one of my favorite cliched sports phrases is "You know, these teams don't like each other very much." having seen the extremely chippy Blackhawks first game against the St. Louis Blues this season (in person), and their first road game against them on Saturday (online)...well, it's all I can think of. I already posted the penalty minutes summary, and a screenshot of the five (!) fights that ended up on hockeyfights.com. (9 fighting majors, so it's more like 4.5 fights?) this game also was the front page story there to start the week (the first time I've seen the Hawks mentioned in one since I started looking at that site, I think).
Saturday, I didn't find an online feed till more than halfway through the first period, and a lot had happened by then. Tomas Kopecky, who Hawks fans have been complaining about (as "useless") scored the first goal. and the second. his first 2-goal game...and he'd only had one prior goal this season. (he almost got a hat trick later. Blackhawks haven't had one this season, and it'd have been hilarious if he was first.) you may have seen real game recaps, so you know about how the Hawks got tons of penalties and the refs missed some on the Blues. Blues were on a seven-minute power play. Blackhawks got 63 penalty minutes in this game (they'd had 436 total in the previous 40 games). Patrick Sharp was knocked down in a possibly clean hit...no penalty. he came back later to score two goals himself, the best revenge. Brent Sopel, also not a favorite of Hawks fans this year, was very useful in the game. a Blues fan taunted him--I don't have a shot of that, but I tried to keep up with the fights. it was exhausting.
oh yeah, the Jonathan Toews vs. David Backes fight, right near the beginning of the second. I'm not sure what that was about, but...well, good for Toews for standing up for himself and "sending a message" and all, but he didn't do well and let's hope he doesn't make a habit of it. I had to check--it was only his second NHL fight, the first in Nov. 2008 vs. a Phoenix Coyotes player. the Toews-Backes fight page is here (once again I had trouble embedding the YouTube version); all 5 fights have both the Blues and Hawks broadcast versions on hockeyfights.com.
meanwhile, on Twitter, some random guy (not a follower, I found this searching #Blackhawks) who probably doesn't watch hockey much happened to catch THAT game...
Saturday was the first game for the Blues' new coach Davis Payne. I'm not even going to count this in my bad headlines series because it's just so obvious:
in other news--I totally missed Zenon Konopka's birthday. he's less known as a forward for the Tampa Bay Lightning and more for being the NHL fight leader so far this season, as chronicled on his hockeyfights.com fight card. but on his 29th birthday, 1/2/10, in a game that was ultimately a 3-1 defeat of the Penguins, he scored his second goal of the season (and first goals since 2005...!)
The Hockey News recently posted Getting To Know: Zenon Konopka, in which I learned...his father is Zenon Sr.! and he thinks the Oakland Raiders have the best uniform in any sport. and chocolate chip cookie dough (yes!) is his favorite ice cream flavor. and he tells of the time he got pelted with beer bottles and fish heads (uh, at a game). I don't exactly have a high opinion of the Lightning after seeing them play in Chicago, but that was a fun read, anyway.
I have to quote this post at Sabre Kollisions: "Do you think Zenon gets depressed when he Googles himself and auto fill kicks in with 'girl of the 21st century?'" (I was not aware of this. yep, it's true. it was a movie)
oh, and did you know the Blackhawks' Antti Niemi has the same birthday (Aug. 29) as me? you do now, because I found it out recently and will post it many more times to come.