Hockey Headlines

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Live Blog: Back-To-Back For Both

This game could be a crazy game of two teams looking for wins. Chicago got absolutely stonewalled by Toronto's James Reimer last night while Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec did a little stonewalling of his own against the New York Rangers. These two Central Division rivals are just two points apart - a scenario no one expected at this juncture of the season. Chicago has played well below expectations while Winnipeg has been slugging out some wins against teams that looked better on paper. Who will win this battle of teams that played last night? Let's live-blog this one and find out!

FIRST PERIOD

  • I didn't bother watching the pregame for this game because I was watching The Walking Dead. I'll be honest: I'll be flipping back and forth between the game and the new episode of the zombie drama. If these two teams come out tired, it might be the same on both channels.
  • What exactly happened in the NHL today? Carolina beat Los Angeles and Buffalo beat Detroit. Dogs and cats living together. CHAOS! 
  • Oh great. Brian Engblom is on the Jets broadcast tonight. I might be flipping over to WGN. I'll take Eddie Olczyk over the tandem of Beyak-Engblom any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Hey, it's Sunday! 
  • Apparently the Jets have the NHL's best road penalty killing. Could have fooled me, but the numbers don't lie. 
  • Dennis Beyak just let us know that Michael Hutchinson will start for the Jets tonight. Pavelec, who was the key in the victory last night, gets the night off.
  • Marian Hossa is being celebrated as he broke 1000 points in his career. Congrats to Hossa. That's a pretty solid accomplishment. 
  • Chicago is apparently honouring half of the enlisted US Army, Air Force, and Navy tonight. I respect that. Although half of the Armed Forces seems a little much. 
  • No offence to Kevin Lewis, but the Jets have only scored more than five goals once this season, and they've only scored one goal in their last two games. One Jet scoring five? Not happening. Ever. 
  • WINNIPEG SCORES! Holy cow, the Jets came out flying, and Michael Frolik puts it behind the scrambling Cory Crawford. 1-0 WINNIPEG!
  • This Ladd-Little-Frolik line might be finding some chemistry.
  • Richards almost has Hutchinson going the wrong way. Good thing Hutchinson is 6'3". 
  • Niklas Hjalmarsson is wearing a visor after taking a deflected puck to the face last night. Beauty shiner on the kid! 
  • Jets have about 13 people in the crease. I see two defencemen, two forwards, an equipment manager, a goalie, Charlie Huddy might be in there, and there's a couple of undressed players in that scrum. Somehow, Hutch makes the save. 
  • It looks like Dustin Byfuglien is enjoying himself tonight. 
  • Patrick Kane's hand-eye coordination is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. 
  • Bogosian's one-timer just fell Johnny Oduya. Keep an eye on Oduya. He'll be back, but that one looked like it stung. Badly.
  • Commercial break = The Walking Dead. It appears they're in some sort of hospital with a bunch of new people. WHERE'S RICK?!?
  • I'm not one to question the Q-Stache, especially in Movember, but I don't like these new line combinations Chicago is using. They seem less productive.
  • Keep an eye on Dustin Byfuglien and Duncan Keith tonight. That's gonna be one helluva battle all night long.
  • Adam Lowry is heading off for cross-checking. Lowry just planted Versteeg with a horizontal stick to the numbers. 
  • Chicago's power-play is 16th. Again, I don't like the line combo out there. 
  • Brad Richards playing the point is just dumb. And he just gave the puck away at the blue line. Wow. Good luck this season, Richards. 
  • I'm almost certain Dennis Beyak is sitting somewhere out on Madison Avenue. He's made three mistakes on Jets' player numbers. Y'know, the team he's paid to follow. 
  • Brandon Saad with a slightly dangerous hit on Toby Enstrom. The Jets will be on the power-play once the commercials are over! 
  • Whoever this blond girl is on The Walking Dead, she's the new Rick, I assume. Only less uber-violent. She's like Rick from Season One.
  • Wait, it's Beth from Seasons 2 and 4!
  • Her name is Beth Greene, and she's played by Emily Kinney.
  • Jets' power-play ends with no news.
  • Kane and Thorburn on a two-on-two. I'll give you two guesses what Kane did on that play.
  • Wow, Patrick Sharp with a dangerous hit on Mark Stuart. It was shoulder-on-shoulder, but Stuart lost his balance when Sharp hit him prior to getting to the puck. That'll be two for interference. 
  • The Jets are playing like a tired team right now. They're vulnerable. 
  • The Jets must be tired. Maurice rolled out Frolik-Lowry-Thorburn for the last 20 seconds of the power-play. Yes, THORBURN. I rolled my eyes too. 
  • The Blackhawks look like they're content going into the intermission down a goal. I'm not sure they're even worried about that early goal at this point. 
  • Marcus Kruger is one of those players that makes your team so much better. When he hits free agency, he should get a decent pay day. Again.
  • At the end of one period, Winnipeg leads Chicago 1-0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

  • It's all The Walking Dead for this intermission. Don't expect any hockey chatter. 
  • Ok, I lied. There's a commercial.
  • In fantasy hockey news, I lead my league. Again. And I'm 12-0-3 this week. 
  • Holy cow. Calgary stomped all over the Canadiens in Montreal. Did anyone foresee the Flames being this good? I know EA Sports didn't. Nice prediction, EA Sports.
  • Next week's The Walking Dead looks like it's gonna be bloody. And Beth's character development is getting good.

