Welcome back, Captain Toews! Seeing him on the ice again, in the face-off circle, around the net, on the power play — I was one happy little fella. Getting a win in his return made the night that much more sweet.
Toews won 65 percent of his face-offs and rejuvenated a power play uglier than Brent Sopel. The Blackhawks scored twice on the man-advantage, including Troy Brouwer’s deflection of a Patrick Sharp shot and Toews’ back-hander after picking up a loose puck in front of the net.
Speaking of Brouwer, the kid was all over the place, adding two assists on top of his PP goal. He almost made me forget Brian Campbell played like he traded in his visor for a blindfold — almost. His awful giveaway from behind his own net almost led to an easy Kings goal, he had no idea where the puck was most of the night, he missed a wide-open net while Jonathan Quick was icing his vagina and even got laid out on a hit in the third period. For a guy who has been mostly very good this season, this is a game tape Campbell may want to have burned.
Campbell and the rest of the blue-liners made Cristobal Huet work harder than he had to, bailing out the ‘Hawks and stopping some great chances for the Kings off dog shit turnovers. Huet only faced 18 shots, but most of the those were in tight and in the slot. With the return of Toews and Ben Eager, Brouwer’s stellar performance and the Blackhawks’ break-the-game-open-with-three-goals third period overshadowed Huet’s fantastic night in net. He was better than some may have noticed.
And hey, even Andrew Ebbett got on the board! Granted he was just standing there and the puck ricocheted off his shoulder and into the net, but a point’s a point. Good for you, Andrew. Welcome to Chicago — finally.
And have a mentioned lately how much I love John Madden? Have a mentioned I have a man-crush on John Madden? Well, here it is again: I love John Madden. This son of a bitch is awesome, and he added on to his awesome awesomeness with an awesome goal that made me feel, well, awesome.
Anze Kopitar left his mark with his NHL-leading 14th goal of the season off a rebound he merely dragged into the net. Other than that, Los Angeles might as well have been the Washington Generals.
Wednesday, the Colorado Big Falling Snow Pile return to the UC for the ‘Hawks fourth straight game against a surprisingly good Western Conference foe. Watching the shootouts between these two teams compares to watching Berlin Alexanderplatz on loop, so you better clear your schedule.