So I guess Budaj starts in net after all... doesn't matter both of them suck.
So even though I actually own a black sweater (A Ruutu one too - goddammit) - I really have to say that after a year of not seeing the Hawks in Black unis I'm not used to it and I don't like it. I'd much rather see the Hawks in white at home, red on the road and some newer sweater if they actually need a third one. I know it's a big marketing ploy, but they can do better. I was a sucker and just don't like wearing red... fuck it
The Avs came out in this game pressing... they force a big save from Khabby just 3 minutes into the game.
5 minutes in Old Man Sakic takes a hooking penalty but the Hawks can't capitalize on it... it's killed.. solid PK from the Av's.
Just about 8 minutes in just after the Hawks waste power play they end up taking their own penalty.. To borrow (read: steal) a favorite joke from PensBlog:
Early in the first they show a picture of the Kane Calder Trophy figurine and it looks frightening. They cut to a shot of Burish in the locker room who says it looks like a mix between "Harry Potter and David Letterman" which is actually pretty much spot on...
Sharp takes a penalty for hooking but the Hawks kill.. solid job.. great job shutting off both the passing and shooting lanes. It looks like the Hawks have another great PK game going.
Just over 4 minutes to go in the period Guite brings the puck down the boards and takes a weak shot on goal - Khabby unfortunately over-reacts and kick saves past the puck. It bounces off the inside of his leg and weakly bounces into the goal... 0-1.
First period ends...
Early in the second period Ladd gets a great chance but the puck bounces a round... Bolland picks it up and gets it behind the net and puts it up to Buff.. Buff takes a shot but Budaj gets it.. Ladd grabs the rebound and knocks in it... 1-1.
Campbell takes a nice shot off a bouncing puck and knocks Budaj in the head - eat a dick
Finally 8 minutes in there's a fight Chicago doesn't exactly lose.. although they don't win either. Eager and Laperriere drop the gloves and throw a few punches before Laperriere ends up swinging, missing and falling with his back to Eager. Eager takes the classy move and doesn't take any more swings ending the fight. I'd need to see a good replay but I think Eager was the only one to land a good punch.. Depending on Hockey Fights says I'd have to maybe call that for Eager...
Barker goes for a big hit but misses... Ladd tries to get one in but it goes to the back of the net to Buff who gets it to Kane.. figurine boy takes a great shot but it ends up as a better save for Budaj
Sharp holds McCormick behind the net and joins Eager in the box.. Hawks on the kill again with about 10 minutes left but luckily the Av's are 0-2 with only one shot on the power play
There's a big open net miss.. Hawks get lucky and kill it.
Close to 13 minutes in Burish finally gets into another fight this time with McLeod. Both seem to hold their own - Burish ends up bleeding near his left eye but gets in some good punches and McLeod's nose seems to be bleeding too.
5 minutes later Sharp gets the puck near the blue line and takes a shot that bounces off Brouwer and hits the post. Brouwer is able to grab the rebound and knocks it in... 2-1 Hawks
Hawks draw a penalty for the last 39 secs but can't do anything with it..
End of the Second...
An opening shot of the second shows Burish with a black eye and a few stitches..
While on the power play the Hawks get a delayed penalty and they work the puck around but don't good chances... it seems they'd have been better off just giving up the puck and getting a set play with the extra skater. Instead they will have a two man for 22 secs...
Wasting the first 22 seconds, Campbell gets the puck dead center to Barker gets the slapshot in.. Unfortunately the first penalty had just ended.. so the Hawks end up even strength 3-1 Hawks
It ends up being a good thing too.. because Hejduk brings it in.. beats Khabby stick side.. post and in.. 3-2
I cant being to explain how much I hate Sopel this year... The douche clears it to center directly to an Avs player who barely misses the net to tie it.. Luckily the Hawks clear the puck without any real damage. Sopel continues his campaign to be the player waived once Wiz returns to the team.
Ladd takes a holding penalty but the Hawks kill it - just out the box Ladd gets the puck and brings it across the blue line. Toews comes with him and gets the puck - He's able the silence those idiots who think he's not ready to earn the "C" by holding the puck long enough to pass to Sharp who knocks it home. 4-2
Great example of tic-tac-toe hockey here, especially since Toews easily could have shot the pass from Ladd to try and break his goal-less streak. Instead he gives up a chance to feed a teammate with a better opportunity. That's exactly what you want from a captain.
Beautiful play on the Hawks end.. at least 60 secs without the Avs touching the puck..
16 minutes in we see some great work from Buff behind the net.. Off a pass from Bolland he hold the puck long enough to open a chance for Ladd who puts it top shelf right stick side over Budaj - 5-2 Hawks...
McLeod can eat a dick.. Fraser gets a penalty too 16 and a half in... I didn't realize it til after the game but Burish grabs a 2 minute minor for roughing McLeod plus a 10 minute misconduct...
I ended up changing the channel for a second to watch the Monday Night Football game (just as a sidenote, I grew up around the DC area and the only team I ever actually was involved with was the Redskins.. I guess I have an affinity for slightly racist teams, Skins being way more racist than the Hawks)... anyways.. I end up missing the Sharp goal originally but catch the replay seconds later. Kane brings the puck in and flips around backwards to see a wide open Sharp who knocks it in with 2 and half left... 6-2 Hawks (This ruined my prediction on Blackhawk Zone by the way which would have been my first correct one of the year)
Another great solid game from the Hawks though - Great defense, Penalty Kill looked great, Khabby came through with some big saves (despite letting in one soft goal) and the offense really seemed to be clicking. Both the forecheck and backcheck was working and the Hawks beat a team that will be competing with them for one of the final playoff spots. A great game by the men of four feathers, and another great game from a goalie. A perfect way to start this big home-stand.
I hope you all bought your copy of The Committed Indian - You'll be able to do it again next sunday if you didn't already.
Your Three Stars of the Game:
Sharp (2G, 1A)
Ladd (2G, 1A)
And I'm sure I'll have more to say about it tomorrrow - but GO FUCKING VOTE