Blackhawks beat a bunch of guys wearing Montreal Canadien uniforms 5-1

If tonight’s game between two Original 6 teams showed us anything, it was that one team with a sound structure and philosophy is going to beat a team with no direction 99% of the time.  In a 2-1 game heading into the third, the Canadiens put about as much effort into it as George Costanza did in his tenure with the Yankees.

–I assume all the rage until the next Hawks game will be to compare the performances of Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin thus far.  Pirri played a pretty outstanding game in his second game of the year doing everything the Hawks could possibly envision their second center doing.  Of course, it was just one game and he could look completely lost in his second time out assuming he’s still around.

Morin, on the other hand, has played his best hockey on the 4th line but has had a little trouble making his presence known.  What’s unfair to Morin (and certainly even moreso if people start holding it against him) is how different his game is from Pirri.  Power forwards are notorious for taking longer to develop in the professional ranks than any other position, save for defense.

Comparing the two at this point is totally unfair to Morin as it’s going to take a lot longer than three games for him to figure how to use his size to his advantage at this level.

–Viktor Stalberg is on the Hawks to be a secondary source of scoring.  With two points tonight, he now has 7 goals and 13 assists in 32 games.  For comparison’s sake, the great Kris Versteeg (who was also once considered a source of secondary scoring for the Hawks) had 10 goals and 9 assists in his first 32 games of 2009-2010.   Maybe the howling for Stalberg wouldn’t be so bad if he came out with a witty rap on Blackhawks TV.

It’s also worth noting that in those first 32 games, Versteeg never played below 13 minutes in a game.  Stalberg, on the other hand, has played less than 13 minutes fourteen times this season.  So not only is Stalberg currently outpacing Versteeg, he’s doing it in significantly less ice time.

–The Canadiens look like a team that was thrown together 15 minutes before the game started.  Just completely awful for a team that was supposed to be considered an Eastern Conference sleeper pick at the start of the season.

–Perhaps a turning point in Corey Crawford’s season came early in the third period.  With the Hawks nursing a 2-1 lead, Erik Cole came barreling down the left wing.  On a sight seen too often this year and last, guys have been sniping the far corner on Crawford because his angle is woefully off.

On this night, though, Crawford was able to get a glove on the puck and keep the Hawks in front.  Perhaps in his two week hiatus, he found a clue on how to play a proper angle.  Or maybe Erik Cole just missed his spot.  Hard to tell with only one replay provided but for now, I’m going to be optimistic about it.

Now if we can only do something about all those juicy rebounds.

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13 Responses to Blackhawks beat a bunch of guys wearing Montreal Canadien uniforms 5-1

  1. Cam says:

    Morin was always considered to be a sniper, a guy with a nose for the net, good hands and a plethora of great shots. He seems to be trying to play a grinding game, however, and maybe that’s because of his mediocre skating ability. I don’t think he fits the “power forward” moniker, one I wish would stopped being used anyway. In fact, he’s smaller than Brandon Saad who was also wrongly labeled a PF by a lot of people.

    Pirri, otoh, has a chance to be an offensive force and, as Quenneville said postgame, is showing much improved skating ability and speed. Twice, including on Sharp’s goal, Pirri had to slow down and wait for a teammate before entering the zone.

    I must admit Stalberg is really surprising me. He’s finally showing some skill to finish plays and his effort level is quite high. He;s also one of the better Hawks at cycling the puck. I still don’t think he’s a long-term solution for top-2 line winger, but he definitely deserves credit for his recent play.

    Finally, the Hawks really need to acquire another defensemen. The top 3 or 4 are playing too many minutes for my liking these days. They risk burnout come playoff time.

  2. nick says:

    Stalberg now is also older than 09-10 Steeger so that doesn’t really hold water. Versteeg can play in all situations and has actual hands.

  3. rich Lindbloom says:

    nice insight – who were those canadiens?

    Pirri seems to have a touch of physicality to his play.

    I’m afraid Viktor would fail a post game drug test at the moment. He’s got to be on crystal meth. funny you should mention Versteeg, the great white rapper, i was comparing those two in my head last night.

