Thursday, November 12, 2009
Notes on Chicago Blackhawks' shootout win over the Avalanche
Several things to follow up on after yet another shootout with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night:The book on Craig Anderson is to go high on him, as he takes away the bottom of the net with the best of them. Patrick Kane and Cam Barker did it in-game, but then Jonathan Toews and Kane did not in the shootout. Toews scored, Kane did not. Patrick Sharp said he wasn't thinking of that when he went in on Anderson, and I'm not sure any goalie would have stopped his shot.
Joel Quenneville said he went with Sharp, who has struggled with breakaways, because he had a nice move in practice on Tuesday when each skater on the team took a penalty shot on the Hawks' goaltenders.
I believe Barker is moving up the list of good offensive defensemen. Everyone knows he has an accurate shot but now people are seeing some of his moves. His rush to tie the game was a five-star effort, and expect him to enter that second tier of skaters when shootouts go past three skaters. He's always good in practice when they run that drill.
Colin Fraser says he's not "angry" and feels he's playing OK, but wants to contribute more, hence dropping the gloves twice Wednesday after having a bout last Friday. Last Friday he asked Matt Hendricks to "go." To be polite, Hendricks asked him Wednesday night if he wanted to fight. At least there's civility before the savageness. Fraser said there is some history with Cody McLeod, who he fought Wednesday as well.
"We've had some battles in other places before. I know him well," Fraser said.
Did you notice, with his assist on Wednesday, Sharp has nine helpers this season? That's second on the team and another small indication that he can handle center just fine. He is a goal scorer, but I believe can be a playmaker there also. From the Hawks' roster, I still believe he should be the one to replace Dave Bolland as second-line center. It does take away some of his sniper abilities, though.
Here's a good one from the stat sheet that Toews clued me in on after the game: On Barker's tying goal, Fraser got an assist, but didn't get a plus-1 on it. Why? They were five-on-five, so he should have, right? Not if he wasn't on the ice. Fraser got the assist but was off the ice before Barker scored. Toews then jumped on for Fraser.
"I stole Fraser's plus," Toews said.
Another reason that statistic can be misleading.