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Very Nearly a Disaster: Blues 5 @ Blackhawks 6 Recap

April 8, 2010

Look, right now, it’s really not about the points anymore. It’s more about fine-tuning. It should have been about fine-tuning for the last month or something, only March happened and that went down the drain fast. Now that we’re in the last few games of the season, I thought it would be nice for the Hawks to try and figure out how they can tighten their game plan. Tonight, that only sort of happened.

David Perron opened the scoring early, but the Blackhawks answered back, and how! They netted no less than four–count that, four goals in the first period, 2 of which were within 30 seconds of each other, chasing Chris Mason out in the first 7:43 minutes of play before Versteeg scored on a shorthanded opportunity to close out the scoring in the frame. Ladd and Hendry scored twice more in the second period, and though Roman Polak put the Blues up by one more goal to cut the lead to four, nobody in the United Center was worried. Yet.

The third period was when the wheels started to wobble off. Slowly but surely, the Blues made a bid for the second 3rd-period 4-goal comeback against the Blackhawks. Winchester started it at the 3:43 mark, then Oshie added another to make it 6-4 at the 13:44 mark. Then, with an empty Blues net in the last minute of play, Byfuglien was called for a 5-minute slashing penalty and Brad Boyes was awarded a penalty shot, which he scored on.

Suddenly the Blues were only looking at a 1-goal lead with 31 seconds left to play. The Blues had a two-man advantage in the Hawks’ zone with Buff in the box and Conklin vacating his net. The Hawks hung on, somehow, with David Bolland lying on the puck with seconds left in the clock so when the buzzer sounded, the referees decided to tack on 3.9 more seconds of playing time. Jonathan Toews took the defensive zone faceoff and promptly fell onto the puck. The time ran out, and the Hawks pulled into first place in the Western Conference with a franchise-high 109 points, though only barely.

Notes:

  • Marian Hossa left the game early in the second period but according to Quenneville, he should be fine.
  • Kopeecky and Brouwer both missed tonight’s game. Brouwer is out for family matters and Kopecky has a minor upper body injury. Bickell was called up, and that only resulted in a goal for him.
  • The fourth-liners are fighting for spots on the team. Even Eager scored a goal.
  • Somewhere in the Blackhawks’ bench, Huet is probably wondering why the team never scored him a 6th insurance goal so he can let in 5 and still win. (Actually, scratch that. Already happened in Columbus.)
  • I know, I know, he can be really Verstupid sometimes, and make Verselfish plays that result in Vernovers. But tonight, Versteeg was everywhere, scoring a Vershorty, adding three Verssists, and even getting into a little Verscuffle after Backes crosschecked “Madds” to complete the Verdie Howe Hat Trick. Even though I know he makes plenty of sophomore Verstakes I’ve felt like I had to defend him just because sometimes, people find it fairly easy to make a Verscapegoat out of him, noting only his refusal to dump the puck and maybe ignoring the other things that he brings to the table, so nights like this make me especially Verpleased. I don’t think we’ve ever identified a “Player of the Game” on this blog, so HAH, sorry Andrew, but he gets to be the very first Verstar of the Game:
I'M DA (VER)MAN!

WHO DA MAN?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    April 8, 2010 8:25 AM

    Last paragraph was too funny, seriously.

    I was switching back and forth between Whitesox and Hawks (I have an obsession with these two) anyhow, just when I give up on Versteeg well he does what he did last night and then I have to rethink what I thought of him, kind of how I felt about Buff before. I did have a hell of a scared at the end, it seem like the game wasn’t going to end or someone was messing with me and not in a nice way. I know I hated the Blues but tonight made it beyond official, why didn’t Keith put on his teeth when he was being interviewed, he kind of looks like Bickell. I do like the way the Hawks were moving the puck, they had pretty good moves at times, keep that up. On to the next two games.

    Hope Hossa is good to go for the next game!!!!!

    • chiblackhawks permalink*
      April 8, 2010 10:25 AM

      You have no idea how much fun I had writing it out, haha.

      They both have problems with consistency, but the possibly sad truth is we may not have them around long enough to see how they develop. I really don’t have good feelings about the upcoming salary shedding that’ll happen in the off-season.

