Utter disgust to pure elation in 40:26: Hawks win 6-5

By Jeffrey Bartl

I’m still in shock. I sat in my seat in Section 326 cursing every single move of every single Blackhawk. For a second, I thought I was watching the Rockford Icehogs being destroyed by a much superior, much more talented Calgary Flames team.

I had no idea I would eventually watch the Blackhawks match an NHL record.

Cristobal Huet got pulled in favor of Antti Niemi (more on this later) after giving up three goals. Then Niemi let a soft dump-in trickle through his legs after getting beat on another goal high-glove side (more on this later, too). It was 5-0 before I realized they dropped the goddamn puck.

Then John Madden scored. Then I smoked two cigarettes. Then Patrick Kane scored on a beautiful wrister. Then Dustin Byfuglien scored. Then I started to believe. Then Dave Bolland scored, bad back and all. Then Patrick Sharp scored on a deflection, and this Sharp Dressed Man got excited, along with over 20,000 other people — except for the Flamer fans sitting a couple rows in front and to the left of me.

When Brent Seabrook scored the winner 26 seconds into overtime, I lost it. It’s only worth two points in the standings, but you can’t put a value on such an improbable comeback against one of the Western Conference’s best teams. The ‘Hawks’ five-goal comeback matched an NHL record for biggest deficit overcome.

Eleven — count that, 11 — Blackhawks made it onto the score sheet. It’s really, really hard to talk about all the horrible shit that happened in that game after the amount of heart the ‘Hawks left on the ice to win that game. But, of course, I’m going to anyway.

The United Center turned into Wrigley Field II after Huet gave up three goals in a 53-second span. Yes, the puck went in the net a lot. Yes, it really sucked. But any educated fan could see Huet didn’t have much of a chance on any of those goals.

At 6:17, Dustin Boyd corralled a lose puck in the slot with no one near him and a clear shot from about five feet away and fired it past Huet. No chance.

At 6:48, Eric Nystrom had a deflected shot bounce right on his tape, beating an understandably out-of-position Huet for a 2-0 lead. No chance.

At 7:07, Jerome Iginla took a cross-ice lead pass which sailed by Duncan Keith, who had his head COMPLETELY up his own ass, leading to a breakaway on Huet. Iginla slipped it through Huet’s legs for a 3-0 lead. Slight chance, but I’ll take a former Hart Trophy winning forward one-on-one with any goaltender nearly all of the time.

I know what you’re thinking — “Why are you always defending Huet, you asshole?!?!” I’m sorry, but anytime a defense plays that poorly in front of their goalie, you can’t expect said goalie to save the world. It’s a two-way street. And all you Niemi supporters who keep talking about Huet’s horrible glove side? Well, Neimi got beat high-glove side tonight.

In my eyes, Huet lives another day. I don’t believe Coach Q pulled Huet strictly because of performance. I believe it was mostly for a change and to try and spark the team.

Enough with the nipple twisting. This was one of the best games I’ve been in attendance for. It was pure disgust to pure elation in 40 minutes and 26 seconds. Thank you, Blackhawks.

Now, go get ready to score more Wednesday on your former teammate…

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