Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings
Goals: Patrick Sharp (Chicago), Niklas Kronwall (Detroit), Patrick Kane (Chicago)
Goalies: Ray Emery (23/24, .958); Jimmy Howard (4/5, .800), Joey McDonald (12/13, .923)
Good for us, bad for the Wings: Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Lidstrom were out for the game. Also out were Jakub Kindl in the first period and Jimmy Howard, who left after the first period but was benched…if he really does have a lower-body injury, why was he on the bench? That left them with a backup goalie, four defensemen and not as much depth on their lines as they’d like. I think we took advantage of that.
It was the Patrick Squared Show today, with both Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane making beauty goals – Kaner’s was the game-winning goal, and Sharpie’s was on the power play! I know, I’m as stunned as you are.
While we’re on the subject of Kaner, I’m sure you’ve noticed his play lately has been on fire. He’s skating faster, passing and and taking the puck, getting better defensively – he’s really stepped up since our captain’s been absent. This is the playmaking he’s wanted all season, and even though it’s late, it’s kicked in at the right time.
Kudos to Andrew Shaw for fighting Brendan Smith, who seems to look for a fight wherever he goes. Sounds like they might’ve had some history in minors:
Ray Emery had another spectacular game, his third win in a row since stepping in for Corey Crawford. You’d be a fool to say he wasn’t a big part of why the penalty kill was on point today.
I’m very happy to see how Johnny Oduya is fitting in with the team. It seems like Coach Q can’t praise him enough in his postgame interviews, like today: “Johnny has really helped us out. In the three games he’s been here…it seems like there is composure back there.” And even Duncan Keith has nothing but good things to say about him. It makes my wounded Thrashers heart (and Emma’s as well) feel good to know he’s being appreciated for his hard work.
Another game without Jonathan Toews (that’s seven now without him), and he hasn’t started skating yet. I’m really getting worried about him. How long must we go without our captain? And the elephant in the room remains: will he be out for the rest of the season?
What was that first period? Sloppy, sloppy puck handling led to all kinds of turnovers. It’s down to the wire, we can’t do stupid stuff like that anymore.
Niklas Kronwall’s hit on Sharpie in the third period could’ve ended badly if Sharpie hadn’t turned his shoulder. But what really ticked me off was that Kronwall didn’t take responsibility for his actions when Bryan Bickell came after him in Sharpie’s defense. It got Bicks a penalty, but the fact stands: if you want to make the kind of hit that could possibly injure a guy and take him out for the rest of the season, you better be prepared to accept the consequences and hold yourself accountable for it.
at St. Louis Blues
How coincidental: when I had election duty in November, the Hawks played the Blues (they lost). Same scenario this time – it’s Super Tuesday here in Ohio – but maybe with the hot streak the boys are on, I can come home and see them win.