  4. BobbyJet says:

    A nice win to go into the Christmas season. Versteeg will likely always be a high risk player. He has his moments offensively but can be a liability; it is no coincidence that Leafs and Flyers gave him up. He also makes more than 3 times Stalberg’s salary. I’d be willing to wager that Q would take Victor over him any day. I know I certainly would, and I think coming out of college VS is a late bloomer, still learning the game. He has made tremendous strides in his game in a short time and will get better, imo … and speed like that doesn’t come around every day.
    As for Crawford: a very good bounce back – the goalie situation now looks better. Not spectacular by any means, with both guys look more than capable.
    I like Pirri’s game as well and he deserves a longer look.

  5. John says:

    @nick–Was waiting for that. I wasn’t doing a straight up comp; I was merely showing the pace of scoring that secondary scorers have. If they showed up on the scoresheet every night, they wouldn’t be secondary scorers. Point is, Stalberg is doing what he’s supposed to be doing. So yeah, it does hold water.

  6. Brian Donohue says:

    @nick, Stalberg is four months older than Versteeg today. But John, I get your point.

  7. Otter says:

    I like Stalberg… guy can fly and is big. Rare to see his speed on a guy his size. But I also get why this would drive people nuts since he looks like he should be better than his production. He’s not Courtney Brown or all those other NFL/NBA prospects that look like they should dominate but never seem to produce, but that’s sort of how I feel about Stalberg at the same time. If we’re cool with him being a 15-20 goal scorer instead of wishing he’d be a 30… I think everyone will be happy.

    Crawford has a major rebound problem.

    I thought the Habs did a really nice job force the Hawks wide the entire first period. Took the lead and kept doing that… then a bad bounce of PK’s leg and then a goofy Sharp shot that only goes in because the D screened Budja… and the Habs gave up. That was really weird to watch. The game really wasn’t close after that. Or maybe it was after Crawford somehow kept the game 2-1 when he stopped Pacioretty (who had an open net). Either way, Habs sort of packed it in…

    Is Leddy the best skater on the Hawks or does that go to Keith now that Campbell is gone?

    I gotta admit, I didn’t really notice Morin other than probably one or two shifts.

    Eller looked like he might make an interesting player… but what sort of shocked me is that there aren’t many players on the Habs who would make the Hawks…

  8. Nick says:

    @Brian Donahue, yes you make my point. Stalberg right now is older than the 09-10 Versteeg.

    @John, If you’re going to arbitrarily compare Stalberg to Versteeg, then yeah, some people might show up with something to say about that. I don’t really ever read the comments here so I don’t know if there is a group pining for Versteeg, so that’s why I’m not sure you pulled Versteeg out of thin air to compare Stalberg to.

    The majority of Stalberg’s points have come in 4 games. Good secondary scoring is spread out during the season. Not used up in a few games.

  9. John says:

    It’s not arbitrarily comparing. And no one is comparing the two other than the fact they’re both considered secondary scorers on this team. But there are plenty of people griping about the lack of scoring from Stalberg. In 32 games thus far, Stalberg has registered a point in 16 of them. Not sure how that’s using all scoring in a few games.

    Here’s a fun fact from Versteeg’s ’09-10 season: In the first 32 games, he had a six game pointless streak. The longest Stalberg has gone pointless has been four games. Sorry I’m ruining the memory of how great Kris Versteeg was in your mind but his scoring was just as spread out as Stalberg has been.

    I used Versteeg because he was the best secondary scorer the Hawks had two and three years ago. If you want, I could’ve compared his pace to Byfuglien, Brouwer or Ladd’s. So while he’s on the same scoring pace as Versteeg was, he seems to be held to this ridiculous standard by fans and media alike. Yet, no one had any problem with Versteeg that year.

  10. Versteeg never made #StalbergPorn though… (i.e., Versteeg finished with highlight reel moneyshots, whereas Stalberg misses a lot of gaping five-holes)

  11. I would say Stalberg’s shooting percentage has to be lower than Versteeg’s was, but it’s not a Shot On Goal if you miss the net completely. #StalbergPorn

  12. BobbyJet says:

    Stalberg has a knack for creating his own chances, has trouble finishing a lot of the time but he definitely creates space for his linemates. Versteeg is mainly a peripheral player and needs more support to get those chances but is a better finisher when he gets them. If Stalberg ever becomes a better finisher, look out.

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