Hockey

Preseason Game #3 – Calm as Cookies and Cream, So It Seems – Hawks 2, Wings 1

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

A ho-hum affair in which the Chicago Blackhawks kicked the shit out of the Wings in just about every way except the score. We’ll do a quick clean up, since I’m in preseason drinking form.

– Alex Nylander is clearly going to get every chance to make Stan Bowman look like not a moron. Tonight saw him with three good plays and one not so good one. First, the three good ones. In the first period, near his own blue line, Nylander dropped a good backhand pass to a streaking Toews, who nearly peeled away for a breakaway. Second, also in the first, he made a good drop pass to Keith for a nice setup that didn’t really go anywhere. Third, he made a subtle pick play in the second period that freed Kane to hit Keith on his slapper goal. All in all, not bad.

But Nylander completely boofed a wide-open opportunity. With Toews crashing the slot with possession east to west, Nylander had the near post yawning. Toews slipped a pass to the area Nylander was supposed to be in, but Nylander wasn’t at all ready. This is a perfect example of Nylander loafing when the puck isn’t on his stick. If he stays engaged on the play, it’s an easy goal. I truly hope he gets that out of his system soon.

Aside from that, Nylander was perimetery all night, but you wouldn’t know it with Eddie O lavishing praise on him for not shitting his pants. He’s the Jonah Falcon of the preseason so far.

– Dominik Kubalik is probably going to be good, even if his last 40 minutes were uninspiring. In the first, he had a nifty pass to a wide-open Saad in the low slot (which Saad couldn’t pot, because this is how it’s always gonna go) after some great pressure along the near corner from Kampf. I’d like to see Colliton roll the dice and put him with Kane and Toews just to take advantage of that wicked shot he’s got.

– If you are under 18, please don’t watch this video of Adam Boqvist.

He was quiet otherwise, but goddamn. If that translates at all to the NHL, all of our wailing and gnashing of teeth about this blue line may end up in the ether. Yes, he has a ton of work to do in his own end. But you can live with some bed wetting if that’s the offense you’re gonna get. Fuck, they’re gonna give Gus 6×6, and he doesn’t do shit like this.

– Crow didn’t get hurt and looked good doing it.

Dennis Gilbert getting into a preseason fight was as unnecessary as a Betamax of your own conception.

– Based on Pat and Eddie’s coverage, we can safely state that the scoreboard was the best off-season acquisition.

– Maatta and Seabrook were paired tonight. They looked very good against the Grand Rapid Griffins, which was a serious question going into the game, which is exactly what you want from your presumptive second pairing.

Everyone else is either a lock on this team or AHL fodder, though I’d be surprised if Gilbert didn’t come up for air at some point.

Onward.

Booze du Jour: Bulleit bourbon and Miller High Life

Line of the Night: “Unlike the NFL, these guys wanna get their reps.” –Eddie O in mid-season form on players playing in the preseason.

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