[NOTE: I switched with Andi to do this recap. Second to my little Satan worshipping stint in the late 90s, the worst decision in my life.]
The first 5 minutes were all Chicago (as was the majority of the game). The home team came out firing on all cylinders - and from anywhere and everywhere, creating chances like
Detroit Iwo Jima makes cars.
The Avs got a good chance as the first line went to work and O`Reilly picked off a blind pass and ripped a slap shot that was gloved by the Blackhawks young netminder. Play balanced out a bit after that strong shift, but not for long. Everything went to hell as Mike Haynes was wishing Patrick Sharp a happy 32nd birthday, #10 beat Hejda in a foot race from the blueline and then beat Giguere with a wrist shot. 1-0 Chicago. That blistering Chicago D grabbed both assists on the play (Seabrook, Keith).
The Avs did a great job killing off a power play to keep it 1-0, but Blackhawks' first line struck again when captain Toews followed Hossa to the net, picked up the loose change, and cashed it in to make it 2-0 Chicago.
Moments later, Matt Duchene stepped off the bench a bit early and put the Avs down a man for the second time in the period, and then for the second time in the period Patrick Sharp scored. His 20th of the year. 3-0 Blackhawks. 3 goals on 12 shots. No softies either. Just plain old dominance. Avs had 5 shots. ~ sigh ~
27 seconds into the 2nd period, Patrick Sharp netted a birthday hat trick. 4-0 Chicago, and the Avs just have no answers. And I want to stop watching and recapping, but I'm a masochist so let's keep the fun train a'rollin'!
The next 5 minutes the Avs employed a bold technique and decided to ice the puck as often and as quickly as possible. In this, they were quite successful.
Here's a play indicative of just how dominant the Blackhawks were tonight: O`Reilly strips Kane of the puck, launches Duchene on a breakaway, the Avs' top scorer has his stick lifted just as he goes to shoot by birthday boy Patrick Sharp, who then sent the puck up the ice to Toews who out-waited Giguere to make it 5-0 not even halfway through the game. The Blackhawks' top line - scratch that - Patrick Sharp is killing the Avs all by his lonesome. You may be wondering why Giguere hasn't been pulled by this point, well, the 5 Chicago tallies were all quality. Not sure even Lord Jimmy Howard himself wearing Chris Osgood's jock strap could have done much to slow the bastardly Blackhawks tonight.
Paul Stastny got angry with the announcement of the 5th Chicago goal, so he scratched and clawed his way to a goal to get the Avs on the board. 5-1 Hawks. The Avs went on the PP shortly after but just looked silly compared to the Blackhawks at any strength.
Patrick Kane's line then decided that one line shouldn't get all the fun and so Kane beat Wilson to the front of the net then sent a pass back across to Handzus who beat his man to the net and, well, you get the idea. 6-1 Blackhawks. Versteeg then made it 7-1. Forget stopping the bleeding. Let it flow. Open another vein and just fucking end it.
My masochism has boundaries. Suffice it to say, some other shit happened. Don't torture yourself by finding out what.
Ah, to hell with it. I'm a super fan. I'm watching this shit storm of shitty shit.
Varly started the third and was awesome (even denied a Toews would-be hat trick breakaway).
Wilson crushed Handzus which was awesome.
Brilliantly perfect pass by Parenteau to Landeskog rushing up ice netted the Avs' Cap'n his 11th of the season, which was awesome. 7-2 Chicago.
The game finally ended, which was awesome.
MHH Stick Taps
- O`Reilly - Duchene - MacKinnon
- Landeskog - Stastny - Parenteau
- McGinn - Mitchell - Talbot
- McLeod - Cliche - Bordeleau
- Johnson - Hejda
- Benoit - Wilson
- Barrie - Guenin
- The Avs welcomed back Ryan Wilson after 22 missed games, shifting Cory Sarich to the press box. 8 healthy defensemen vying for ice time is a good thing for the Avs. Here's hoping Wilson can help shore up that middle pairing as opposed to more nights like tonight….
- Giguere took a puck hard off his mask around his chin late in the 2nd. He was shaken up but stayed in. [Jiggy, that was your chance bro - Take it! Get the hell outta there while you can! RUN!! GIT TO DA CHOPPA!!]
- It may have seemed like the puck was magically following Blackhawks or falling on to their sticks all night, but Chicago was beating the Avs to the puck all night long, everywhere, and in every way. The Blackhawks played this game as if their lives depended on it. The Avs were D.O.A.
Chance to put some distance between themselves and a central division team that's chasing them: Avs vs Jets in Denver, Sunday, December 29th, 6pm Mountain.