Blackhawks News

Observations From Section 321: Crow To The Rescue

By Greg Boysen

The Blackhawks got themselves a huge comeback win after another crappy 1st period nearly did them in.  To get a win after falling behind 3-1 to a goalie who had won 8 straight and a team that was 36-0 when scoring at least 3 goals is pretty impressive. They are starting to put some space between them and the bottom feeders of the Western Conference as they solidify a playoff spot.  Not everything is gloom and doom for the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are 6-4-1 in the 11 games without Jonathan Toews.  They have wins against the Blues and the Rangers, the two Conference leaders, during this stretch.  If the Hawks were in the Eastern Conference they would be the 2nd seed.  The Hawks look to be in control of the 6th seed, which may be the place to be.   The Hawks would have a first round match up against the winner of the Pacific Division.  I would much rather face either Phoenix, Dallas, San Jose or Los Angeles in the opening round than Detroit or Nashville.  With that being said, let’s take a look at last night’s game.

  • Ray Emery was awful last night giving up 3 goals on just 6 shots.  Corey Crawford didn’t have to make too many great saves in the 2nd and 3rd period but was on lockdown in OT and the shootout.  I am hoping the performance will give Crow the boost he needs but I am not going to hold my breath.  The roller coaster that is Chicago goaltending could be taking another dip.  It will be interesting to see who Q goes with in Dallas on Friday night.
  • A bad night for  Niklas Hjalmarrson too.  I blame the Blues’ first goal of the game on him.  He completely screened Ray Emery from the puck, a shot from 50 feet out.  If you are going to get in front of your goalie on a shot like that you better block it, if not get out of the way.  If that wasn’t bad enough, Hjammer did not play the entire 3rd period due to the dreaded upper body injury.  When did Nik become Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out??
  • How about some good? The Blackhawks first goal was fun to watch.  Patrick Kane made a laser pass to Andrew Brunette who made a great touch pass to Marian Hossa.  Brunette got the piano off his back and sped right past the St Louis defense where Hossa hit him with a return pass.
  • Johnny Oduya had 29:20 in total ice time last night.  He did a good job of keeping the puck in the Blackhawks zone and it led directly to Viktor Stalberg’s goal.  I think Stan Bowman should get some credit for bringing Oduya in.  He has been a pretty good addition and wouldn’t be shocked if he has played himself into a new contract with the Hawks.
  • Brent Seabrook tied the game with a power play goal, yes a power play goal.  A booming shot from the point with traffic in front.  I have been screaming for more of this for months.  I hope they took some notes on what works on the power play.
  • The Blackhawks got back into this game by getting pucks deep, using their speed to draw penalties and winning the board battles.  More of this please!
  • The Blackhawks need to improve in the faceoff circle as a whole.  Help at the dot will come in the form of a healthy Jonathan Toews.

My Blackhawks Player of the Game

Patrick Kane sticks out from a group of Blackhawks who had good games.  He had the only goal in the shootout to go along with his assist.  He was able to do something 7 Blackhawks failed to do on Sunday, score on a shootout/penalty shot.  Kaner has stepped up his game since Toews has been out.  If he can stay hot it will go a long way for the Blackhawks.

My Turd of the Game

What exactly does Brandon Bollig offer to this team right now?  In 7 games he has played a total of 32:21 and has 41 penalty minutes.  His fight last night was stupid and pointless.  I am all for punching Ryan Reaves in face but his hit on Jamal Mayers was clean.  There was no need to take the 17 minutes of penalty time and give the Blues a power play when the Hawks were already down 2 goals.  Please don’t give me the “sticking up for his team mate” line of crap either (Pat Foley I’m looking at you).  This was Jamal Mayers he was “sticking up” for.  The same Jamal Mayers who fought earlier in the same period.  It is one thing if Reaves hit Patrick Kane or Nick Leddy but it was Jamal f’n Mayers!  Bollig offers nothing to this team right now and should be back in Rockford.  I would rather have Michael Frolik or Brandon Morrison out there at this point.  You really want this meathead on the ice when the playoffs come?