Game Two: Blackhawks 4, Canucks 2

Too worn out for a straight-up recap so here are some off-the cuff observations from tonight’s tilt:

–The Canucks may not get past the Hawks but it won’t be because of Roberto Luongo.  Once again, Luongo was nails for Vancouver only to see his defensemen throw gasoline on the Hawks fire.  On Brent Seabrook’s goal, Kevin Bieksa blindly fired the puck through the slot to a streaking Seabrook.  Alex Edler had no clue on Sharp’s short-handed equalizer and there was a gang-bang on Luongo for the 3rd goal, most of which came courtesy of his teammates. 

Those were just the opportunities the Hawks converted on.  Adam Burish, Kris Versteeg, and Patrick Sharp all had breakaways that Luongo stopped. 

So I’m sure people will want to blame him for not coming up with that “big save” tonight but it’s hard to stop a shot when Alex Edler is skating around like a ding-dong.

–On that same token, Antti Niemi was much better tonight.  He stopped all the shots he could have and more importantly, he made his job much easier by swallowing up Vancouver’s shots from the perimeter.

–This was my first game attended in quite some time, but my goodness, people are insane.  There were literally scores of people around me having a heart attack anytime the Hawks peeled back into their own zone to re-establish the breakout.  And this was just a few minutes into the game. 

It was also illegal for Brent Sopel or Dustin Byfuglien to do anything with the puck other than “get rid of it”.  Then when they would “listen” to their instructions, the same people were pissed because they just gave the puck away. 

Of course, the “SHOOT!” and “Hit somebody!” crowd was also out in full force tonight but they’re pretty much a cliche at this point.  Anyways, this isn’t to complain about anyone.  Just wanted to share the enjoyment I was getting from the experience on the ice as well as in the stands.     

–It figures that Kris Versteeg would finally score when he had no other option but to fire the puck.  With enough chances to net a hat trick, Versteeg seemed to be caught-in-between all night with his indecision.  Nevertheless, it was good to see him finally creating chances.  The Hawks have desperately needed some punch from someone out of their top-6 and Versteeg was the perfect prescription.

–This whole Troy Brouwer thing is becoming more perplexing by the day.  There are two schools of thought for us: Either he’s having some serious family issues or he’s become infested with an alien parasite like in “The Faculty”.  It’s amazing to see a guy have such a breakout year and then become a completely different player within a span of one month. 

Tonight may have been Brouwer’s final game in the Indian head for the season.  Getting bumped up to the first line, Brouwer was out of sorts all night.  The final straw has to be how incompetent he was in his own end.  Even when he was at his worst last year, the least you could count on Brouwer for was stellar defensive play.  

No longer.

Brouwer was running around in the defensive zone all night.  Joel Quenneville apparently saw enough too as Brouwer never touched the ice in the 3rd period.  

Again, I would love to hear why he’s gone from a potential 30-goal scorer to Mike Hudson in such a short amount of time.

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30 Responses to Game Two: Blackhawks 4, Canucks 2

  1. Razzberry says:

    The good news is that Brouwer will at least be able to go visit his dad now that they’re heading back to Vancouver for a bit. Maybe that will help.

  2. Nick says:

    Good call on Ol’ Steeger. We all wanted to burn effigies of him after the game and then he goes and steals our hearts once again with the game winner.

    It’s only a matter of time until Hossa has a monster game. The guy is doing everything right and can’t seem to cash in. No way this trend continues.

  3. jay says:

    Brouwer’s old man had a close call with,i believe, a blood clot and whether he’s out of danger i don’t know. That news has been going around for a while now besides shouldn’t you guys have some in depth knowledge about the team given you’re running a site about blackhawks???

  4. John says:

    Sorry jay, in case you hadn’t noticed, we don’t have press passes here at the Feather. Our in-depth knowledge is based on what we see and/or read about. Sadly, the health of Mr. Brouwer is not something we are priviliged to.

  5. Big Tony says:

    The Case of the Vanishing Brouwer sounds like a Hardy Boys book. I doubt even they could solve this mystery. Maybe Nancy Drew?

    Niemi was indeed great. We finally got a break with that early post. The biggest break was on the game winner…Versteeg lost the puck which then bounced of a Canuck skate into the corner where we regained control and it ended up on Keith’s stick. That could easily have been cleared by Vancouver, but it wasnt. Game-changer, that.

  6. AC says:

    Great effort in that game. The crowd was incredible and was loud throughout, never really letting up. Brouwer really looked bad, which is more perplexing given how good he looked on that line late in game 1.

    Also, there were about 6 breakaways by Hawks players, 3 shorthanded. We have to make them pay for that. Luongo has been great for the Nucks, but he got really out of sorts late in that game and started flopping away. If we can keep on him, he looks like he could break. I was happy to see that he wasn’t able to steal away this game.

    In other news, Bettman made a statement that the salary cap will stay flat or go up next year due to the strength of the Canadian dollar and the revenues in the league. This is excellent news for the Hawks.

  7. blackhawkbob says:

    Time to close up shop. Jay said so. Thanks for coming everybody.

    Of course, we’re aware of Brouwer’s “family issues.” In 200 words or less, Jay, please explain how a father’s illness can somehow render a son incapable of throwing a body check. Brouwer looks like he’s sitting in the sauna between periods, and we’d like to know why.

