I called it, again. A few weeks ago I made a list of games for the Blackhawks to watch out for. One I circled on the calendar was last night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. I said that the Penguins would be bitter after their embarrassing blowout at soldier field in which they rarely registered a shot. I said they’d come out strong, play hard, and continue pounding away at the Hawks all game. I was right. And again, it’s a shame that Coach Q doesn’t read my blog. Maybe someday.
Hitting Hitting and more Hitting
The Pittsburgh Penguins have a bit of an identity crisis. They’re clearly a finesse team, and yet their coach, Dan Bylsma repeatedly says they’re a gritty team. I watch the Pens a lot, and haven’t seen that grit much. That is, until last night. The Penguins came out hitting and didn’t stop. In the end, the Penguins outhit the Blackhawks 39 to 21. And most of those hits were brutal. The Blackhawks couldn’t keep up with it, and gave up 2 goals in under 30 seconds.
Down goes Toews
It’s bad enough that Patrick Kane got hurt last week, and that Bryan Bickell is out too. But losing Toews was extremely painful to watch. He’s listed as “day-to-day” with the infamous and vague “upper body injury” that could mean anything from a scratch to 5 broken ribs. Luckly, Quenneville says that the injury isn’t serous. Hopefully he’s not just downplaying it.
Don’t listen to Milbury.
Sometime it seems like Mike Milbury will just make up garbage to get attention. During the intermission he babbled on and on about how the hit by Orpik was dirty, and the the Hawks should go after the Penguins to get revenge. Thankfully, most of the hockey community thinks that he should shut his mouth. He’s wrong on so many levels.
I know, as a Hawks fan, that it’s easy to look through red and black colored glasses and see the Orpik hit as dangerous. But all fandom aside, it wasn’t at all. The only thing somewhat iffy was that he left his feet, but it was after the hit had already been established. It doesn’t take someone with a scholarship to realize it was a huge hit, but there wasn’t a thing dirty about it.
Milbury’s idea that someone should go after Orpik is just idiotic. What’s the message there? The message would be to go after someone for a clean hit. It would make the Blackhawks look bad. The Hawks thankfully didn’t hear what Milbury had to say and didn’t go after the Pens. Unfortunately they didn’t go after them with their sticks, either, scoring just one goal in the 4-1 loss.
It’s looking like the Division might be lost, as the Blues now have 8 points on the Hawks and 2 more games to play. The Hawks don’t play again until Thursday, and hopefully they can break this losing streak.
I love playing the Wild. Mostly because Ilya Bryzgalov is their goalie, and it brings back great memories. You may remember a few years ago, he was featured on HBO's 24/7 saying a number of crazy things, including that he was only afraid of "the bear in the forest." My friends and I quickly ordered a bunch of bear costumes from privateislandparty.com and wore them when Bryzgalov (then with the Flyers) came to Pittsburgh. Puck Daddy even did a story on the bears but sadly didn't include pictures of us. It was a great time anyway, and Bryzgalov remains as one of the most interesting players in hockey. The Wild are fighting for a playoff spot too, so it will be fun to see if Bryz shows up of crumbles under the pressure. I've got some extra bear hats if anyone is going to the game.
Looking forward to Thursday!