Chicago Blackhawks’ First Week Of Circus Trip A Mixed Bag

By Gail Kauchak
Nov 15, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 19, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forward Vinnie Hinostroza (48) celebrates after scoring a goal against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom (not pictured) during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Chicago Blackhawks won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday, 11/19, at Vancouver Canucks: Win, 4-3 in OT

Giddy up!  The defensive pairings were finally changed!  We’ve been calling for this, and it finally happened.

Hjalmarsson drew back in with Keith on the top pairing.  Can’t go wrong there.  Seabs and Kempny were the same; which is a good thing.  And we had Campbell and, wait for it, Michal Rozsival on the third pairing.  Forsling was a healthy scratch, which is no surprise.  He struggled mightily in the Calgary game on Friday night.

More from Blackhawk Up

The ’Hawks appear to have a big problem getting up to play opponents that aren’t very good.  For the first two periods, it was a repeat of the Winnipeg game from earlier in the week.  The ’Hawks were being outplayed, and couldn’t come up with the puck.  Vancouver, on the other hand, took advantage of its opportunities, and had a 3-0 lead going into the third.

But a different Chicago Blackhawks team came out of the locker room for the final frame.  It was a team that had simply decided not to lose.  Their confidence seems to be rubbing off on the youngsters, because they were integral in this win.

First, we had birthday boy Kane connecting with Artemi Panarin for his signature goal.  Then, Hinostroza scored his first NHL goal, and boy was it a beauty!  He followed up his shot and scored on the rebound.  The kid was so excited; it was fun to watch.

Then Hinostroza got an assist on Hartman’s fourth goal of the year, and all of the sudden it’s a tie game.  Overtime absolutely made up for the horrible Winnipeg game and the first two periods of this one, combined.  There was all kinds of back and forth, and Scott Darling made some incredible saves.

Even when Jonathan Toews’ goal was called back due to offsides, this crew wasn’t going down.  Hallelujah, it was none other than Hossa to get the winner, his 81st career game-winning goal of his career.  It was also his 11th goal of the season.  He had 13 goals in the entirety of last season.

So, the Chicago Blackhawks managed to win another game that they probably shouldn’t have won.  They lead the Central Division, and are second place in the league with a record of 13-4-2 and 28 points.  Let’s keep on rolling!

Next: Hawks Have Same Approach To Bad Foes

The ’Hawks have a busy week next week.  They visit Edmonton today, San Jose on Wednesday, and Anaheim and Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday.

In the past, this trip has been when the ’Hawks have really shone their stuff.  Can they do it again this year?  They’re off to a decent start.