During this game, I kept glancing at the Islander bench to see if Barry Trotz was still there. Nope not there, yet this win still felt like his footprint was all over it. The game began with Alex Stalock in net, however that didn't last.
Just 3 minutes in forward Casey Cizikas charged into the Chicago goalie which led to him hitting the left side of the goal knocking it off its moorings. The concussion spotter quickly called for Stalock to go to the dark room to be tested and he was not seen the rest of the evening. Let's hope he is ok and has a quick recovery.
Soderblom in and let's just say it now; Arvid Soderblom was easily the Hawks best player tonight. He stopped 28 / 30 (.933%) shots and looked extremely calm all night. In terms of the penalty on Cizikas, it was assessed a 5 minute misconduct and Casey Cizikas was ejected from the game. The Hawks go up against the league's best PK unit and come up empty.
Looking at how Arvid Soderblom is growing into what looks like the Blackhawks future I'm reminded that it would amazing if the Red Wings and Hawks were still in the same division. Arvid's brother Elmer is a Detriot wing and looks like he also has a long career ahead of him.
The 1st period ends with the Isles up 1-0 on an Anders Lee goal. Overall, this was a terrible period for Chicago with little energy and a mere 5 shots on goal. In the 2nd period however you could really see the effort get ramped up. I can't say enough good things about Luke Richardson and his entire staff. Other than opening night and a meaningless empty netter tonight, the Blackhawks have been within 1 goal of every game.
Boris Katchouk only played 8 minutes tonight, but he made the most of them. I thought he was all out effort the entire time he was out there. In the 2nd, I also felt that Kurashev and Roos showed a lot of grit and skill work. These 3 players were the forwards I noticed all game. We even saw some great defense from Philipp Kurashev on the PK tonight.
Speaking of Filip Roos, let's just cement me as the Roos fanclub President. The Swede has the potential to be a big part of the D core for a long time. He has a high offensive IQ, is defensively responsible, and has shown some puck skill. I want to highlight this play in particular:
With 10:35 left in the game Anthony Beauvillier gets a pass in the middle between the dots with what looks to be a great chance at a shot. Roos comes off his left position to immediately have flat reach where Beauvillier's stick would be given he is a left shot. Beauvillier has to kick it back to the blue line for a point shot which is easily gloved by Soderblom.
This was a play that was going to be an "A" chance and instead it was defended by Roos into a "C" chance for NYI. Roos is just 23 years old and has over 50 games in the SHL under his belt. The 6'4 native of Sweden could be a big part of the left handed D group the Hawks are building.
The Blackhawks only offensive highlight came when Kane kicked a pass to Caleb Jones just left of center whom let a shot go. Sorokin got into position for an easy save just as Jonathan Toews gets a stick on it to lift it past the goalie. This would be Chicago's lone goal on the evening.
The Islanders would add an empty netter to seal the victory 3-1. I'll be looking at all the feeds to see how Alex Stalock is over the next day. It will be interesting to see what the Blackhawks do with their goalie issues moving forward as their stable of netminders is quickly dwindling.
Jonathan Toews extends his point streak to 6 and now has 6 goals in just 10 games. The Kings will come to town on Thursday to take on a Blackhawks team that only has 2 points in their last 3 games.