Dec 17, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) reacts after scoring against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Well that’s more like it! The Chicago Blackhawks gave a pretty lackadaisical effort most of Saturday afternoon’s tilt against the Buffalo Sabres. But Patrick Kane was the hero in his hometown, and the Hawks came away with a 3-2 shootout win. But they turned around and gave a much better all-around effort to earn a 4-3 overtime victory against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. The Hawks have now won seven of their last nine games. Here are my five takeaways from the weekend games.
5. Working overtime. These last two games both featured overtime action, although each provided it in a very different flavor. Saturday’s OT was quite untraditional. Penalties for both clubs necessitated 4-on-3 action for the entire extra frame instead of the usual 3-on-3. This could be a contributing factor as to why the game eventually went to a shootout. With seven men on the ice instead of six, there wasn’t as much opportunity for the big odd man rush that overtime hockey has pretty much become.
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The shootout was the first of the year for the Chicago Blackhawks. The shooters on both sides all looked a little out of practice, except of course for Patrick Kane. It was like he was taking a walk in the park as he nonchalantly skated down, made his moves, and deked one past Chad Johnson. As he was skating away, he could easily have just shrugged and said, “This is what I do.”
Sunday’s overtime frame was much more what we have become accustomed to. A bad change by the Sharks caused a two-on-one breakaway chance for the Hawks. Jonathan Toews to Kane and back to Toews for the score. Pretty hard to defend that. Hawks win!