Blackhawks Rookies Shine, but Flyers Come Out On Top

The beauty of professional sports is you can always expect the unexpected. Against the Flyers, three young Rockford Ice Hogs were pressed into action due to injuries, and they played well. Two of three were among the best players for the Hawks, which was a pleasant surprise.

Thursday night, the problem was the performance from veteran Blackhawks players, as some put forth a part-time effort. When the final horn sounded in Philadelphia, the better team won, as the Flyers edged the Blackhawks 5-4.

In some ways the score was flattering to the Hawks. Except for the beginning of the opening period and stretches in the third frame, the Flyers controlled most of the action. The shots on goal stat rang true as the Hawks were outshot 46-34.

The best performances of the night came from the recent additions to the Hawks’ roster.

It was another nice game by winger Jimmy Hayes, who scored on a pretty tip-in off a great pass from Jamal Mayers. For most of the contest, the Frolik-Mayers-Hayes combo was the best line for the Blackhawks. That’s a troubling statement, because if the fourth line is your best line, some high-priced talent isn’t doing much.

Rookie winger Andrew Shaw had a nice debut. Shaw got the worse of it in a staged fight in the early moments of the contest. He showed up and came away with some stitches, but wasn’t seriously hurt. In the second period, Shaw bagged his first NHL goal on a slick move. Shaw was credited with four shots on goal and four hits. He did a very good job for a 20-year-old in his first NHL game.

Recent call-up Dylan Olsen had a solid performance on defense. He was credited with three shots and three blocks while playing 9:48. Olsen didn’t look out of place.

Those who were not expected to be solid contributors were and others who were counted on fell short of expectations.

Ray Emery wasn’t bad in goal, but he had issues with rebound control and trouble moving from side to side. Ilya Bryzgalov had a similar night; both goaltenders should have saved a couple of shots that beat them.

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Follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia

The link below is for a Sirius/XM Radio interview with Jamie Shalley on Jan. 5.

12-01-05 Al

Next article will be out on Monday.

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  1. Grinder says:

    >Al, as always, very astute observations
    >Time to put the heat on SBow, Q, and Kane
    >Mayers is the only pickup that has been a winner so far
    >Three dead roster spots on D
    >Kane is not the answer at center and Bolland is a far cry from the “Playoff Bolland”
    >Both players get consistently slaughtered in the faceoff circle — wonder what Bolland’s pct is when taking a faceoff in his own zone on the PK?
    >To me, centers and D-men control the play and the Hawks have been getting little from their #2 and #3 centers for quite some time
    >I think Qs falling on deaf ears with the players that have been with him for quite some time — Kane is at a stage in his career where he should be challenged nightly to be one of the hardest working players on the ice — yet Kane dogs it far too much for his talent
    >SBow appears to draft very well — and that is a huge positive, but the Hawks need a center and D-man now
    >Al, what would you do?

  2. Al Cimaglia says:

    Al, what would you do?

    I would call Bob Murray and see what the price tag is for Beauchemin. If it is out of sight I move on but Bowman has said …even today, they need help on 3rd pairing.

    A player who has won the Cup and can play on special teams fits the bill. Beuchemin could play 15 mins a night or 25+ if needed.

    Then I probably try for Jokinen from Car.

    First Bowman would have to admit thte Hawks don’t have a top six left wing in the system and then go after Jokinen and pay him for two more years. He is more a set up guy than a goal scorer but he would help.

    Next I go out and fine a Jamal Mayers like player but 10 yrs younger… Who can skate and check.