Twitter me this, Twitter me that: Is anyone still missing Martin Havlat?
In Havlat’s first regular-season return to Chicago since his off-season of deprecating tweets toward the Four Feathers, the Blackhawks held Marty to a mere shot on goal and decreased his plus/minus to a frightening minus-10 while keeping the Minnesota Wild winless on the road with a 3-1 victory.
Once again, the game was nothing that would blow your skirt up. The Blackhawks committed eight penalties, lost 33 of 50 face-offs and looked like dog shit on the power play. However, two beautiful things came out of this game.
Patrick Kane gave us another “Holy shit!” moment, sniping the puck through about six inches of space to beat Niklas Backstrom and putting the ‘Hawks head 3-1. This was after it appeared Andrew Burnette had secured the puck and was looking for an outlet pass. But Kane snuck in, pokechecked it away and proceeded to survey the landscape behind the net. With nothing developing, Kane skated right and in one motion spun and wristed it into the net. Here, just watch it:
Cristobal Huet is finally getting support from the home crowd after two solid performance, albeit against two of the worst teams in the NHL. No more sarcastic cheers when corralling a dump-in, no more booing in pregame intros, no more jackasses chanting Antti Niemi’s name. Huet hasn’t allowed a full-strength goal in 129 minutes and 33 seconds. He’s a solid, above-average NHL goaltender and I couldn’t be happier that he’s finally getting some support and the fans are appreciating his recent play.
Dave Bolland and Troy Bouwer netted the first two goals of the game, scoring on rebounds. And despite Burnette’s power-play goal, the ‘Hawks penalty kill unit went 6-for-7 and looked solid.
Along those lines, I’d like to note that I’m developing a man-crush on John Madden. The guy is just solid. He’s not flashy, he’s not going to out-skate you and his name won’t pop up in the stat sheet very often. He’s smart and gives his left nut on every shift. I love him. There, I said it.
I’m still confident Huet will make his third straight start Thursday night in Nashville. The two-day layoff and fact Huet has the Preds’ number thus far makes it a logical choice for Coach Q. Plus, Niemi will get a home start Friday, which Q has mentioned is important for Niemi.
By the way, can you believe we’re playing f-ing Nashville AGAIN? Whatever. Go ‘Hawks.