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Chicago Blackhawks

Detroit Block(-ed shot) City

Chicago BlackhawksNow playing: Clam Famine - Pants Across America

(Note from last post: When explaining why I refer to the Hawks as “we”, the second reason, “I feel I’ve earned it” was supposed to have been interpreted more “tongue-in-cheek” than it was. As far as professional on-ice experience, I haven’t earned shit. Just wanted to clear that up so I don’t seem like a pompous hockey elitist.)

Tonight’s continental lid-lifter against the always beloved (more sarcasm…please try to get used to it, it’s like a second language) Red Wings was probably a good way to start the season. I say “probably” for several reasons.

First of all, I know that no one likes to lose. EVER. At least they shouldn’t. They should hate it, actually. But, while I don’t embrace the term “moral victory”, especially when referring to a game that you lost, there is a lot to be learned from coming out on the wrong end of head-to-head combat, especially when it’s a team that you’re going to face frequently. A lot to learn not only about the opponent, but also about yourself.

Secondly, this isn’t the NCAA. I really enjoy college football, and I love college hoops. But I hate that for the first portion of their season they play total cream puffs to “get themselves ready” for the division/conference games. (I know they actually counted in the standings, but please, those 2 first games in Finland were still exhibition in the players’ minds [one exception - hometown hero Antti Niemi]). Opening the season against the reigning “Class of the Conference” is a good way to see where you are in reference to where you need to be. Win or lose, it’s a good early season benchmark check.

I noticed a lot of good things from tonight’s game, mostly the aggressiveness of the defense, and the play of Cristobal Huet. I thought the defense played very well at BOTH blue lines tonight. They held the offensive zone well and stood up at the defensive blue line with confidence. Pavel Datsyuk would have had at least 3 more great scoring chances but for Duncan Keith. That said, they need to get MUCH better at clearing the front of the net. Holmstrom took residence in the old “Dino Ciccarelli” condo in front of the Blackhawks net and imposed his will. Good thing about this one is that it’s a dual lesson: Offense (read: Byfuglien):do that!. Defense: don’t let them do that.

We are blowing away the competition in shots so far, and have run into 2 goaltenders that have had nights where they were seeing the puck as big as a Gino’s thick crust. That’s going to happen to everybody, both ways. Unfortunately, we’re not going to win all those games.

But what needs to happen to beat these teams, is good to great goaltending, offensive-minded defensemen (already happening, good trend to follow), and better than ideal special teams play. It will happen, people. This team is built for unimaginable success.

On another note, I’m meeting up with a few other Hawks fans (via twitter, facebook, penaltykill.net, etc…) at West End this Saturday before heading over to the opener. If you’re interested, please feel free to contact me, the more the merrier!

As a reminder, we still lead the Red Wings in points right now. Silver lining…

(On on a COMPLETELY unrelated note, would I be right in saying that Youkilis is the most disturbing looking athlete since Patrick Ewing? he should NOT be shown on television within 90 minutes of the average dinner time. people could die.)

From my Smith-Corona Galaxis Deluxe,

-hackett

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