Are You Not Entertained: Blackhawks 5, Predators 4 (OT)

While Pat Foley and Ed Olcyzk continue to fellate the Predators and all that they do, here’s a rousing list of discussion points:

–Let’s just hold our breath on this whole Duncan Keith injury.  I figured it was a busted finger; Bob assumes a broken hand.  Either way, not good.  In case you missed it, Keith took a point shot off his hand region very early in the second period, shook it immediately and was never seen from again.  But let’s give credit to the Blackhawks media department who waited until there was 8 minutes left in the third to inform us Duncan Keith would not be returning.  Thanks for that.

One person who’s probably hoping for the worst is Sami Lepisto.  After tonight, he very likely would have gone straight to the penthouse of Joel Quenneville’s doghouse never to be heard from again.  Though it wasn’t really his fault, Nashville’s second goal deflected off his skate and right to Martin Erat who fed Craig Smith for the goal.  Then in the third, Lepisto’s point shot was easily stopped by Jonathan Blum who sprung Jordin Tootoo on a clear breakaway.

–Huge ups to Mike Haviland in his pre-third period interview.  Pat Foley basically gave him an easy out of a question by crediting the Nashville Predators for basically being the Predators but Haviland wouldn’t take it.  He went to say the Hawks have had their chances and while the Predators can be frustrating in their style of play, the Hawks just weren’t burying their opportunities.  He couldn’t be more right.

One of my bigger pet peeves is when teams get credit for their play based soley on their reputation and not how they’re playing in said game.  Foley and Olcyzk said early in the second period something along the lines of, “You don’t want to fall behind a goal to the Predators because you’re not going to get any odd man rushes or many offensive chances.”

The Predators gave up three odd man rushes in the second period alone with Patrick Kane being the trigger man on all three.  The only reason the Hawks were trailing 3-2 in the third was because the Hawks couldn’t capitalize on any of those golden opportunities; not because of some amazing defensive effort being turned in by the Nashville Predators.

That’s without including all the unforced errors the Predators committed tonight.  But seriously, look how cool and collected they are in their defensive zone.

–The Hawks have way too much talent on their power play unit to be this bad for much longer.  In the third period, they looked as good as they have in a while.  With a 5-on-3 for a minute and a half and a power play late in regulation, the Hawks had a ton of movement which generated terrific point blank opportunities.  Pekka Rinne was easily Nashville’s best killer turning away the Hawks at every turn.

On Nashville’s 5-0n-3, the Predators couldn’t get anything going but were fortunate enough that Corey Crawford allowed an incredibly soft goal.  When it’s going bad, it really goes.

At some point, though, it’s going to turn.  The last three power plays show what the Hawks are capable of when they’re moving their feet and opening up passing lanes.

–It speaks to the Hawks talent when their goalie can lay an egg and they still squeak out the two points.  Crawford was clearly not at his best tonight but much as was the case a couple years ago, it didn’t affect the Hawks effort level.  Save for a few stretches, the Hawks were clearly the better team.

–I don’t necessarily have a problem with the Hawks punting on their 18th skater and dressing John Scott.  My problem lies in the unneccesary risk they take with something happening in-game (i.e. injury, misconduct, etc), losing a skater, and then effectively being down to 16 skaters.  Sure enough, Duncan Keith went out with 35+ minutes left and the Hawks spent the rest of the game with 11 forwards and 5 defensemen.

They got away with it tonight but it’s not something they should get in a habit of doing.  Surely, Rusty Olesz can give the Hawks more than 2 minutes a game and surely he can take a shift on the power play or penalty kill in a pinch.

–Call me crazy but there are few things I’ve been getting more enjoyment out of this season than watching Andrew Brunette with the puck below the goal line.  The results haven’t been there yet but the guy is magical in tight spots (Hey Hey!).  If there’s been more than six passes that haven’t ended up exactly where he wanted to put them, I can’t recall them.  It’s only a matter of time before Jonathan Toews or whomever is playing on the opposite wing starts cashing in on those gorgeous passes.

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15 Responses to Are You Not Entertained: Blackhawks 5, Predators 4 (OT)

  1. bogiedoc says:

    I am tired of hearing about those “pesky” Preds. They were awful last night and if not for Rinne in the 3rd and PK goal tending through out, they are blown off the ice. C2 not good over all but the Hawks still found a way to win. Patrick Kane is the magic man. You can enjoy Brunette down low I will enjoy Kane up high. Hossa got stoned by Rinne 3x.

  2. Adam F says:

    Your prediction of Viktor Stalberg being a fourth liner by the end of the week is off to a rocky start.

    Can a hard to watch game be interesting? Can a goalie really impress you even if he gives up 5 goals? How come when I first attempted to play guitar, my guitar teacher said “let’s start with something easy. Here’s an AC/DC song….” yet there’s a house band at the United Center who can’t successfully play an AC/DC song….?

