The pun in the title is nhl.com-worthy.
And by that, I mean that it’s terrible.
This game seemed to be playing out much like early games last year…
- The wizened veteran goalie gets the nod in net. (Turco last year, Emery this year)
- The defense promptly forgets to defend in front of the veteran goalie.
- The opposing team is suddenly up two goals early in the first period, both by some random player (Slater? What?).
- Meatheads everywhere call for the veteran goalie’s head.
Now, here’s the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team. See, last year, this game would’ve played out something like this:
- The Blackhawks tie the game by the end of the second period.
- Around the middle of the third, Duncan Keith (or maybe Brent Seabrook) herp-derps around the net, causing an ugly turnover, which causes the opposing team to score the tie-breaking goal.
- Coach Q panics and starts changing around lines like a crazy person.
- With nothing else working, Q pulls the veteran goalie with a minute left in the third to put an extra man out there.
- The opposing team scores an empty-net goal.
- Kat goes home and writes an angry post filled with macros.
However, this year, this is what actually happened:
- Q takes a time out to yell at everyone.
- Patrick Kane decides to go into beast mode.
- The Blackhawks go on to score four goals. Kane gets one of these goals, as well as two assists.
- The Jets manage to put up another goal (by Kyle Wellwood, of all people).
- The Blackhawks hang on to win the game in regulation, because they’ll be damned if they lose to the Winnipeg Thrashers.
I like this year’s team better. By a lot.
Some random observations:
Kane and Hossa on the same line together makes my heart go all a-flutter. Two players who cannot and will not give up on the puck no matter how hard people try to knock them off of it? Yes. Just. YES.
At first glance, it looked like Ray Emery should have been able to stop the first two goals. After viewing the replay, however, Slater really had nice shots on both that I’m not sure Emery could have stopped.
Carcillo needs to stop running into Hossa — but Carcillo consistently bouncing off of Hossa like he was made of rubber will never not be funny. Besides that, Carcillo had a solid game and even managed to get an assist.
You know what else was funny? The Kyle Wellwood failed breakaway. I’m still giggling.
Getting Frolik in exchange for Skille still blows my mind. The Frolik-Bolland-Bickell line just keeps getting better every game. Even Bickell looked like himself again, throwing his weight around.
My friend Lisa and I are starting the Andrew Brunette bandwagon here in Chicago. You’re welcome to join.
This commercial aired. You’re welcome.
04:24 WPG Jim Slater (1) Tip-In – ASST: J. Oduya (1)
07:29 WPG Jim Slater (2) Tip-In – ASST: R. Hainsey (1) AND T. Glass (1)
09:45 CHI PPG - Andrew Brunette (2) Backhand – ASST: P. Kane (3) AND J. Toews (1)
16:50 CHI Patrick Kane (1) Slap – ASST: M. Hossa (2) AND D. Carcillo (1)
00:33 CHI Marian Hossa (1) Slap – ASST: N. Leddy (1) AND P. Kane (4)
06:45 CHI Dave Bolland (3) Wrist – ASST: B. Bickell (2)
14:34 WPG Kyle Wellwood (1) Backhand – ASST: R. Hainsey (2) AND B. MacLean (1)
Captain Force Of Nature Watch: He was a -1 and won eight out of 15 faceoffs (53%). By the way, Patrick Kane won 10 of his 14 faceoffs, for a percentage of 71%. Let this sink in for a minute.
Duncan Keith Plus/Minus Watch: +2. Despite some lapses in judgement, Keith still did well today.
Post-Game Quotes From nhl.com:
Patrick Kane, on playing center: ”It’s still something I’m getting used to. I know I’m not there yet, but I’ll keep trying to get better in practices and in games. I’ve never really played with (Hossa before). It’s kind of something (where) we’re getting used to each other and trying to find chemistry because we both like to play the same game.”
Patrick Kane, on Carcillo: “He creates a lot of energy, he creates a lot of room out there. You see his antics before and after the whistle, which is a good thing when you’re playing with him. He draws a lot of attention, and opens up some space.”
Marian Hossa, on Patrick Kane’s move to center: “I think everybody was asking how we were going to do defensively, but so far he’s answering the question and done a great job and we try to help him out. It all depends on us. If we’re going to do a great job, (Quenneville’s) going to keep us together and if we don’t do a good job he won’t keep us together. At the end of the day it’s up to us.”