The Chicago Blackhawks: Don't stop believing.

The Chicago Blackhawks: Don't stop believing.

First of all, sorry about the late post. This is the first chance that I have had to sit down in front of a computer since watching the game.

Let us start this one off with some congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks. They are officially out of their terrible slide, and they impressed me while making that official yesterday in the wee early morning. Seriously, I am sincerely impressed right now. I had not expected the kind of effort that came from the Hawks yesterday, and after falling behind late in the first, figured it was somewhat of a lost cause.

The first period was pretty bad. By the end, the Hawks would have surrendered a goal with only 20 seconds remaining and be out shot 15-4. But, it was not as bad as that sentence would cause you to assume. The Hawks actually looked decent in an organized cohesive kind of way, and this is where the Hawks ended up shocking me in the most way.

With the exception of the goal scored on them, the Hawks seemed to possess fairly strong coverage, and the forwards were helping out in the defensive zone. With the exception of the power-play, the Hawks were entering the zone as a unit, and their neutral zone play was the better for it. Little things that can go a long way.

Maybe even most surprising was the play of the guy between the pipes, and it was our goaltender, not the other team's. This was Crawford's best performance of the year, and boy is this reason to believe. I do not want to get ahead of myself, but I had counted him out. Yesterday gives hope to his getting his act together, and it was maybe the first goaltender win of the year for the Hawks. How did he do this you ask? Well, he kept it simple, stayed in his net, followed the puck, was square to the shooter, and did all of the things that made him successful last year.

The 2nd period was pretty darn boring, but this bodes well for the Hawks. They were actually executing a tight game against a team who is more practiced at it. Their defense was on, and you cannot overlook Duncan Keith's play as having a lot to do with that. Nor can you deny that Olsen and Lepisto have been welcomed parts of that movement, especially Olsen. Even Leddy looks to have found his groove as Seabrook's partner in crime. Besides his brief loss of control over the crease when the Blues scored their only goal, Leddy looks more like the player we expected him to be.

I just mentioned Keith's play in having a lot to do with the Hawks defense. It also had a lot to do with whole game actually. The player of the game easily, Keith figured into 2 Hawk goals. The first was off of his stick and there were many things to be happy about in this particular play. The Hawks gained the zone really well, with support, and protecting the puck in a very successful way. Most noticeable was how Kane went directly to the net when Keith let go of his shot. That's a new one for me. More please!

Don't stop believing guys. No, the Hawks are not magically better because of the last 3 games, but this win gives reason for hope. The Hawks fought it out and won. They fought hard, and they stuck to a game we have rarely seen them do.

Worth mention was how well the Blues defense boxed the Hawks out in the 2nd period. It was so good, that I thought their 1 goal would be enough for the win. The Hawks started shooting from wherever and everywhere, which looked like it would get them nowhere.

The 3rd saw a shift as it was the Blues who started to let up first. This is exactly where most of my surprise comes from. I have not seen the Hawks out last another team in quite a while, and yesterday the Blues opened a hole long enough for the Hawks to do their thing. With that and a little luck, Bolland found the game winner in the form of a deflected centering pass. This resulted from a nice pass by Keith as well. That was all the piper needed, and Hossa would eventually keep his little scoring streak together with an empty net goal.

3-1 Hawks. Nice to see, but there is still one more big game looming within sight. And not to be a jerk, but I am going to end on a bad note. The Hawks power-play is still a laughing matter. Let's work on entering the zone boys, because that is your major concern there.

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  • I thought it was the worst game by the 'hawks in the last week. In the minority, here, but I think the game against the Preds was their best during that same period. Yesterday, they looked like they would rather be anywhere else, and I can't blame 'em. Hitchcock knows how to put anyone to sleep and though I do think the Blues were in large part responsible for keeping the 'hawks down, I didn't sense the urgency in the 'hawks' game.

