The Chicago Blackhawks won their fourth straight game last night when Patrick Sharp set up Hossa for the tying goal in the last minute and scored into the first minute of overtime for the Blackhawks victory. It took 80 games and the final home game of the regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks first overtime victory and now in the home stretch everything looks to be pointing upwards for the Hawks after a very disappointing month of March.
Apr 9, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) celebrates his gaol against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The month of March saw the Blackhawks lose both of their two biggest stars first Patrick Kane with a knee injury against the St. Louis Blues and then the Captain on a high hit by Brooks Oprik. The Hawks looked to be losing everything all at once from its stars to confidence to not looking like a team that could repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.
A strange thing happened on the way to quietly existing the 2013-2014 season, and it wasn’t Teuvo Mania that turned the month of April around. The month turned around with the offensive energy brought in by Jeremy Morin. Morin is on a hot streak with 3 goals in 3 games and a 4 game point streak that coincides with the Blackhawks four game winning streak.
Last night had a lot of familiar things that make the Blackhawks fun to watch from good goal keeping from Corey Crawford and last second heroics from Marian Hossa. Last night although missing Kane and Toews the Hawks confidence seems to have returned. The youth has gained confidence with victory, and have played critical minutes that normally are reserved for 19 and 88! Getting the critical minutes and finding a way to win has to be a huge step in the progression of many young Blackhawks.
The silver lining in the Blackhawks story is that the two biggest stars are getting some rest at just the right time to be energized for the playoffs. Toews and Kane have played in a lot of hockey games since the lockout ended. 48 game season, 23 playoff games to the Cup, 69 games into this season with the Olympics to boot. Sure they are both having to recover from injury, but they are getting a reboot right before the most important potential 16 wins of 2014!
Blackhawks have had a target on their back for the entire 2013-2014 season, but now that the playoffs are about to begin the target comes off and the Blackhawks will be back to picking off opponents and everything is coming together perfectly and the perfect time.
What do you think? It may not be the perfect plan but it seems to be working out great!
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