Observations From Section 321 : Home Sweet Home Ice Advantage

Perry Nelson

The Blackhawks secure their first President's Trophy since 1991 with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

So the Blackhawks are the 2013 President's Trophy winner, congrats! All that means is they have home ice advantage all the way through their Stanley Cup run. Last time I checked, that is a good thing. They are not cursed or doomed. The number one seed doesn't mean you win the championship, that is why they are called playoffs. The Presdient's Trophy winners don't always hoist the Cup because it's the hardest trophy in sports to win, not because it's a jinx. If you think the Hawks are not going to win it all because of the President's Trophy, you probably believe that billy goats and dorks in headphones ruin franchises too, and you should stop watching sports altogether.

The Hawks got the scoring started with Jonathan Toews cashing in on a 2 on 1 break with Brandon Saad, at 3:58 of the 1st period. Tazer showed an amazing display of patience and deadly accuracy with the puck. Nail Yapukov tied the game less than a minute later after some sloppy play in the Hawks own end. Drew LeBlanc (apparently now pronounced LA BLAH) made a bad turnover and got caught chasing the puck around. Patrick Kane gave the Hawks the lead back at 8:11 after a sweet pass from Michal Handzus. Kane has proven that he is one of the most deadly players in the league when he is one on one with an opposing goalie.

Shortly after the Kane goal, Ray Emery removed himself from the game after aggravating his lower body injury. This was my biggest concern with naming Emery the starter for the playoffs. We all had a feeling it was only a matter of time before he broke down and it looks like as if that has finally happened. Corey Crawford came in and stopped all 14 shots he faced for the remainder of the game.

The game tightened up after the high flying opening 10 minutes of the 1st period. The score remained 2-1 until 4:36 of the 3rd period when Johnny Oduya gave the Hawks a well needed insurance goal. Oduya's 3rd goal of the season was made possible by another unreal assist from Patrick Kane. 88 continues to show his ability to make passes most humans can only dream about. Patrick Sharp scored an empty net goal in the final moments of the game to seal the victory for the NHL's top team for the 2013 regular season.

* Corey Crawford looked very good on this road trip. He had a couple of mediocre games last weekend but rebounded nicely with two solid performances in western Canada. His robbery of Jordan Eberle in 2nd period was once his best saves of his career. The only thing that could have made that save better was if Nail Yapulov shot it and Crow kissed his glove after making the stop.

* Except for his mishap during his second shift, Drew LeBlanc didn't look too bad last night. Before we all start calling for him to be the 2nd line savior, lets remember he is not eligible for the playoff roster. He is here on a no risk tryout and that is pretty much it. He will look pretty good in an IceHogs uniform next season and we will see after that.

* Speaking of the IceHogs, I expect to see a lot of them in action this weekend. I wouldn't mind if some of the stars play tomorrow night for fan appreciation night at the UC, but there is no need to send anyone of value out on the ice Saturday night. Do not give a team of dickbags, like the Blues, free shots at any of stars right before the playoffs start.

* Michal Handzus picked up 3 assists last night including the nice pass the sprung Kaner loose for his game winning goal. Handzus is proving the theory that sometimes all a player needs is a change of scenery to perform. In 28 games with the Sharks, Hanzus had only 2 points (1 G, 1 A) and was a -9. In his 10 games in Chicago he has 6 points (1 G, 5 A) and is a +6.

* Was I the only one who wiped off his TV screen last night? Did the word "smudge" ever end up trending on Twitter?

* Patrick Sharp gave us all another scare when he left the ice favoring his leg after a late game collision. He didn't miss a shift and scored the empty net goal, so I guess it isn't anything to worry about. I was happy to see Sharpie to score, but my inner jerkoff wanted him to hit the post just for the entertainment value.

Blackhawks Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 16:43 18 11 +7 +1 +7
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 15:35 16 11 +5 +1 +5
Brent Seabrook D 13:07 16 11 +5 +1 +5
Nick Leddy D 15:12 16 14 +2 +1 +2
Patrick Sharp R 14:01 20 12 +8 -1 +8
Drew Leblanc C 12:12 18 9 +9 +3 +8
Marcus Kruger C 12:00 6 7 -1 +1 -1
Jonathan Toews C 11:19 12 12 0 +1 -0
Brandon Saad L 13:07 14 13 +1 0 +1
Jamal Mayers R 8:02 3 5 -2 +1 -2
Viktor Stalberg L 12:54 13 7 +6 +3 +5
Michal Handzus C 9:10 10 8 +2 -2 +3
Johnny Oduya D 16:05 13 12 +1 +1 +1
Bryan Bickell L 13:25 12 8 +4 +3 +3
Michal Rozsival D 19:20 14 14 0 +1 -0
Andrew Shaw C 10:52 2 6 -4 +1 -4
Marian Hossa R 12:30 10 14 -4 +1 -4
Patrick Kane R 14:26 22 11 +11 -2 +12

Oilers Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Jeff Petry D 15:58 15 14 +1 -1 +1
Taylor Hall L 14:37 12 10 +2 +1 +2
Ladislav Smid D 15:48 14 18 -4 -1 -4
Shawn Horcoff C 9:45 10 15 -5 -1 -5
Mike Brown R 10:31 5 12 -7 -2 -6
Jordan Eberle C 14:07 10 10 0 +1 -0
Nick Schultz D 15:38 6 19 -13 +1 -13
Justin Schultz D 17:02 5 23 -18 0 -18
Ryan Jones L 11:38 14 12 +2 -1 +2
Corey Potter D 16:18 17 12 +5 -3 +6
Mark Fistric D 15:27 17 9 +8 -2 +9
Jerred Smithson R 11:44 4 11 -7 -2 -6
Teemu Hartikainen C 10:51 10 8 +2 -1 +2
Anton Lander C 10:49 10 9 +1 -1 +1
Nail Yakupov R 11:09 10 15 -5 -1 -5
Sam Gagner C 15:42 13 12 +1 +1 +1
Magnus Paajarvi L 10:04 9 14 -5 -1 -5
Ryan Smyth L 13:46 6 13 -7 -2 -6

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