    The 'hawks did get part of the message between periods one and two and thereafter seemed to be more willing to dump 'n' chase than try the cutesy stuff. That, to me, is the most notable difference in the last week. They're becoming more patient as a team and pouncing only when they have the opportunities rather than trying to wheel all out offensively. It makes for a slower game, but they have the weapons to play that game when they remain patient.

    Agreed, CC deserves the credit for the win. If the Blues go up by two it was lights out, I think, and he made some solid saves with good positioning to keep the 'hawks a shot away.

    I like the Leddy, Seabrook and Keith, Olsen parings too. That will change soon enough though as Q will put 2 and 7 back together against the more offensively gifted teams.

    PP is a waste of time and a momentum killer for the 'hawks. I wonder if it has too much skill out there.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    I think the lack of production on the PP is a function of holding on to the puck too long allowing the other team to adjust.

    BW

  • Hello my dear,
    My name is lilian. i saw your profile here(chicagonow.com) today and became int rested in you,i will also like to know you the more and establish a relationship that is based on truth and trust with you i want you to send an email to my email address so i can give you my picture for you to know whom i am.Here is my email address (liliankarume35@yahoo.com)
    I am waiting for your mail to my email address above please i have something very very important i will like to tell you.I believe we can start from here!
    Remember the distance or color does not matter but love matters alto in life.
    lilian... (liliankarume35@yahoo.com)
    please send me your email to my email inbox

  • In reply to lilian1010:

    All right HH you have a groupie

  • In reply to Icehogst:

    I think I am in love, lilian1010 has a way with words.

  • I can see where you are coming from FF, but it was that they won a game like this that gives me hope, not necessarily their overall effort. You could argue that they only played hard for 1 period

    I was with family while watching this game, and I received a lot of crap for my views on the coaching staff. While some agreed, others thought I was being too critical. This could have had an affect on me perspective of the game, even though I pretty much fell asleep during the 2nd period, I want to see victories wherever I can find them.

    Just found out that I will be at the Detroit game. Can't wait to see what I make of things with the whole ice perspective.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    See what I mean, HH. Hitchcock and system equals sleep, lol.

    Should be a great game tonight. Have fun. Hawks will be better against the winged wheelers.

    One Team should be stopping by to fill us in sometime today.

  • You rang??? Haha!

    To be perfectly honest with you, when I saw your schedule: NYR, Columbust and then STL following that Nashville game, I didn’t think the Hawks would be coming into this one 3-0 but rather the other way around. (Thank you, BTW...for beating STL! I mean someone had to do it!)

    That said, the Hawks have seemed to have found their game again and now Im sure that they will be taking out some aggression on their next several opponents. Unfortunately for me, my team is next on the list! I would like to say that all is well because we have Jimmy returning to the net tonight, but our road record is not great and the team could be cruising toward a letdown tonight. Securing the consecutive home wins record (like how I through that in there) required a lot of extra effort and energy. Wings spent their last 6 games protecting our third string goalie from blowing it. (I mean, Joey MacDonald played good enough....but the team certainly doubled their efforts knowing that he wasn’t going to steal a game for them. EVERYONE played goalie last week!!)

    Also, it looks like my "Datsyuk is out" excuse won’t mean anything as I just read that Toews is out as well. Still, this should be a good one and a close one! Ill let FF make the predictions as he was spot on the last two times these teams met. Ill cross my fingers and hope he foresees a Wings victory!

    Oh yeah one more thing: I hope you don’t mind but I went ahead and emailed Lilian (from above). I told her my wife was out of town this week and now she is coming over tonight!!! I think we are going to watch some of the game and then she said something about an "ice bath"? I don’t know what that means but it sure does sound kinky!

    Go Wings!

  • *threw

  • No Wing victory tonight, OT, but nice try with all of the whine about your beloved hockey team. Save it for the ice bath, the whine that is. We've had enough whine ourselves lately and tonight ,even without two of the premier players in the game, it will be another close, entertaining game but the the 'hawks will prevail 4-3.

  • Looks like my boys came up a little short in the goals column last night. Crow played a great game. Good action here and there on both ends of the ice but I think the Hawks had more heart in this one.

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