My 4th Star: Blackhawks vs. Flames and Kings

With the Kings game two nights ago I did not have time to pick a 4th star so I am combining both games into this post and selecting a 4th star from each game. Last night the Hawks were able to turn around their fortunes by beating the Calgary Flames 2-0 for Ray Emery's 12th win of the season.

It's pretty obvious to me who deserves the 4th star for last night, he was all over the ice, getting scoring chances and spending more time in Calgary's net than the puck. He has 16 points so far this season and as a rookie has shown no hesitation to the jump to the big leagues.

Brandon Saad is showing why he is probably the smartest investment if you are looking for a new Hawks sweater or t-shirt. The guy plays the game with the tenacity of Toews but is showing that he has some similar skills to Kane. Main point, he has been and is going to be very good.

Last night Saad had three shots and ended up in the net after two of them. What that shows me is that kid is not afraid to go to the dirty areas to get production, he is willing to drive the net and while his size might become an issue he is showing he has the skill and speed to make something happen.

Saad had over 20 minutes of ice time last night and even had almost two minutes of PK time, along with nearly five minutes of powerplay time. The kid is showing that he can handle the pressure and the weight of playing for one of the greatest franchises in sports, all at a very raw level. I am beyond excited to see what he turns into and where he can take his game next.

For the Hawks game against the Kings from Sunday night, it was a little harder to pick a 4th star. Immediately after the game I was upset with the loss and thought about picking a King for the 4th star as my grand stand against bad hockey, but my pick, Dustin Brown was selected as the 3rd star behind Frolik and Keith. You know the Hawks had an off night when Justin Williams has as many shots as Captain Serious.

But luckily for me, and those of you who would bemoan picking a 4th star from another team I found a loop-hole and he wears #88.

Even when the Hawks haven't looked like the best team in the NHL, like they did Sunday against the Kings, Patrick Kane is still showing why he should be a serious contender for the Hart (if it wasn't for that guy in Pittsburgh).

Kane is on a 7 game point streak, adding a goal against the Kings and two assists last night against the Flames. Kane has been far more than his offensive production though this season. He is showing too, that will a little seasoning and maybe a serious talk from your coach and president, that he can play both ways and mature his game on and off the ice.

One play in particular from last night, in the second period the Flames were rushing into the Hawks zone and the Flames player carrying the puck seemed like he was going to have an easy shot on net. All of the sudden, out of nowhere I see Kane come in from behind and lift his stick as he was getting ready to release a shot on Emery.

We have all known that Patrick Kane has the skill but what some/most of us were worried about would be if he could master the mental part of the game as well. It seems like he is taking some serious strides to show that he has grown up. But I would stop trying your shoot-out move during a breakaway, it doesn't work. You can't slow down enough to stick handle without allowing the d to catch up to you and disrupt your move/shot.

Hawks host the Ducks on Friday night, let's create some space between the two and get a regulation win.

P.S. You may have seen the comment from LanceFister3 about the SCH Inline Hockey Club, which will be starting it's THIRD season officially opening April 7th in Hoffman Estates, if you have skates and a stick you are over-qualified. Come on out and met some SCHer's in real life, get a little exercise and take out any aggression you may have. Also if you want to tell me I suck to my face, this would be the perfect opportunity. Message me, Billy Charlesboi or LanceFister3 for more details. It's fun, it's free, it's HOCKEY!