Observations From Section 321 : 3 Lines > 4 Lines

A shorthanded Blackhawks team create yet another way to win to improve to 21-0-3.

Yes, the Blackhawks have extended their point streak to 24 straight games but it could have come at a high cost. Michael Frolik missed his 2nd straight game with an illness. Marian Hossa was a late scratch due to a mysterious upper body injury. Andrew Shaw took a Paul Statsny elbow to the head late in the 2nd period and never returned. Of course all the zebras on the ice missed the elbow but I'm pretty sure Mr. Shanahan saw it. With just over 12 minutes to go in the game Patrick Sharp was checked hard into the boards and immediately went to the locker room favoring his shoulder. Somehow, none of this mattered because we have the great Gorilla Salad on our side!!

The Blackhawks ended a streak of giving up the first goal in three straight games by cashing in on a power play at 9:51 of the opening period. Cody McLeod picked up a roughing call after he took exception to a good clean hit delivered by Brent Seabrook on Patrick Bordeleau, that dumped him into the Avs bench. Andrew Shaw provided a screen in front of Semyon Varlamov and tipped in a shot from the point by Seabrook to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Brandon Saad got the secondary assist, his 4th point in the last two games, on Shaw's 6th goal of the year. Shots from the point with traffic in front on a power play? More of this please!

John Mitchell tied the game up with his 7th goal of the season at 18:20. Ryan O'Reilly started the play by passing off to Chuck Kobasew who made a nice, quick cross ice pass in between two Hawks defenders. Mitchell found himself all alone in front of the net and lifted a backhand shot over the left pad of Ray Emery. The Avs would take the lead at 13:17 of the 2nd period on Matt Duchene's 8th goal of the year. Duchene lead a rush along the left boards right after Varlamov stopped a Patrick Sharp attempt at the other end. Duchene headed straight to the net after a drop pass to P.A. Parenteau, and was able to sneak to puck past Emery on his short side after getting the puck right back from Parenteau. Duchene showed some maturity by not acting not a complete dill weed after scoring the goal, which is rare.

The Hawks found themselves trailing at the start of the 3rd period for just the 4th time all season. They didn't stay behind very long as Jonathan Toews scored a shorthanded goal at 2:19. Dave Bolland decided to lead a rush into the Avs zone instead of clearing the puck down. He found Toews over the blue line and then preceded to knock the stick of Jamie McGinn out of his hand. Oh you sneaky little rat you! Toews blew right by the 5 million dollar man O'Reilly for his 10th goal of the season. Johnny Oduya was credited with his 8th assist of the year on the play.

The Blackhawks completed the comeback, and rolled to their 11th straight win with Daniel Carcillo's first goal of the year with just 49.3 seconds left in the game. Marcus Kruger made the play happen by beating two Colorado defenders to the puck behind the net and getting out to Viktor Stalberg. Carcillo made a nice play by getting to the net, with his stick on the ice, and was able to clean up Stalberg's rebound. It's no secret I am not a fan of Carcillo but I will give him credit for making a nice play. You have to feel good for him picking up a huge goal after all his injury problems he has dealt with in the last year. With that being said, he is still a bum!

* Before being injured the puck kept finding Patrick Sharp, who couldn't buy a goal right now. Sharp and Stalberg both lead the team with 5 shots, but no goals from these two "great" finishers. At one point in the 2nd period, Sharp and Stalberg had a 2 on 1 and once I realized who the two Hawks were, my excitement died down.

* Even though Sharp has been a disappointment so far this year losing him for a significant amount of time still hurts a lot. Sharpie is a player that other teams still have to worry about when he is on the ice. His presence gives Patrick Kane more space to create and make plays. Rumors flying around are saying Sharp will miss 2 to 3 weeks, which would be a lot less time than originally thought. It will be interesting to see what move is made to replace him. Does Jeremy Morin get a shot? Do we see the living legend Ben Smith back with the big club? Just as long as it isn't Brandon Bollig I will be fine with it.

* I am sure there were meatballs in the 300 level saying that Hossa, Sharp and Shaw wouldn't have been hurt if Bollig was here to "protect" them.

* I spent some time of Tuesday night's game singing the praises of Michal Rozsival and how good he has played so far. He rewarded my good faith in him with a pretty shitty game last night. We will probably see Sheldon Brookbank back in the 6th spot on Friday, or maybe the return of Steve Montador. Having three serviceable, veteran defenseman all hungry to get on the ice is not a bad thing.

* Am I the only one who is really enjoying watching Patrick Kane skate through people instead of trying to get around them? The improvements this kid as made in his overall game has been tremendous and so much fun to see.

*Along with his great play on the game winning goal, Marcus Kruger lead the Hawks at the faceoff circle as well. He keeps getting better with every game and won 60% of his draws. It is a rarity to not see Toews at the top of the list, but it is a refreshing change of pace. Frogger has raised his FO% to 45.2 on the season, which is second best out of the regular centers.

*If you are a fan of blocked shots last night's game was like porn for you! The two teams combined for 44 blocked shots, 21 for the Avs and 23 for the Hawks.

Blackhawks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 18:10 15 21 -6 +2 -7
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 17:32 20 15 +5 -3 +6
Brent Seabrook D 16:28 15 19 -4 +2 -5
Nick Leddy D 15:39 10 15 -5 +4 -7
Patrick Sharp R 13:30 11 14 -3 -1 -3
Daniel Carcillo L 13:42 17 10 +7 -2 +8
Marcus Kruger C 9:49 9 10 -1 +1 -1
Sheldon Brookbank D 2:31 1 1 0 +2 -1
Jonathan Toews C 18:47 17 24 -7 -1 -7
Brandon Saad L 15:53 14 17 -3 -1 -3
Jamal Mayers R 7:36 5 9 -4 +2 -5
Viktor Stalberg L 12:03 17 10 +7 +3 +6
Johnny Oduya D 16:55 21 15 +6 -3 +7
Bryan Bickell L 15:10 14 14 0 +4 -2
Michal Rozsival D 17:22 11 17 -6 +4 -8
Dave Bolland C 15:33 10 11 -1 -1 -1
Andrew Shaw C 7:31 10 9 +1 +4 -1
Patrick Kane R 20:09 13 24 -11 -1


Avalanche Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Ryan O'Byrne D 20:39 24 16 +8 -2 +9
Greg Zanon D 12:05 16 14 +2 -3 +3
Shane O'Brien D 16:07 17 16 +1 -2 +2
John Mitchell C 16:28 20 7 +13 -2 +14
Jan Hejda D 16:04 12 14 -2 +1 -2
Matt Duchene C 14:42 20 16 +4 -1 +4
Jamie Mcginn L 13:26 16 15 +1 +1 +1
Chuck Kobasew R 6:27 7 3 +4 +1 +4
Pa Parenteau R 16:43 16 16 0 0 0
Aaron Palushaj R 12:19 15 7 +8 -2 +9
Matt Hunwick D 16:42 19 16 +3 -2 +4
Paul Stastny C 16:32 11 19 -8 0 -8
Tyson Barrie D 18:23 14 16 -2 +2 -3
David Jones R 12:55 10 17 -7 -1 -7
Cody Mcleod L 8:10 6 7 -1 -3 +0
Patrick Bordeleau L 5:47 5 6 -1 -1 -1
Ryan O'Reilly C 16:24 17 8 +9 -2 +10
Gabriel Landeskog L 15:02 10 17 -7 +1 -7