"I was saying Boo-itch"
Sometimes I forget just how loathsome the Vancouver Canucks are. Really. I know I dislike them. I know you, the reader, dislikes them. I know every other team in the NHL dislikes them, but I forget sometimes. Well, no one reminds me of that hatred like Alex Burrows. You know Burrows...the hair pulling, finger biting, and now groin kneeing Canuck. To call him an agitator would be an insult to effective agitators like Dino Ciccarelli and Theo Fleury. Those guys could play the game a bit, and would only tip toe over the line, rather than take a leak all over it. You can talk about how fighting is bad for the game, but at least there is respect and sportsmanship in a hockey fight. Both guys agree, and they go. There is nothing respectful about Burrows' antics. There is nothing worse than a coward. Burrows is a coward...and his opponents and teammates notice.
Twist of Kane
Has there been a better Blackhawk over the last month than Patrick Kane? His numbers are very good, but not overwhelming. The difference with Kane has been his absolute commitment. He's skating hard, making plays, and even delivering checks and clearing the crease.
Those who have read this blog for a while know I've been hard on Kane historically, but he's been above criticism lately. He's been unbelievable. If he can play this way throughout the playoffs, winning a round or two without Toews is NOT impossible.
#ShawFact - I Was Wrong
Andrew Shaw is not just a dude. I thought he was. I was wrong, and for that I'm sorry. While his skill set is still not that of an elite forward, or even a top six winger, Shaw's willingness to play bigger than his size (5 '10 180) is what makes him so effective. He's fearless. He's plays with a reckless abandon I haven't seen since the younger, healthier days of Jeremy Roenick. The fear with a player like Shaw is twofold. First off, a guy that small who plays that big is going to get hurt. It will likely take a step or two of speed away from him, thus lessening his effectiveness, and shortening his career.
Secondly, my only complaint with Shaw is, and has been, the fact that he's started believing in his offensive game too much. That is what got him sent down the first time. Hopefully he's learned that lesson, but I've seen one or two too many Kris Versteeg style toe drags lately. Get to the net kid. It will continue to pay off.
A Little Dab Oduya
The Blackhawks are 9-1-1 since acquiring Johnny Oduya at the trade deadline. He's been absolutely outstanding. Aside from his game winning assist last night, his biggest impact has been the calming influence he's had on the Hawks blue line, especially Nick Leddy. Oduya's patience with the puck has made a huge difference. Before his arrival, Leddy would occasionally handle the puck like a hand grenade. "Just get it away from me!" Oduya's willingness to wait a tick or two before making the clearing pass is rubbing off on Leddy and his teammates. The PK looks better, the PP looks better, and the defense as a whole looks better. Oduya is a big part of that change.
My initial response to Duncan Keith's hit on Daniel Sedin was, "Two games." I stand by that. It was a dirty hit plain and simple. It doesn't matter that he was elbowed first. Hopefully the league looks at Daniel's hit on Keith also, but on it's own, Keith hit warrants a suspension. Shane Doan received three games for his hit on Dallas' Jamie Benn. Brendan Shanahan's reasoning was that Doan had a past history (Keith doesn't) and Benn wasn't injured on the play (Sedin was). With that in mind...two games seems fair. I'd expect a fine for Daniel and maybe a game or a fine for Burrows' knee on Keith's groin.
Filed under: Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Sports, dallas stars, danny mac show, duncan keith, Headshots, hockey, jay zawaski, joel quenneville, johnny oduya, jonathan toews, kris versteeg, marian hossa, NHL, nick leddy, Patrick Kane, patrick sharp, powerplay, Ray Emery, roberto luongo, sports, vancouver canucks