gretzky, who was cherry-picking at the other blue line.) One highlight included the third goal he scored in his first game following his daughter’s birth. I’m sure you know it: Savard has a breakaway on an open net and fires a slap shot in from about 10 feet out. Pat Foley told the television audience last night that he’d never seen that before.

That’s only if you discount the riot Kyle Beach start last year after doing a similar thing.

– Savvy’s daughter Tanya joined the boys in the booth after the second. It was a touching moment, but why she kept attempting to shake her dad’s hand, I don’t know. I guess people do funny things in television booths.

– In the third period, Patrick Kane attempted a spin-o-rama. After the next commercial break, Comcast showed a side-by-side comparison of the move and Savvy’s famous move against the Minnesota North Stars. Unfortunately, ya know, goalies actually stop pucks these days.

Anyway, Pat Foley remarked that it was likely Patrick Kane may have performed the move to pay homage to Savvy on his Heritage Night. Nothing like paying tribute to trailblazers late in a tied March game.

– Finally, a very special thanks to Wayne Simmonds for reminding us, once again, that there’s a fine line between being a nice depth forward who can score a bit and being a total nimrod.

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28 Responses to Blackhawks 3, Kings 2 (OT)

  1. CT says:

    “Savard has a breakaway on an open net and fires a slap shot in from about 10 feet out. Pat Foley told the television audience last night that he’d never seen that before.

    That’s only if you discount the riot Kyle Beach start last year after doing a similar thing.”

    Dat Savard kid is a no-good hothead!

  2. AC says:

    It was a lot of fun to watch Burish return to the lineup. He adds a lot of energy and “chippiness” to the lineup. You could really see the crowd and team get excited when he got that assist and how beloved he has become to Hawks fans. Late in the 3rd he hit the post on a shot around the net (we had a lot of those last night), if that had gone in the UC would have absolutely exploded. Fun times.

    The officiating was worse than usual (not an easy thing), hopefully the NHL cleans this up for the playoffs, especially for the nationally televised games.

  3. dominator says:

    Tanya joining them in the booth was a ‘touching’ moment because Foley kept patting/rubbing her back like a creepy uncle.

  4. Fork says:

    Cut Madden some slack. His line has been the Hawks’ best the past three games.

    Oh – March 20th, Bottom Lounge, Hawks/Coyotes. Be there, or…

  5. Brian says:

    I thought Versteeg’s game-tying goal was in the 2nd period, not the 3rd?

  6. Dave Morris says:

    BTW that was Einstein, not Ben Franklin.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    –Albert Einstein

    Hey, good game, good goaltending, good that Atomic Adam is back, good that Sharpie was not only handsome but scoring, and good recap by y’all.

    As Philly is famous for its cheese steak, no doubt this inspired you to suggest Camembert should start at lunchtime on Saturday.

    However, if FinnCrisp is to ‘earn the net’, shouldn’t he be at least allowed to sink or swim?

    It’s not like the Hawks need the points at this point, and frankly, Feather Friends, the team plays better with him tending the twine.

    They look like they’d rather be antsy with Antti than queasy with Cristo.

  7. coach says:

    Bob I usually don’t comment on goalies, BUT, last night he did not make the saves he should have. A wrap around goal is a must stop, unless you are a mite or squirt goalie, and have a shooter squared up from 20 feet out, the shot should never beat between your body and your blocker. So saying he stopped the ones he should have is a strech. Lets just say the bounces went our way tonight and the hockey gods were smiling on AN.

  8. John says:

    He let up 2 goals on 30 shots. Whatever the two that went in looked like, I think everyone will take it. This is not exactly the time to start bitching about the small things.

  9. vito says:

    i agree coach, both goals were bad ones but made big saves in the third period and the hawks just do not look like the same team from the first four months, their transition game is gone, alot of turnovers in defensive side of the ice and neutral zone, their cycling in the offensive zone is missing they did ok but from what i was watching earlier in the year i guess i got spoiled

  10. blackhawkbob says:

    Dave:

    Bottom line: it shouldn’t take Einstein to turn the 5-on-3 around.

    Also, the quote itself is among the most misattributed in history. Some say it was Einstein; others say Franklin. My understanding is that it was neither, but, then again, I wasn’t a history major. I put down Franklin, so let it be known.

  11. blackhawkbob says:

    Coach:

    I’ll have to side with John on this one. I’m happy with the 28 for 30, but I do understand your points. I suppose I’m too quick to make excuses for the goaltenders.

    Also, I have a question I’ve been meaning to ask you about Niemi’s style. He catches the puck out in front of his body back-handed quite often. Most goaltenders typically absorb those in the chest protector. Are goalies taught not to use the glove hand out in front of their bodies? Other thoughts?

  12. CT says:

    Bob, I was a history major, so I’ll help you out here:

    It doesn’t matter who said it.

  13. blackhawkbob says:

    Ha. Well put, CT.

    The only thing I know about history is it can be rewritten.

