The Chicago Blackhawks took on the New York Rangers for the 2nd time in 5 days on Tuesday night, and when the final horn sounded they skated away with a 2-1 victory.
The Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers played to a 0-0 regulation tie last week before the Rangers scored in overtime to take the extra point, and on Tuesday night it was the goalies that were strong once again in another one goalie battle. Here are some thoughts about the Hawks 2-1 victory.
3. Having Jonathan Toews Back Is Huge
Yep, this is an understatement if you have watched the Chicago Blackhawks for the past decade. Toews does everything so well that it just gives the team a sense of calmness when he’s on the ice.
You knew the Captain was back midway through the first period when he skated back on defense and easily picked off a cross ice pass that probably gets through if any other Blackhawks player is out there playing center.
The other thing which we knew would happen was that Toews won a lot of faceoffs, and the Blackhawks for the night won 54% of all draws compared to them winning somewhere in the 30 percent mark without Toews in the lineup.
2. Artemi Panarin was dealing
It felt like Panarin had about 5 points on Tuesday night. The puck was glued to his stick all night, and he was really passing well. Some nights Panarin and Patrick Kane seem to get too pass happy for each other, but tonight Panarin set up the Trevor van Riemsdyk goal ( I still have no idea what he tripped over),
Panarin and Kane dominated the puck when they had it, and the Rangers only defense was Antti Raanta because their defenseman had no chance.
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1. Scott Darling Was Huge
Scott Darling was huge all night long, and the only goal he gave up was a strange, highly-skilled goal when the Rangers player swatted in the puck out of the air.
Darling made 33 saves matching his uniform number, and he continues to drop his goals against average every time he takes the ice.
The best quote from Darling was the one he gave to Pierre McGuire after the game when he said “I Just Work Here” when Pierre asked if he would be starting in net Thursday night.
Darling has been great, and along with Corey Crawford is the reason the Hawks are on top of the Western Conference!
What were your Big 3 Thoughts from tonight’s game?