  8. blackhawkbob says:

    Great news on the salary cap, isn’t it AC? The number we’ve heard tossed around is +$700,000. That would work.

  9. Otter says:

    Luongo was awesome. Seabrook was Norris worthy (yes I know, Pat and Eddie were gushing over him). Ham sandwich was very good. Buff reminded the Canucks that he’s alive. The Post saved the Season (and Niemi made a huge save too). I can’t see the Canucks winning this series if the Hawks stay out of the box… then again, we’re also at the point where the Hawks are betting down a man than up a man, so who knows. But the Hawks are the better team five on five because the Canucks defensive is as you guys pointed out, brutal.

    Is there a bigger difference in hockey today going from Brent Sopel skating around in the defensive end to Ducan Keith skating around in the defensive end?

  10. Pucking Ridiculous says:

    Nice Mike Hudson reference.

  11. AC says:

    Otter, as Patrick Roy would say, the post is simply a part of the goalie’s equipment!

  12. Jerry Kayne says:

    Good thing Versteeg didn’t listen to the hack coaches in the stands. There was no net to shoot at. He only shoots when he sees the white of the net.

  13. Dave Morris says:

    Hockey sure is a funny game, idinit?

    @blackhawkbob> I am certain that the grave illness of one’s parent would, and should, be enough to deeply trouble any human being, and that includes hockey players.

    Let us hope for Mr Brouwer’s sake that he and his family manage to get through their crisis, whatever it may be.

  14. Otter says:

    Should we start getting worried about the Hawks power play again? Maybe I’m nitpicking, but the power play was brutal, again, last night. It’s like it’s March all over again and it’s not like the Canucks kill was good in the first round (dead last)… and it was pretty middle of the pack in the regular season.

    Also, other than the first five minutes, the Hawks totally dominated that game other than one nice shift from the Kessler line in the 3rd.

  15. Lou says:

    If Brouwer is Hudson. Is Versteeg Yaremchuk????

  16. Fork says:

    The highlight for me last night was having to explain to the guy sitting next to my wife why the Hawks pulled Niemi when there was a delayed penalty.

    Shit, I guess every fan has to start somewhere.

    But, yeah, you guys run a website – how do you not know the status of Troy Brouwer’s father, considering any information that any Hawks’ beat writer knows is obviously off-the-record, since there’s been no reports.

    Good seeing you guys last night, if only for a second.

  17. Zach says:

    Yes yes, good game. But where has Duncan Kieth been? He had more than a few costly turnovers that led to pretty good scoring chances. And most of them seemed to come on rountine plays. It seems like hes totally out of sync or something, if the hawks are going to win this series i think he needs to step up and start playing like we’ve seen him do all year.

  18. John says:

    Fork, you just broke Bob’s heart as running into you was the highlight of his month. He couldn’t stop talking about you the whole way home.

  19. blackhawkbob says:

    Erroneous!

  20. rags says:

    I was at the game too. There was some really low hockey IQ fans. This is the first gameI have gone to since october and I don’t remember a time that so many people were trying to “coach” from the stands. Either way good game by the Hawks.

  21. CT says:

    Versteeg is Matteau.

  22. John says:

    I wouldn’t call it low IQ but I would agree about the “coaching” from the stands. I can’t remember it ever being so crazy. Either way, I find it more amusing than I do annoying.

    I’ll admit to yelling stuff when I’m watching the game from the comforts of my home but I try to keep it down when I’m out in public because I know how silly I sound.

  23. jay says:

    “Again, I would love to hear why he’s gone from a potential 30-goal scorer to Mike Hudson in such a short amount of time.” I taught john was looking for an answer so i just offered a possible explanation to Brouwer’s struggles. I had no idea i would hit a spot with you guys.

  24. John says:

    jay, didn’t hit a spot. Everyone is well aware of the family issue with his pops; you made it seem as though we should have some inside info just because we have a website. Whether that’s the reason he forgot how to play hockey, I suppose we won’t find out until the season is over.

    Who knows, maybe his dad is Kim Johnsson.

  25. CT says:

    Wait, you have a website but no inside sources?

    We can loan you some of Dave Morris’ for now, until you cultivate your own.

  26. Scott says:

    There are a ton of fans who are watching hockey for the first time this season cause there is a Chicago team worth cheering for in at least the past 4-5 years. The doom and gloom cubs fans who jumped in on the party and think the hawks will lose every time they’re down are getting kind of annoying. (I’m a doom and gloom cubs fan as well but I don’t bring it to my hawks fandom)

    Also, I will admit at least a couple times last night where I was screaming at the tv to get a shot on net. I usually don’t do it considering they’re professional hockey players and i’m some idiot miles away but sometimes it feels like they’re going for that extra move which ends up being a turnover.

  27. rags says:

    I definitely yell stuff too. I just tone it down for the game until the Hawks do something super frustrating (aka Versteeg not dumping the puck or a blind pass by a dman). I guess the women behind me just jaded me. She seriously didn’t know anything.

  28. RGS says:

    One consolation to the whole band wagon thing is that I see the Indian Head every time I turn around. That’s a good thing.

  29. Nick says:

    Buff got robbed of his hat trick, but alas, a great victory for the men of four feathers.

  30. sedag says:

    Looks like he got the hat trick.

    Line of the night: “Byfuglien playing like a leviathan.”

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