Blackhawks News

That’s more like it: ‘Hawks 3, Queens 0

By Jeffrey Bartl

There’s still a lot to be determined with the Blackhawks — namely Brent Seabrook’s status — but making the Los Angeles Kings look like Disney on Ice Thursday put some of the uneasiness in the rear view mirror for a couple days.

Playing against the same referees and linesmen involved in Wednesday’s debacle against the Ducks, the ‘Hawks went without a penalty and overcame a depleted defensive corp to beat the Kings 3-0 — giving Antti Niemi his fifth shutout of the season.

Second City Hockey did a good job pointing this out, but it bears repeating: Down Seabrook, Brian Campbell and Kim Johnsson, the Blackhawks defense allowed a mere 17 shots through, with roughly two or three of those shots actually presenting a quality challenge for Niemi. The Blackhawks’ heart has been questioned by many during rough patches this season, and their response last night should put the doubts to rest.

Despite farting through the first period, the ‘Hawks put Wednesday night’s debacle behind them — and for a young team to overcome a horrible loss like that in less than 24 hours isn’t easy to do. Even Tomas Kopecky got in on the action with two goals.

Kopecky merely got on the ice last night because Dustin Byfuglien moved to defense, creating a void on the fourth line. Good for him on taking advantage of that. Not to mention, that line actually looked pretty decent without Byfuglien.

Patrick Kane set a career-high with his 52nd assist on the season when he made his way to the net, put a shot on Jonathan Quick to set up a mad scramble that led to Troy Brouwer’s 20th goal of the season.

I can talk about some of the things I didn’t like in this game — *cough* Nick Boynton *cough* — but forget it. After three straight losses of epic proportions, I’m going to let everything slide and enjoy it, even if I don’t have much time to do so.

But I would like to point out that I’m glad the Blackhawks are getting out of Hollywood. Sportscenter appearances, The Tonight Show, TMZ sending me a video of them getting on the bus — it just doesn’t seem right for these Blackhawks to be celebrities. Yes, they’ve been in the news — mainly Kaner — because of some hiccups in judgment, but that blew over and it was enough for me.

I’ve complained before these guys don’t get enough attention and deserve some of the hype Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin receive, but I am talking about on-ice attention. I could be splitting hairs, but they just looked out of place.

Anyway, the Blackhawks practice today to get ready for tomorrow’s tilt with the NHL Phoenix Coyotes, who have won seven straight and with a run could end up challenging the ‘Hawks and Sharks for the top seed. Who in living hell would have thought that? Until then…

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