by Vince Maranto on 12/29/11 at 03:45 PM ET
Hello everyone! I am back from my Holiday break. I hope that everyone that reads this blog has had a happy, and safe week. While I’m at it, I’ll take the time to also wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! I will be working (as always) on New Year’s Eve, but I always have a good time doing it.
Now on to hockey. As a side note, I will be doing a couple of blogs solely on the subjects of a “half way” evaluation, and what holes need to be filled to have a successful Cup drive for the rest of this season.The Hawks played 2 games since we’ve talked last, so let’s talk Hawks.
On Monday, the Blue Jackets came to the United Center. I got tickets for this game back in September, on the day that single game tickets were released. It was my Christmas present to me, and the boys did not disappoint. It was funny, the 2 previous games at the U.C. that my son & I attended, the Hawks had scored a combined 13 goals. On the way to the game I remarked that if we were shut out it would be hard to complain (turns out I was off by one game). Corey Crawford was in net against Steve Mason for the contest.
The Hawks had not played for 4 days and it showed. In the first period, the passes were less that sharp. There was a lot of skate to stick adjustments as well as just plain misses. I don’t know how many days the Columbus had off, but their passes were off too. The Hawks scored 3 times in the 2nd period with a goal by Sharp and Stalberg lighting the lamp twice. Viktor seem to do better on the 3rd or 4th line, maybe it’s less pressure. It could also be that with his style, there are not enough pucks to go around when he’s up there with Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa. The Blue Jackets broke the shut out (Wienewski—Hawk fans still booing over that Seabrook hit a long time ago). Hossa added a Power Play goal—the Hawks were 1 for 3 on the P.P. and fought off 2 P.K.‘s. The Blue Jackets had 38 shots on goal to the Hawks 22.
Last night, that shut out I feared seeing in person, came to fruition. The Hawks fought off 6 minutes of Penalty Kill in the first period. There was a 2 minute roughing on Scott (one shot to the face too many in a scrum) and a 4 minute, high stick on Sharp. Later on in the period, unfortunately, the Hawks came up with an 0 for in two Power Plays. Both goaltenders, Crawford and Quick had “Big Saves” in the first. Hawks were out shot 12-10.
In the second, Hunter scored for Columbus. Both goalies again came up with great stops, including Crawford on a Penalty Shot, taken by Richards (A stick less Toews pushed him from behind) it was still 1-0 going into the locker room. Even though the Hawks came incredibly close on a few scoring chances, I still felt that they were in it.
In the 3rd, Stoll who was left alone in front long enough to take 3 consecutive shots, scored on the last one. Cro came up with great saves on the first two, but come on, a little help guys. Both teams had 38 shots. Even though Pat Foley tried the “announcer jinx” by repeating the words ‘shut out’ many times in a row, it was just that. 2-0, final.
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