Thankfully last night’s game was at the United Center and not Toronto. After pulling ahead 3-1 in the first, it would have been total shutdown on the road, but a funny thing happened on the way to getting two points last night. The Chicago Blackhawks talent finally dug deep and fought for a huge win and two big points at home last night against one of the few teams that are having a worse month than they are. The Toronto Maple Leafs finished February 1-9-1!
Ray Emery saved the day tonight though! He stopped 23 of 24 shots with the only one getting by him with 2 seconds left. Joel Quennville may finally be getting over Corey Crawford and his nightly Dr Jeykell Mr. Hyde routine! He let a goal in with less than a minute into the game, and gave up 3 goals in 10 shot in the first period before getting to enjoy the rest of the game from one of the best seats in the U.C.! Emery seems to be sharper more consistently than Crawford this season, and also seems to be more intense. I enjoy his little league temper spats after allowing goals. With the Hawks in desperation mode, they cannot afford 3 goal periods from their goaltending. Emery seems to be the goalie that Coach needs to ride for at least the next week!
Offensively, Patrick Kane may be back from his season long funk! Kaner scored his second goal in as many games and had a very strong puck possession game. Marian Hossa scored twice last night, including the goal to put the Hawks up 4-3 in the second after Kane had tied it. Hossa who seems to have a nose for empty-netters got the game winner to put the Hawks up 5-3 in the last minute of the game. Hossa and Kane have more than enough talent to carry the Blackhawks team on their back especially when the Captain is not on the ice.
Reports last night were that Jonathon Towes will not be playing in the Hawks upcoming road contest in Ottawa. I HATE concussions! The upper-body injury seems to be dragging longer than anyone would hope for and at the worst time of the year. We need the Captain on the ice for all the intangiables that he brings nightly! It will be an extremely tough and uphill battle to the playoffs if he doesn’t return soon! GET BETTER SOON!!!!!
The rookies made their presence felt last night! Andrew Shaw returned from exile and scored the first goal. Marcus Kruger tipped in a Nick Leddy shot late in the first to give the Hawks some momentum going into the first intermission and getting the score to 3-2. The BIG presence was felt when Brandon Bolig got into his first NHL fight. All in all the Hawks rookies all did what they were brought up to do, create havok, add to the scoring, and throw some punches!!!
The story tonight for me is Emery! He saved the day for one night, and hopefully/finally gets Coach Q endorsement for a run of games to end this season. Every point is critical and you have to have a consistent back stop if not a hot one to get into the playoffs but also to succeed in them.
Good comeback win from a team with struggling confidence tonight! Huge points and now off to Ottawa Friday night! The Hawks have been very streaky lately, lets get on a big winning streak!!
Lets go Hawks!!