My 4th Star: Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Perry Nelson

The Hawks were able to bounce back from there "worst loss of the year" with a 4-1 win over the Oilers. Drew La-blah made is NHL debut and Sharpie continues his unbeaten streak. Crow came in to relieve and injured Emery, and Michael Handzus looks like he may be the answer on the second line.

Zus was given the second star so it looks like someone else is starting to notice this guy. I feel like he could be our answer at the 2C spot, something I thought they were going to at least try as soon as they brought him in. A lot of people didn't seem to think he would be a fit between the Patricks but Handzus has shown he has the vision and skill to make the right plays and he can win faceoffs, Zus went 9 for 13 at the dot including an impressive 5 of 8 in the defensive zone. But like I said he got the 2nd.

So here is where the pick gets interesting, Drew after his first mistake seemed to settle down and find his game, he was bumped from the 2nd line and maybe that pressure of playing between Kane and Sharp was too much for him to handle in his first game. Does Foley need to check his reading glasses or is the "C" really silent at the end of Leblanc? Anyway, he was awarded the Championship Belt from Duncan Keith after the win, and if the team thought the kid deserved the recognition who am I to argue?

Leblanc had two nice scoring chances in the third period, the first came early in the third, Hjalmarsson gathered the puck behind the Blackhawks net, skated around and hit Leblanc with a cross ice pass, Blah touched it to Kane? and kept his feet moving, heading towards the net. Kane was able to hit him with a sharp pass, and Blah was able to stick handle through a defenseman and get a decent wrist shot on Dubnyk.

His second chance came midway through the third, the Hawks were keeping good zone pressure and cycling the puck, the puck came back to Hjalmarsson who moved it over to Rozsival, Rozy took the open ice that was given to him and skated to the top of the right circle. He was able to find Leblanc with a pass in the center, Blah fired his best chance of the night, a wrister which Dubynk kicked away with his right pad.

Sharpie continues HIS historic season by remaining unbeaten this year. He had his EN goal after fighting through a hard check on the boards then taking a little cheap shot from behind into the crossbar. He was a +2 with 3 shots, a hit and 16:05 TOI.

But I think I have to give it to a guy who I was not sure about when the season began, I am still not completely sold on him, but he has had a damn good season, and I don't think there is a reason not to give him the net through the playoffs and into next season (barring any sort of monumental collapse of anything). And I'm talking about Crow. After Emery pulled himself with an apparent LBI, Crawford came off the bench after the lose in Vancouver and was perfect for the remaining 46:11 he was between the pipes. He didn't see a ton of action through his 2+ periods of play, only facing 14 shots, but he turned away every one, including a couple of tough stops early. Coming off the bench cold and having a solid night when you were expecting to watch from the bench is not an easy task. I am hoping for one more solid game out of Crawford before the playoffs get started just to make sure he is in top form before the real season starts.

Hawks take on the Flames tonight and the Blows on Saturday, hopefully Q is getting the guys ready for the playoffs and if that means playing these last two then play them, if it means giving some guys some decreased minutes and bringing up a few from the Rock, then do that. To take a line from Coach Tibs "Do your job" and get ready for the 1st round.

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