Chicago Blackhawks: Five Thoughts on 4-3 Shootout Win Over Blues
By John Aubert
The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-3 via shootout last night. Milestones were met and exciting hockey was restored. Here are our five thoughts on the victory:
5. Kane and Toews Reach Career Milestones
Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews both reached career milestones in Wednesday night’s matchup against the St. Louis Blues. With Jonathan Toews’ opening goal of the game, he hit the 35 goal mark for the first time in his career, making it the most goals scored in a single season for the captain.
Kane followed up Toews’ milestone with an assist and a goal, giving him 107 points on the season which exceeds his previous career high set in 2015-16′ (106).
It’s just a friendly reminder that this season isn’t entirely lost, even though the ‘Hawks have been eliminated from playoff contention. Take it with a grain of salt, but it’s fantastic to see the two stars playing the best hockey of their careers. The hope is that this carries over into next season.
4. Cam Ward Playing On His Head
Cam Ward doesn’t get enough credit for his work. Ward made 37 saves against the Blues and came in clutch when they needed him most as he stopped all three shot attempts in the shootout.
The Blues didn’t have many odd man rushes, but they did have many quality scoring chances where they could’ve easily put the Hawks in a deep hole.
He may be old, but he still has a fantastic work ethic that could aid the Hawks moving forward into next season should they choose to keep him around.
3. Vladimir Tarasenko Continues To Hurt The Blackhawks
Vladimir Tarasenko is a bully to the ‘Hawks. With his game tying goal in the second period, he officially established the title as public enemy no. 1. Tarasenko has 18 goals and 10 assists in 27 career games against the Chicago Blackhawks. Furthermore, he has four goals and an assist this season alone against the ‘Hawks.
To make you feel better, Toews still has three more goals than Tarasenko on the year. So, technically, we win.
2. Dennis Gilbert Uses Body Well In NHL Debut
Defenseman Dennis Gilbert was very active in his first NHL game. Fans were a little weary when he took a holding penalty in the first period. However, he made himself very useful against a hard hitting Blues team. Gilbert had a team-leading six hits in 12:46 of ice-time, contributing to nearly a third of the hits the Blackhawks put on the Blues.
Always nice to see some grit on the roster, especially from a rookie. For more on Gilbert and his call up, check the article here.
1. Duncan Keith Nearly Hands Game Over To Blues
This originally wasn’t going to the final thought, but it was such a maddening scenario I couldn’t resist to include it. In the dying moments of the game, Patrick Maroon threw a puck to the front of the net, where it went by a day-dreaming Duncan Keith to allow Tyler Bozak to score the game tying goal with just 38 seconds remaining.
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Thankfully, the Chicago Blackhawks were able to survive overtime and finish the Blues off in a shootout. It wasn’t the first time his team bailed him out this season.