I’m going to give it to your straight here. If, some day in the foreseeable future, the Blackhawks suddenly become a bad team who stinks at hockey and fights all the time, I’ll probably end up a terrible meathead fan who constantly fights with people on Twitter. Luckily, today is not that day. While all of social media calls for a lifetime ban from the NHL for Dan Carcillo, I think we have some other things to concern ourselves with.
- Carcillo: His cross check on Perreault was a bonehead thing to do, likely in retaliation for Perreault’s slash on Keith, which of course does not excuse it. Perreault was hurt unfortunately and hopefully it is not a serious injury. He’s a good player who is having a very nice season for the Jets. Who knows whether Carcillo gets a call to the principal’s office for the cross check. I’m terrible at guessing these things so it’s probably better that I don’t.
- Fight, Fight, Fight: I can’t recall the last time the Blackhawks had 2 fighting majors in one game much less the first period of one game. Bickell got jumped by Peluso after a completely clean hit and after they danced, they went to the box and felt shame. Seabrook took exception to a clean hit by Slater on Kane, slashed him in the arm and after they danced, they went to the box and felt shame. That left Rozsival to take Seabrook’s shifts while he served the major. Think about whether that’s really the plan we want to encourage here, not to mention Seabrook’s concussion history. Anyway, they fought, they sat, I’m sure someone gained some momentum out of it or was taught a righteous lesson about clean hits in hockey.
- Saad: We should all be praying that the Blackhawks have a stack of cash in the back room to pay this kid. Every shift he takes, he seems to learn more lessons from Hossa. I’m not completely caught up yet on my tracking but Saad has an amazing carry in percentage and makes things happen. The hextally plot below spans from 2013 through the present. On the left are shot rates when Saad is on the ice. The darker the red the better. Yeah, you could say that kid likes to go the net.
- Shaw: Shaw had some poor plays tonight that led to scoring chances and goals against. He could probably use a game in the press box to get his head straight, but this is not going to happen. Quenneville usually only sits regular players who he thinks he can get more out of and frankly, I think he’s been very aware of what he has in Shaw for a while. Not that Shaw isn’t useful, he is, but his defensive awareness is not good. This is particularly problematic when he is being played at center. Centers are responsible for the ice in front of the goal where the defensemen are not when in the defensive zone. Quenneville and company need to get over the Andrew Shaw is a Center thing and move him to the wing where he can be useful and not cost the team as much when he screws up.
- Rozsival: After a really nice showing last season, Rozsival has really shown his age and injury history this season. I hate to say it because I like him, but he needs a little vacation in the press box. At this point, Erixon and Rundblad can’t do much worse. Erixon is usually pretty good at zone exits and that is being counteracted by Rozsival being particularly bad at them this season. If teams are paying attention, they will dump the puck in on Rozsival’s side whenever they can’t carry it in. That way Rundblad has to play the puck to someone, usually his defense partner, and Rozsival will likely chip it to the neutral zone where they can retrieve it and start it over again.
- TERAVAINEN: HE DID IT! HE DID IT! HE SCORED HIS FIRST NHL GOAL!!!!!! Teravainen was a bright and shining star in this game. He’s played very well in the games leading up to this and finally he was rewarded. What an amazing moment. Let’s watch it again and again.