After a scintillating light show, the Blackhawks came out with a bit of jump against the Buffalo Connor McDavid brigade. A couple of mistakes and a sloggy 2nd period made the outcome seem in doubt. The talent won out as the deeper Blackhawks jumped on the Sabres in the 3rd.
Games like this are where two points in regulation is a must, and the Blackhawks did just that. Stockpiling points against tomato cans could be the difference for a home series in April so it's nice to do what's necessary with minimal problems.
3. Trevor Van Riemsdyk
I was under the belief that TvR would melt right off the bat in the NHL. But, hey! He's not terrible! Not being terrible is a great quality for a 6th defenseman, and you can see that his patience and decisions make him a decent option. He finds the hollow spot nicely when he wants to jump in the play. Like most everyone else in a red sweater, he had a stupid high Corsi For% tonight, and Q is going to shelter him (100% Off. Zone Start tonight) as long as he is here. Is he going to last when we get to the meat of the Western conference? Too early to tell.
2. Marian Hossa
Strong game from the steely veteran. He led the charge to close out a bad team, and arguably had the best 60 of any Blackhawk. Dynamite possession numbers with stellar play on the boards as always. When he gets his big Slovakian ass in between you and the puck, you aren't touching the puck. It's as simple as that. While his shorthanded wire didn't mean much in hindsight, that pretty wrister never gets tiresome.
1. Patrick Kane
Kaner nets the GWG against his hometown/future team so he gets the 1st star nod. One of 5 Blackhawks with 5+ shots on goal. That's silly. The shift with about 6 minutes left was Sweet Georgia Brown on ice. Kane also posted the top CF Rel% amongst forwards tonight. I'm still not sold on the Kane/Shaw connection as they were hemmed in their own zone a few times early. But with Richards scuffling early there's nothing wrong with letting it ride.
Next up for the Blackhawks will be a tangle with the Flames on Wednesday night. Keep it real while keeping it safe, folks.