The Blackhawks’ physicality the past few years hasn’t been a huge part of their game. Despite that, the hits came when they needed to tonight.
The ‘Hawks, despite being outhit at the end of the day, threw their bodies around well tonight. While it did translate to a few unneeded penalties, Chicago definitely showed off their physical side tonight. These two teams have played a lot this season and the series has gotten chippy at times, so it’s nice to see that translated into some hits.
Personally, I’ve always felt that speed and skill is the most important aspect of winning in the NHL. However, being able to throw your weight around up-and-down the lineup is important, especially in the modern era of hockey. The ‘Hawks definitely didn’t shy away from that in this game, including a second-period fight between Ryan Carpenter and MacKenzie Weegar.
Perhaps the biggest moment tonight came from Nikita Zadorov, who threw a massive hit in the third period. The big defenseman stepped up on Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist and delivered an Earth-shattering check:
Obviously, you never want to see any player on any team get hurt, and hopefully Hornqvist will be alright. The hit itself, however, was a clean shoulder check, and it definitely deflated the Panthers midway through the third period. Overall, the physical side of the Hawks showed up in a big way tonight, and hopefully, that is a trend that will continue through the remainder of Chicago’s season.