Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks
Goals: Steve Montador, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Patrick Kane (Chicago), Olli Jokinen (Calgary), Marian Hossa (Chicago), Curtis Glencross (Calgary)
Goalies: Ray Emery (.917), Miikka Kiprusoff (.840)
First of all, congrats to Coach Joel Quenneville on his 600th win as an NHL coach! It was pointed out via Twitter that the only coach who reached 600 wins faster was Scott Bowman, who just happened to be a Blackhawks coach.
And yes, if you look at the standings right now, we’re first in the entire league! Only a point separates us from Minnesota, but in the words of a Kings of Leon song, If it’s not forever/If it’s just tonight/It’s still the greatest, the greatest.
Steve Montador and Niklas Hjalmarsson showed that our defense can score as well, with Hammer getting his first goal of the season. Not only that, he was named first star of the game! Nice work for one third of Team Ikea!
Patrick Kane scored a goal a few days after his dazzling shootout goal against the Wild. This one came off the faceoff from Jonathan Toews, with Duncan Keith getting the primary assist moments after his attempt pinged off the pipe (hate that sound). This was not just an ordinary goal, but a power play goal. We get them a bit infrequently, so it was good to get one.
I can’t forget the lineup change that happened between Friday and Sunday: Ben Smith, who’d been called up from Rockford after Daniel Carcillo was hurt in Minnesota and didn’t play against the Ducks, was scratched Friday and sent back to the IceHogs on Saturday. Sunday saw Jeremy Morin come up from the IceHogs to take a spot with Toews and Kane on the top line. While he didn’t register any SOG, I know he got in some good hits, which is, I believe, why he’s there. But I hope Carbomb comes back soon.
The only bad thing is that some Blackhawks fans can’t appreciate a win because they’re too busy whining about Corey Crawford being benched five games in a row. Look, Ray Emery is proving himself to be a great asset for us. Right now he’s on a five-game winning streak. This doesn’t mean that Corey’s lost his primary status, but it does mean that Coach is smart enough to understand that Corey needs to be more than ready when his time comes. Sorry Corey fans, but only he knows when he’s ready to go, not you.
I reserved this spot for Rene Bourque, who happens to be a former Blackhawk. Fifteen minutes into the first period, he slammed into Brent Seabrook from behind, sending Seabs into the boards. It took him a while to get up, but Seabs did leave the ice on his own. He didn’t return to the game, which worries fans because this is the third time in as many years that he’s suffered a bad hit – the most recent one was during the playoffs last season at the hands of then-Canuck Raffi Torres.
As a consequence of the hit, Rene was given a a game misconduct, which got him ejected from the game, and a five-minute major for checking from behind that was served by Jarome Iginla. I suspect that he’ll be hearing from Brendan Shanahan shortly.
Just please be all right, Seabs. The D line isn’t the same without you.
at Pittsburgh Penguins
Versus (I hope)
The reason I said that is because I’m crossing fingers that they don’t black out the game on me. It’s supposed to be “non-exclusive,” meaning no restrictions for the team markets…and I happen to live in the Pens’ market area.
Anyway, we’re on a bit of a hot streak, while the poor Pens can’t catch a break with so many injuries. We’ll try not to take too much advantage of that in our quest for two points.