Well that felt pretty damn good didn’t it? The Blackhawks have a long way to go but it sure was nice to pick up a victory. As I said yesterday, this was the game I fully expected the Hawks to lose, so of course they win. They won the game in the first 4 minutes of the game and played ok the remaining 56. The big boys came to play and the Blackhawks got a few breaks go there way. Had the the referee not blown the whistle and the Rangers got a another goal in the 2nd, the outcome could have changed. But when you are on a 9 game winning streak you need a little help, like an early whistle, a backup goalie and a opponent with a weak power play. It isn’t text book but I will take it!
- It is no fluke that when Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa all show up on the score sheet the Blackhawks win. It was great to watch the Hawks’ stars be stars. Toews had the best game out of this group with a huge penalty shot conversion and a great pass to Sharp that sprung him on a breakaway.
- John Scott actually showed he is not completely useless by screening Marty Biron on Nick Leddy’s goal. It didn’t take him very long to erase his good play by taking a very stupid double minor. How do you blow 3 goal leads? By doing stupid things like that.
- Can we please keep the Duncan Keith from last night? He was all over the ice and had a very active stick. Why can’t he do this all the time? Or at least a majority of the time.
- I think Brent Seabrook and Nick Leddy should stay together for awhile. Leddy has looked much better paired up with Seabs.
- The power play still sucks! The Blackhawks had a 5 on 3, in which one of the Rangers lost his stick and Patrick Kane still wants to make the cute pass. Shoot the puck!!
- Corey Crawford had his best game in quite sometime. When Crow stays deep in the crease and lets the puck come to him he is a much better goalie. I hope he realizes this and continues to play like he did last night. His rebound control was better in the 3rd period when it had to be, so that is encouraging.
- Viktor Stalberg could have prevented the 2nd Rangers goal by just chipping the puck out of the zone. For some unknown reason he skated the puck back towards his own goal line and turned the puck over. You have to be smarter in you own zone than that!
My Blackhawks Players of the Game
In a move almost as shocking as naming Tazer the TOTG the other day, I am naming the Blackhawks penalty kill the players of the game today! If you were to tell me that the Hawks would take 8 minors yesterday morning I would have told you they were going to lose by a lot. The Hawks played with fire all night long, even though some of the 8 minors were questionable, and were able to survive. The PK did a wonderful job holding the Rangers to 0 for 7 on the power playing and giving up just 5 shots on goal. The forwards did a much better job of taking away space and getting in passing lanes.
My Turd of the Game
It is time to put an end to the Andrew Shaw experiment. He was a nice story for about a week but he is proving on a nightly basis that he needs more seasoning in Rockford. He is a turnover machine and a liability with the puck. He fell asleep on defense last night and it lead to the Rangers first goal. He took a lazy holding penalty because he stopped moving his feet. He was the only Blackhawk to finish the game a -2. I think Shaw will be a nice fit with the Hawks down the road but he needs to gain some more experience first.
The Blackhawks get rewarded with a game in Columbus tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully back to back wins and some momentum will ensue. I will be going to the Rivers Casino tomorrow for the Blackhawks Official Road Watch. If you come on out stop by and say hi.