An Appropriate Send-Off: Blackhawks 6 - Oilers 3
Apologies for the delayed wrap - it was a long weekend and when I got home from the game last night all I wanted to do was sleep. Sorry to keep you waiting, as I'm sure you all stayed up all night hitting refresh, right?
So another game, another 2 points for the Hawks as they push towards the annual circus trip. They were pretty much in the driver's seat the whole game. Jonathan Toews opened the scoring after a bit of a give and go behind the net with Stalberg. Rather than go for his normal stuff attempt, Toews was given time and space in the slot and used it to roof one over Khabby and send the waterbottle flying.
Just over 30 seconds later, Kane was given time with the puck (Free scouting reports for other teams: that is a bad idea) and was able to hit a rushing Steve Montador who made Lennart Petrell look just silly before sliding another one past Khabby.
The Oil would get close off a garbage goal when Ryan Smyth brought the puck around from behind the net and managed to slip one past Crawford. Not sure what happened there as Duncan Keith didn't really make an attempt to cover Smyth and Crawford was simply caught not paying attention and didn't get his pads down. The Hawks had an answer for every goal though and put things away with a Car Bomb empty netter.
To the bullets:
- After two miserable games that brought back all the ill feelings and bile from last year, the Hawks have put together a nice little winning streak that's building steam. They've moved from victories over what is barely an NHL team (Columbus) to a struggling team (Calgary) and now they've helped themselves to two points from a team that has been playing pretty well (Edmonton). The Oilers are a paper tiger and have likely already begun they're fall from heaven. We'll get a much better test on Wednesday against the Canucks
- I have no idea why Q and the coaching staff decided to put Montador as a forward on the power play but anything that keeps the goals coming is certainly welcome to see. Call me crazy, but I just don't see his scoring keeping this pace. They guy has a season high of 8 goals back in 07-08.
- Brent Seabrook looks like he could be missing some time after going coast to coast on a play and awkwardly losing an edge right behind the Edmonton net and crashing hard into the boards. He got to his feet in pain and spent about 5 seconds on the bench before a trainer pulled him into the locker room. Marlboro 72 had just been regaining its dominant form so this is a pretty significant loss. Now there's even less of a chance we get to see John Scott in the press box.
- Speaking of Scott, even with Seabrook going out early, he only got 11:43 TOI which is still 5 seconds less than his season high so far this year. Playing with only 4 defensemen is not a recipe for success, especially on this road trip. To be fair though - Scott was a +1 and didn't make too many mistakes tonight. So that's nice. He also got a chance to do a bit of a tough guy routine when Carcillo stirred things up in the second.
- Jordan Eberle scored on another breakaway right out of the penalty box - by my count that has happened to the Blackhawks at least 34 other times so far this year. This time it was off a bad attempt from Keith to control the puck at the blue line. It slipped past him and right to Eberle. Watch Leddy fly back in an attempt to catch him though... that kid is fast.
- The Blackhawks were once again out-hit. I'm not going to complain about it so much as point out that it happens a lot even at home where the scoring is usually tilted pretty favorably to the home team.
- I didn't even realize the Oilers actually played Ben Eager until right now looking at the box score.
Player of the Game
Two goals from a third pair defensman? Yeah, that'll do it. Nice job Monty