By Michael Calvert
Is it the closing act to the Olympics, or the opening act for the Stadium series on Saturday? Either way you spin it; Thursday’s Blackhawks-Rangers matchup at Madison Square Garden was not a game for the ages.
I would hesitate to say the Hawks looked slow, but more like out of sync.
Hawks came out with their usual top line of Toews, Sharp and Hossa. The second line was made up of Kane, Versteeg and new man Regin. The 3rd line, which should be dominant, features Saad, Shaw and Bickell. Lastly the sandpaper line of Bollig, Kruger and Ben Smith.
Last night Roszival played the role of dman #6.
Backup extraordinaire Cam Talbot started in net for the Rangers and Crawford for the Hawks. Seriously, with King Henrik and this stud as backup, how are the Rangers just okay?
1st period: The game started out rather slowly and sloppily, neither team threatened much in the first few minutes. 9 minutes into the game Kane and Shaw spark a 2-1 and it looks promising, however, for some reason Kane passes to Shaw and Shaw shanks it. Why does a Kane pass to a Shaw in this situation?
Roughly a minute later the Rangers really start to pour it on the Hawks and are eventually rewarded a Derrick Broussard goal after about 3-4 A+ chances.
At 12:12 the Hawks get their first pp, are they still good at these, or is it the kill? It always seems to be one or the other, I don’t know it’s been three weeks. Brandon Bollig played some time on this particular pp, so I guess it’s the pk they are good at?
2nd period: My personal spotlight player currently is this Peter Regin, who is he and why is he now the second line C on the best offense in the league? Well, Regin looked boss to start the second. He made some playmaking looking plays, and put a few guys into the boards. I’ve been unimpressed with him so far, but the first couple of minutes in the second showed me that dude can play a bit.
Hawks have their first pk at 1:56 on a call that could only be described as wrong. A minute and 28 seconds into the kill the Hawks get a 2-1 with Toews and Hossa and it fizzles on an uncharacteristically bad pass by Hossa. All in all it was a great kill for the Hawks.
Towards the end of the second, Seabrook gets flat housed by Rangers captain Callahan, but Crow saves him with a nice poke check.
3rd period: The Hawks actually outplay the Rangers briefly to begin the 3rd, however it doesn’t last long and Rick Nash seals it off a terrible turnover and a mediocre wrist shot.
Hawks pull the goalie and Regin scores a let’s not get shut out twice in a row goal. As I mentioned before this Regin looks like he might be a player.
-Hawks sucked in this one but were a miraculous save by Prince backup away from going into ot, seriously, how did he stone Kane there?
-Talbot looks like the real deal, his #s going into this game are insane and with 15 previous starts it’s not simply an anomaly.
-I have too much faith in the Hawks or am possibly too much of a homer, so I’m not worried at all, but this was annoying because I was looking forward very much to Blackhawks hockey after the Olympics. This game disappointed but whatever, the Hawks are the best team in the league or at least a top 3.
-St Louis just picked up Steve Ott and Ryan Miller. That sucks but I always thought Halak was a beast, and the Blues didn’t quite mortgage the future but really gave up a lot. Fuck you Blues.