I guess I’m supposed to write about how the Chicago Blackhawks finally got THEIR REVENGE!!1!one! on the Colorado Avalanche for ending The Streak, but really — it’s the Avs. The Blackhawks are fully rested. There was no doubt that the Blackhawks couldn’t get it done tonight.
So, instead of being a revenge game, it was more like this:
Ray Emerywas named the NHL’s third star of the week because of his excellent performance in the past three games, only allowing one goal per game. Ryan Miller and Niklas Kronwall were named first and second stars of the week. (NHL.com)
Brandon Bollig is going to skate in his first NHL game in his hometown of St. Louis. Needless to say, he’s excited about this. (CSN Chicago)
Injury Report: Niklas Hjalmarssonwill be out for Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues, after all. Jonathan Toews is said to be progressing, and his off-ice workout is “encouraging,” according to Coach Quenneville. There’s still no timetable for when he’ll be back on the ice. (Chicago Tribune)
The new Dunkin’ Donuts on 1519 W. Madison (down the street from the United Center) is holding aDuncan Keith autograph signing on March 8 from 1:00-1:45. The first 90 people in line at 12:00pm will get a wristband that guarantees an autograph. I would go, but having the writer of Runs On Duncan having Duncan Keith sign a Duncan Keith picture inside of a Dunkin’ Donuts might make the world explode from meta.
Blackhawks defeat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in the shootout.
My love for Patrick Kane is platonic, but it’s still love.
So, this game started off pretty terribly. I mean, it was a good pace through the first twenty minutes (not the breakneck pace that was the two Avs games, but a good pace nonetheless), but then Baldy Ryan Getzlaf scored on the power play not even a minute into the second period, and that sucked.
Then this happened.
Watch that. Then rewind it and watch it again. Kane’s spin-o-rama pass to Hossa was so beautiful, Shakespeare would’ve written sonnets about it.
Kane made another great pass later in the period… unfortunately, it was to Teemu Selanne, who scored his 640th goal on Kane’s ill-timed turnover to put the Ducks up 2-1. However, he made up for it in the third with a pass to Sharp, who slapped it home to tie the game 2-2. It would stay that way through the end of the third and into overtime (Hossa drew iron for the last play in OT), so now it was on to the shootout — the bane of every Blackhawks fan this season so far. If you don’t recall — before this game, the Blackhawks lost two previous games that had gone into the shootout. Not only that, but they were 0-6 in shootout attempts.
But not tonight.
After Corey Perry was denied by Crawford, Toews went top shelf on Hiller instead of his usual five-hole move — and it worked! Selanne then scored on Crawford, though, tying the score. Bolland went in as the second shooter, but didn’t manage to score. Fortunately, neither did Getzlaf. The game was on Kane’s stick.
What a beauty.
As much as this game was about Kane tonight, I would like to give a special shout out to my favoritest player ever Brent Seabrook, who was out there for 29:13 tonight (longer than anyone else on the team, including Duncan Keith), registering seven hits and three blocked shots. It might not show on the scoreboard, but I see you doing work, Seabs!
This is another game that the Blackhawks would’ve lost last year.
Thank God this isn’t last year.
For a game I didn’t have much to say about during the preview, this ended up being probably the most exciting game of the year so far. The pace was so fast that I could hardly catch my breath.
This year’s Avalanche look legit… as long as Varlamov stays healthy. Varlamov breaks (as he is wont to do), and I don’t know what will happen. I mean, look at this save! You think Giguere could make that save? I think not.
Who else looks legit? Corey Crawford. He kept the Blackhawks in the game early (especially during that first penalty kill after they were called for too many men on the ice two minutes into the game), stayed solid the entire game, and then stood tall when Seabrook went to the box for tripping with a little over two minutes to go in the third. Nothing as pretty as Varlamov’s save, but I’ll take solid over pretty as long as the Blackhawks get the two points.
The first line looks like it’s finally getting its act together. Two of the three goals scored by the Blackhawks were from the first line, and they had a lot of chances to score even more.
Duncan Keith and Nick Leddy have been a solid top defensive pairing for the second straight game. The chemistry between the two is definitely growing by leaps and bounds.
Again, this is another game where you can see the marked difference in the team from last year to this year. Last year, the Blackhawks would have been outhit badly, the defense would have wilted, and even if Crawford stood on his head, the team would have lost the game. And this is why I like this year’s team better.