Rather than beat the living piss out of a horse that’s been dead since Nikolai Khabibulan signed with Edmonton the first day of free agency, I’ll turn my head and let the meatheads sort it out amongst their thick skulls.
Another pressing matter has been the absence of Kris Versteeg over the past five games for an offense that has generated a mere one goal in two of its last three outings. While the Blackhawks still have been pelting opposing goaltenders with shot after shot, Versteeg hasn’t been the one firing of late.
During the roadtrip, Versteeg hasn’t scored a point, and he went the first four games of the trip without a single shot on goal until getting two on Roberto Luongo in the ‘Hawks 5-1 loss to Vancouver. Versteeg has been playing on the checking line with John Madden and Dustin Byfuglien. Save for the occasional Byfuglien spurts and Madden being in the right place at the right time, Versteeg is expected to at least put shots on net to help generate some second chances at the goal.
Whether it’s the pressure to live up to that responsibility getting to him or something else, Versteeg hasn’t done it lately. His propensity to hold onto the puck too long rather than get it deep in the zone has effected not only his, but the Blackhawks’ scoring chances as well.
This is Versteeg’s second five-plus game scoreless streak of the season, and he’s gone scoreless in at least three-game bunches in three other stretches. This for a guy coming off a nine-game scoring streak. At the very least, his consistency hasn’t been something to brag about.
There’s no question Versteeg has some slick puck-handling skills (see: this goal here), but it hasn’t been working for him. Rather than compensate for his slump, Versteeg is attempting to do too much with the puck and ends up getting himself in trouble. That’s not good for anybody.
Hopefully he can snap out of it tonight against Edmonton.
Kesler is just a wee Ladd
I think it’s hilarious Ryan Kesler can even bring himself to talk shit after the ass-beating Andrew Ladd served him Saturday in Vancouver. Not only did Ladd make the bastard bleed with a single left jab to the eye, Kesler wussed out of the fight by lifting Ladd’s leg and taking him down. I wouldn’t go so far to say Kesler is a “coward.” More like pussy. That fits better.
Edmonton is dog shit, Huet gets start
Losing 10 games in a row is difficult to do in any sport. In hockey, it’s just plain ridiculous. You can’t get lucky even once over a week and half worth of games? The Oilers are all sorts of suck right now and are the perfect bounce-back team for the ‘Hawks after losing two out of their last three games.
Dustin Penner seems to be the only one worth a shit with 43 points on the campaign to date. With that being said, I’d like to know how in the hell two centers on two different lines can have -23 ratings. That distinction goes to Patrick O’Sullivan and Shawn Horcoff. I’m assuming Edmonton’s -39 goal differential has something to do with that.
Cristobal Huet will be the ‘Hawks netminder hoping to stop the Oilers from improving on that mark. Huet gets the start after… you know what, screw it. Read about it, yet again, here if you need to. And if you are one of those people who feel the need — for whatever reason — to take sides in a debate over two above-average goalies wearing the same goddamn sweater, then read Mike Kiley’s post from yesterday.
Anyway, I’m predicting a field day for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane tonight — just because I have a feeling. Either way, this is a game the Blackhawks need to and should win without any questions asked.
City Roadwatch at Boundary in Wicker Park
I’ll be the short blonde guy drinking at the Boundary tonight for the Blackhawks City Roadwatch. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m. and the Boundary is located roughly two blocks from my house, so I’ll just stumble home. If you’d like to join in, or if you plan on being there, let me know! GO ‘HAWKS!