Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks
Goals: Andrew Shaw x2 and Viktor Stalberg (Chicago), Mike Knuble (Washington), Patrick Kane (Chicago), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), Bryan Bickell (Chicago)
Goalies: Corey Crawford (16/18, .889); Michal Neuvirth (24/28, .857)
Andrew Shaw lit up the crowd at United Center. He had three points – two goals and an assist – and would’ve had a hat trick if Bryan Bickell had been able to pass to him for the empty netter. Better yet, he won the championship belt after the game! And to think that he was just drafted last summer…that blows my mind.
I really wish Viktor Stalberg would be voted to go to the All-Star Game, because he’d smoke all of them in the Fastest Skater competition. You want proof? Look how he left Dmitry Orlov in his dust:
Corey Crawford may not have had many opportunities to make those beautiful saves, but he was stellar in net (as was Michal Neuvirth, to be honest). And here’s some breaking news: he’s been named NHL Second Star of the Week! Now that’s Crawsome.
Remember all the people who said “Patrick Kane is in a slump, he’s a terrible player, OMG trade him now”? I wonder where they are now that he’s taken a big role in Jonathan Toews‘ absence. I remember how the loss to Vancouver in last year’s playoffs left him hungry to become, in his words, an elite player. His offseason surgery derailed that a bit, but he’s heading in the right direction for his goal. Let’s hope that mindset stays with him beyond this season.
We kept the Caps from shooting in the first period till the last 4 minutes or so, and that was the highlight of how dominant the team was for the first part of the game. We also held ourselves to one minor penalty – Patrick Sharp got called for tripping. I think the discipline and lack of a physical game on the Caps’ part really gave us the chance to showcase the skills we’d been not really using till lately.
Duncan Keith had a bad turnover, which led to Mike Knuble‘s goal in the second period. He needs to keep his head up and be careful, because a team that lacks the physical game will be tricksy and pry the puck from your stick.
Until Kaner’s and Shawsie’s goals, we were getting pretty sluggish in the second period, like we ran out of the oomph that we had in the first. Then it was like a fire was lit underneath them, thank goodness.
The guys on the postgame wrapup on NBCSN were dissing how well the team has done since losing Captain Cylon. I guess an 8-4-1 record is considered “struggling to keep your head above water”. Yeah, we’re drowning something bad, just trying to breathe *eyeroll*
at Columbus Blue Jackets
One more trip to my state, one last game with the worst team in the league. Let’s sweep them.