Last night was a huge rebound win for the Blackhawks after getting knocked around in St. Louis on Tuesday. The Blackhawks still got knocked around a bit, getting out hit 40-20, but the Hawks led in the only stat that matters, goals. The Hawks had many chances to pack it in and give up but they kept fighting and got themselves 2 points. This game was pretty boring at stretches but the 3rd period made up for that. Over the past two years the Hawks have had a bad habit of giving up goals in the final minute of the period. This happened again in the first period when the Rangers scored their first goal at 19:13. That goal seemed to suck the life out of the United Center. With Henrik Lundqvist in net you can not afford to fall behind the Rangers. To the Blackhawks credit they kept coming at the Rangers all night.
- Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa all on the score and the Hawks win. Funny how that works.
- Speaking of Kane, he is playing his best hockey of the season. His best stretches have come when he has been playing center. As good as he has been the Rangers first goal is on him. Kane was very lazy getting to the puck at the blue line after an even lazier effort by Viktor Stalberg. Kane did a fly by on the puck and had it taken away from and it ended up behind Ray Emery.
- Marcus Kruger had a rough shift that lead to the Rangers second goal. He couldn’t control the puck and clear it then took a cat nap by forgetting to cover Brandon Prust. Thankfully this hasn’t happened too much with Kruger who has been solid all season long.
- Marian Hossa was in beast mode all night long. He nearly got the Hawks on the board in the opening seconds of the game but Lundqvist made a big save. His touch pass assist on Patrick Sharp’s game tying goal was a thing of beauty.
- I’m done with the Brandon Bollig experiment. It’s never a good thing with you have more time in the penalty box than on the ice. Q has to have at least one player dressed that serves no purpose every game. I give the kid credit for trying to be a fire starter with his fights but he has been a punching bag. Mike Rupp gave it to him pretty good last night. The Hawks have Jamal Mayers, Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes to be physical. Can Q play someone who might have something to offer to the game besides a 5 minute fighting major?
- A lot of people have said that Nick Leddy has no business being on the 2nd pairing all season. It looks like its Niklas Hjalmarrson who is a 3rd pairing defenseman and not Leddy. Since Hjammer has been out Leddy has played his best hockey of the year especially when paired with Brent Seasbrook. He has done a solid job since being teamed up with new comer Johnny Oduya. Hjalmarrson looked pretty good with Dylan Olsen. It is a shame we are paying him so much money to be a solid 5th defenseman. I got to believe Stan Bowman will try and shop Hjammer in the offseason.
My Blackhawks Player of the Game
Johnny Oduya had himself a nice game last night. He had a great move at the point to create some space and a lane to get the puck to the net. Andrew Shaw was in the right place to tap home the Blackhawks first goal. I hope the rest of the defensemen were taking notes on how to create your own lanes as opposed to shooting right into the opponent’s shins. Duncan Keith, I’m looking at you. Oduya wasn’t finished by scoring the the go ahead goal in the 3rd period. He had time and space to rip a shot over the glove of Henrik Lundqvist. It was a pretty soft goal for Lundqvist to give up, but no complaints here. Oduya has been a pretty good acquisition and is doing a nice job stabilizing the back end.
My Turd of the Game
Going to give this to John Scott, mainly because this is the last time I can name him the TOTG. He really didn’t do much of anything last night, which is what he does. I wish him all the best but I am glad he is wasting a roster spot on someone else’s team and not here in Chicago anymore.