      I hope Hossa’s good as well. I didn’t see the hit last night at the game (I was sitting on the side where he got hit, so the view was a little obstructed) but I just saw the replay and just. Yikes. Yeah, I really do hope he’s okay too.

  2. Michelle permalink
    April 8, 2010 10:53 AM

    I bet you had fun, all I saw was Verthis or Verthat and I was laughing, I sent it to one of my friends and he wrote back, oh man he forgot Verstupid, then writes back and said it was in the first line hahaha too funny, lol.

    Following is the guys I doubt will be on the team next season, a couple not by choice 😦 I am not expert but this is what I am thinking.

    Buff
    Versteeg
    Madden (I want to keep him)
    Johnsson
    Boynton
    and we prob can only keep one
    Brouwer or Ladd
    If we sucker someone to taking Huet (maybe, but doubt it)

    • April 8, 2010 11:29 AM

      Fork from Hockeenight has been saying this the most: Two GMs traded for Vesa Toskala. SOMEONE will take Huet.

      Don’t forget the discount you get on players who are RFAs. They sign for 40% cheaper than market value on average. I think only one of Buff and Versteeg will go, but agree with Madden Johnsson and Boynton leaving. I don’t really consider Boynton a member of the team exactly because the only reason he is up is due to injuries. We already have a D corps of Seabs, Dunc, Hammer (have to re-sign him), Campbell, Sopel for next year. Not too bad right there.

      • chiblackhawks permalink*
        April 8, 2010 12:11 PM

        I think I tried to run the numbers once on CapGeek–even keeping just one of Buff or Versteeg is not going to leave much room for other people. I think they’ll both be gone, packaged maybe with Huet to entice someone to take his contract.

        Johnsson was never meant to be more than a rental, and now he’s just sort of MIA. We still have Brouwer signed for the next year and Ladd is an RFA so maybe we’ll have a better chance of keeping him too. In an ideal world I’d like Madden to re-sign for a discount but that’s really just because I don’t know who else we’ll have to take his place. The league seems to be short of guys like him and his veteran presence was really helpful, at least for the first half of the season and maybe more during playoffs.

        Hammer’s getting re-signed, I have no doubt in my mind about that. We’ll definitely see a lot of guys from Rockford next year too.

  3. Michelle permalink
    April 8, 2010 11:36 AM

    How much does Hammer make now, we have to re-sign him no doubt. I wont’ be thrilled if we lose him. Plus I think he’s too comfortable to wanna go (I hope). Well it’s good to know Someone will take Huet.

    • chiblackhawks permalink*
      April 8, 2010 12:12 PM

      Hammer’s cap hit is $643,000 per year.

      • Michelle permalink
        April 8, 2010 12:33 PM

        That’s not bad on Hammer, I look at him like this innocent little kid, not sure why.

        I agree on the John Madden situation, I can’t think of anyone that we could get, maybe just maybe he’s had enough fun and really likes the team that we can get a discount on him, wishful thinking. The Buff, Versteeg and let’s throw Huet there so we can’t get rid of him sounds pretty good, now what team would want him.

        • April 9, 2010 12:33 AM

          I think if John Madden thinks he can get one more shot at a cup with the Hawks next season he would sign for a discount. Yeah its wishful thinking and all, but he’s made a lot of comments about how much younger he feels hanging around with the young guys on the Hawks (see: pictures, limo).

          • Michelle permalink
            April 9, 2010 9:18 AM

            On the Versteeg, Buff and Huet comment I meant can get rid of him. This is what happens when your boss is standing behind you and you still keep typing, if I would have gotten off too fast she would have caught on…lol

  4. Ashley permalink
    April 8, 2010 1:52 PM

    You’ve outdone yourself on the Verspeak with this one. I think the people sitting around us last night wanted to Verslap the you know what out of us as we giggled at each new Version. Wait, that didn’t work as well a I’d hoped. Nicely done.

    • chiblackhawks permalink*
      April 8, 2010 11:51 PM

      Mwahaha, you DID start it with “Vershorty”. That was so much fun.

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