SECOND PERIOD

  • Listening to Brian Engblom talk about hockey is some of the worst TV that TV has ever seen. Seriously.
  • Duncan Keith can go on a tear anytime now. He's on my fantasy team. Him and Seabrook. Those two can explode for points, please. 
  • Remember when David Rundblad was drafted 17th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft? Yeah, me neither. Heck of a career to be invisible for six years.
  • If I'm Patrick Kane, I'd punch Brad Richards in the face every time he looked at me after I shot the puck. Like does he think he's better than me? Get out of here. Has-been.
  • Toby Enstrom: handling pucks like grenades since 2011. 
  • Mathieu Perreault is still looking for his first goal with the Jets. Please don't have an Eric Fehr-like season, Mathieu. Pretty please. 
  • Did Michael Frolik play last night in New York? He seems to be the only guy on the ice with any sort of energy tonight. 
  • Wow. Bogosian just drove Kruger into the boards. No call. 
  • Jacob Trouba is a dirty hooker as he gets the stick up on Toews. To the PK! 
  • Chicago has had 2:30 of power-play time. Zero shots recorded. Yikes. 
  • The Hawks found iron once more behind Hutch. Swollen posts tonight for the Jets. 
  • Why is Seabrook, a right-handed shot, play the right side of the umbrella while Richards, a left-handed shot, play the top? Switch those two to open up the one-timers from the point. C'mon, Quenneville!
  • I have to credit the Jets - no Hawks have taken a shot unfettered. Whether a block or a hit, the Jets are playing some solid defence.
  • Great pressure by the Blackhawks here. It just feels like the dam is about to burst.
  • Final minute of a rather uneventful second period. 
  • Ok, that's enough. I'm flipping over for the last 20 minutes of The Talking Dead.

SECOND INTERMISSION

  • I've been watching The Talking Dead, but Ed Tait is basically talking about how terrible the Jets' power-play is. And it's pretty bad. 
  • Is there some petition somewhere that asks for Brian Engblom to be removed off TV? If not, I'll start one. I'm pretty certain I could have 10,000 signatures quickly. 
  •  The Jets had better play hard. They have a league-low three third-period goals. Yikes. Don't expect this team to rally if down.

THIRD PERIOD

  • Hutchinson will have to be sharp. The Blackhawks look like they have the legs to start this period. We'll see how it ends. 
  • Ok, this game is starting to bore me. I knew these teams would be tired, but neither team seems interested in exerting an effort to win. They're shooting, but that's about it. 
  • The Jets have 25 blocked shots already. I mentioned it above, but the Jets aren't allowing a lot of rubber to be sent Hutchinson's way. 
  • It's funny to think that Johnny Oduya played with New Jersey, and was part of the trade that brought Kovalchuk to the Devils. And then the Jets traded him for draft picks.
  • The Jets get Nashville and then Pittsburgh on their two-game home stand. Ouch.
  • Brian Engblom has a man-crush on Toby Enstrom. I'm sure of it. 
  • The Jets are living on the edge right now. Tired players all over the place.
  • The Blackhawks are starting to take over. This could be a decent finish. 
  • Toews lost his helmet. Everyone take a drink! Oh, that's not a drinking game? Seems like it should be. He loses it almost every game. 
  • The Blackhawks moved the puck about ten feet six times. I'm pretty sure that's not how you make a line change when you have puck possession.
  • Mark Scheifele needs to get that gorilla off his back. Maybe an empty-netter is what he needs. Maurice is sending a message to Quenneville as you read this. 
  • Crawford is on the bench. He heard they had cake.
  • Wow. Two 1-0 games, and two back-to-back shutouts - the first time the Winnipeg Jets v2.0 have done that! Michael Hutchinson picks up his first career NHL shutout!
This game wasn't pretty by any means. Chicago has now been lost consecutive games to the Leafs and Jets, and I imagine that Joel Quenneville will be watching a lot of video to find out why the Blackhawks are suffering through a horrible scoring slump. The Jets come home with seven of eight points after beating the New York Islanders, losing in a shootout to the Devils, and closing out the road trip with wins against the Rangers and Blackhawks.

Looks like this Central Division will be a little tighter than everyone thought as Chicago and Winnipeg are now tied with 13 points each. And in the Central Division, every point counts, especially when you take them from others within the division!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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