    I’m not going to complain too much about a team that is 7-2-2, in 1st place, and initially ahead of “the Blob” which should be larger and more north in the standings this year. However, there haven’t been many games where I say, yeah, that’s a great hockey team…

    O.K. so Kane is now officially a center? It’s no longer an experiment? I’m cool with that. Kane seems to be taking over some of Brian Campbell’s rush duties. He’s definetely picking up the puck earlier in the rush. He cherry picked and floated last year. He’s the biggest difference between this year’s team and last year’s.

    And the breaout and the rush do need some help. I was telling that Bald Committed Indian Sam during the period when the Hawks couldn’t get out of their own zone during a power play that a trade of Rusty Olesz to the Panthers for Brian Campbell still fits under the salary cap. of course, he’s kind of kicking ass for the Panthers right now… Regardless, breaking out of our own zone is still sub par, and might be upgraded to “a problem Dude” if Keith is out for any amount of time.

    I’m interested in Mayers and Carcillo being on the 4th line. You know, like a real 4th line that brings energy and hits a lot of people. For all the talk of how Carcillo plays well on Kane’s line, and he did, look how much better Sharp plays on it….

    Florida next. It will be fun to see the team that was assembled flea market style with three former cup winning Hawks.

  3. feyer says:

    I think I spotted Rusty Olesz in the press box wearing a ghost costume. What is Q’s fascination with Scott anyway?

  4. John says:

    I’m more concerned with the Hawks piling up the points at this stage rather than wondering if they’re a great hockey team. That debate will make itself very clear as the year progresses.

    That in-house band has to be one of the worst ideas of all time. But how dare anyone question the marketing genius that is John McDonough.

  5. BobbyJet says:

    Yes, the points are nice but this team is not playing like their record states.. The PP especially is a huge concern. Though slightly improved last night, they need to stop looking for the perfect play and start getting pucks to the net.

  6. John says:

    You are what your record says. We must be watching a different team because at 5-on-5 this year, the Hawks are pretty damn good. I’d love to know what games they were lucky or fortunate to win that would make their record seem obtuse to you.

    Like I said, the power play is only going to get better; it can’t get any worse. There were plenty of pucks that went to the net last night. Rinne was also there and that was a problem.

  7. BobbyJet says:

    Well, we haven’t exactly played many power houses yet, have we. I’m just saying we need to better if we are going to beat the top teams in this league. Yes, the 5 on 5 hockey is okay, but we will need the PK and PP units to be at the top of their games.

    What I did like in last night’s game, was that we forced Preds to play “our game” rather than the other way around.

  8. John says:

    Now you’re changing the debate. They haven’t played very many good teams is different than they haven’t played like their record says.

    Their PK is the best in the league. If their biggest problem is to get the power play going, with this team and their talent level, I’ll take my chances.

  9. Otter says:

    I think the Hawks are pretty good too. They lost a lot of ‘heartbreakers’ last year and we figured that would change a bit this year… add to that more depth, an actual third line, a second line which is playing like one of the three best lines in hockey (sometimes like last night), and well you’ve got a good team on your hands. The blue line is solid and even Leddy has looked better the last few games I caught (missed Friday). The kill has been awesome and 5-on-5 they can out skate everyone so far, save the odd ‘kick ass line’ like the Ducks.

    If the Hawks power play was, oh, 10th in the league, they’d have five or six more goals and we’d all be singing a different tune no?

    I think we’re looking at the #2 or #3 seed. Maybe the #1. And sure, we’re only 13% of the way into the season, but the Hawks are sort of clearly the second best team in the league after the Caps… I’m liking what I see thus far… I have no reason to doubt we’re looking at a Cup contending team.

  10. Adam F says:

    Like I said, I don’t have much complaints about a 7-2-2 team. And I totally agree that point gathering is more important than looking like world beaters. But, maybe it’s the ten years I spent watching the Yankees, but to me the playoffs and a top 4 are a given. Or at least they should be expected to be a given. This team is too talented not to. Thus the real focus for me is what makes this team even better, even stronger, more complete for some June hockey.

    Like the new look.

  11. Sam says:

    I think you should completely disregard anything this “Adam F” has to say.

  12. BobbyJet says:

    I like the optimism but some tough scheduling is coming up and I just hope the Hawks record looks nearly as good at the end of November.

  13. Mick says:

    I think that instead of a collective petition to change the power play warm-up to whatever from the current hot track known as “Sandstorm”, let’s bitch about something that harms children and the elderly: the 200 level rage band.

  14. JM says:

    I’m really kind of sad about how much Pat Foley sucks now. That guy was my childhood, in a way.

    New site looks good, as do the Hawks.

  15. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Like the new site! Its a nice clean modern look! Keep up the great work!!!

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