  14. Lou says:

    We forgot to mention the missed instigator on Brown followed by the pummeling he got from Brouwer.

    The line of Eager-Burish-Buff could cause major carnage…

    And on the 5-3 when a guy is down to the ice and leading to block with his face. One wrist shot will either inspire the ghost of Maggie or lead to the open spot on the net. I guess you have to shoot to find out.

    Nimrod. Sweet….

  15. coach says:

    As a goalie coach you only try to re-enforce fundamentals not try and change anyones style. They are pounded by coaches about rebound control, some are better than others at that. So my conclusion would be that he may feel that is his weakness at the present time, so by using his trapper he limits the opportunity of any errant rebounds, thus reaching across his body. I hope that helps.

  16. JimH says:

    On the 5 on 3 power plays the defenders form a triangle and take away just about all the shooting lanes. They basically say you can fire away at us, but it’s unlikely anything is going to get through unless it’s a defelction or perfectly placed.

    My solution would be to have someone like Kane set up behind the net and run the puck through him. The defenders and the goaltender have to turn to face him at some point and that would create all sorts of opportunties for shooters to set up shop in open spaces. For a guy that can stickhandle and turn in a phone booth like Kaner this would be very effective (and entertaining). I still remember Gretzky lofting the puck from behind the net and bouncing it onto the goalie’s back and into the net.

  17. John says:

    The reason the defenders are able to clog the shooting lanes is because all they have to do is stand there. The Hawks do a horrible job of just standing around waiting for something to open. The best 5 on 3’s are ones where the puck is never on someone’s stick for more than a second.

    Side-to-side, up and down, and in the net. That’s all it takes.

  18. Dave Morris says:

    @BlackhawkBob> actually it was *Al Weinstein*, Ben Franklin’s accountant, who said it.

    Slipshod historians have since mistakenly attributed the quote to the eminent egghead, unjustly eclipsing Einstein’s more compelling non-sequitur, “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

    But let us not quibble over quotations.

    After all, it is the quality of its conversation and resident intellectual capital which continues to distinguish The Fifth Feather from other hockey blogs.

    And now we *know* how truly important Adam Burish is to the Blackhawks.

    PS Dave Reid, former lunchpail left winger and currently commentator for The NHL Network, calls Burish “along with Steve Ott, the best agitator in the league. The kind of player who is extremely valuable in the playoffs.”

    Would you not concur with Mr Reid in this respect?

  19. Ban says:

    Couple of things. That wrap around goal actually bounced off a Hawks player if I’m not mistaken. He was in position but it beat him on the far side, which could not have happened unless there was something there to redirect it.

    Second, a 93.3% save rate is nothing to whine about. I’ll take that any day of the week, even if the goals given up are soft.

    Third, that Beach goal was awesome and that fight was a bunch of crap. Talk about being a sore loser. I know Beach is an agitator but come on. I just hope he gets a chance to play with the big boys next year, assuming Eager walks the plank.

  20. Lee says:

    John,Dave and Lou:

    I hope my new enforcer Adam the Burish does not decide to take on Carcillio on Saturday. It’s one thing to fight Clune but not Carcillo who is a animal

  21. Otter says:

    This is totally random but did anyone else know that this is the Wings last year at the Joe? I had no clue and am totally shocked…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Louis_Arena#New_Arena_for_the_Red_Wings

  22. Nick says:

    @Otter,

    I do remember hearing about this, but I must have forgotten about it. Anything to disrupt the Wings is a good thing in my book.

  23. Deborah Mosca says:

    To Celebrate the Return of Burish, I would like to share this very cool link with my Fifth Feather Comrades in Hockey.

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/zamboni-driving-lessons/?scp=1&sq=zamboni&st=cse

    ‘VRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!’

  24. Lou says:

    Lee,

    I hope Burish bites his ear off in the fight. Burish is tough but he’s not stupid. Eager is gonna fight Carcillo if anyone. Burish will beat on someone else. Pronger is the terd to watch. He is the cheap one.

  25. Lou says:

    Inexcuseable loss.

  26. Bobby b says:

    I’m posting here because I cannot wait till tomorrow. A game in the bag given away by mr freedom fries… Or croque monsiour whatever. Huet is awful. It is time we all admit it. Seabrook has been on a steady decline the back half of this season… Sure. But the second goal today, near side, should not have gone in.

    Huet is bad mojo… Get him outa here

  27. Razzberry says:

    Are you serious? Huet was probably the best Hawk on the ice all game. He singlehandedly kept them in the game at all. He’s not to blame on *any* of those goals today, let alone the 4 on 2 to end the game.

    Not every loss falls on the goalie…

  28. Nick says:

    I agree with Razz, Huet kept them in the game with some timely saves. Cross crease passes are any goalies bane, and it was no different for Monsieur Huet today.

    Kane had a game reminiscent of last year, tentative with the puck and trying to do too much. Gotta make those simple plays first Kaner.

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