Observations From Section 321 : Biscuit & Gravy

The Blackhawks need overtime to get past Columbus, but they extend their point streak to 21 games.

The Blackhawks did not look fully interested in playing the Columbus Blue Jackets last night. That will happen in the course of a season, but its very easy to overlook the hot mess that the Jackets are these days, But, like great teams do, they found a way to win after not giving their best effort. To their credit, as they've done all season long, the Blackhawks never veered off their game plan and kept attacking the Blue Jackets.

The Blackhawks needed all of 12 seconds to score on the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Last night, the Blue Jackets turned the tables on the Hawks by taking a 1-0 lead just 31 seconds into the game. Derick Dorsett used his speed to gain the Hawks zone along the right boards. Duncan Keith had his stick down a caught a bit of Dorsett's wrist shot which caused the puck to knuckle. Ray Emery could not control the rebound and Vinny Prospal was there to clean up the mess for this 5th on the season. Prospal celebrated like he just won the Stanley Cup, but as he proved later in the game its not because he is a douche, but rather that he isn't that good a scoring goals. Vinny missed a couple of golden chances to score later in the game. Mark Letestu picked up the secondary assist on the play.

Viktor Stalberg had a breakaway chance about a minute and a half later but Vik does what he normally does and shot the puck wide. Patrick Kane rang a puck off the left post just a few moments after that. The Blackhawks were finally able to get one past Steve Mason at 16:09 right after a Columbus penalty for too many men had expired. Kane took a shot from the right circle and Mason could not control the rebound. Brandon Saad took a whack at the puck and Stalberg was their to put it into the night. Adrian Aucoin was victimized on Stalberg's 6th goal of the year by playing some pretty poor defense. As Edzo pointed out on the broadcast, Aucoin had his stick in the air which allowed Stalberg access to the puck.

The Jackets would regain the lead at 12:42 with an Artem Anisimov goal in his first game back after suffering a head injury on February 22nd. Anisimov's shot had an assist from Daneil Carcillo's leg, as he deflected the shot giving Emery no chance at the save. Cam Atkinson assisted on Anisimov's 5th goal of the season.

A few moments later career long meathead Jared Boll would give the Hawks the spark they needed. Boll gave Marian Hossa a cheap little cross check after the whistle and it seemed to light a fire under the Hawks' collective asses. Shortly after this play the Blackhawks were able to tie the game on a Patrick Sharp goal. Sharp was skating up the left boards and just flicked what looked like a harmless wrister towards the net. The Steve Mason we remember from last season made an appearance and completely misplayed the puck and it went in between his legs. Duncan Keith picked up his 11th assist of the year on Sharp's 5th goal and 25th versus the Jackets in his career.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Hawks tagged on a second goal just 59 seconds after Sharpie tied the game. Just after a Jacket face off win Bryan Bickell did a great job anticipating a D to D pass between Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin. He tipped away the pass and was off to the races where he unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that went over Mason's glove side shoulder.

Both teams had a few chances early in the 3rd but came up short and hit a couple of goal posts. The Jackets were able to tie up the game at the 12:33 mark of the 3rd period. The Hawks were having trouble clearing the puck out of their zone and RJ Umberger made a nice play to keep the puck in and got the puck to Nick Foligno who in turn made a great pass to Ryan Johansen. Ray Emery did not have much of chance on Johanen's elevated backhand shot while all alone in front of the net.

The Hawks point streak reached Stan Mikita as the game went into an overtime period tied at 3. Jonathan Toews decided he had played enough hockey for the night and ended the game at 3:23 of OT. He blew the doors right off the very shitty Adrian Aucoin at the BJ's blue line. Once free from the defense he made a great no look centering pass to Brent Seabrook who tipped the puck into a wide open net for his 3rd goal of the year and the Hawks 18th win. If you watch the replay below you can see Toews using the reflection of the glass to find where Seabs is. Seabrook didn't even have to shoot the puck, all he had to do was keep his stick on the ice. This was just a beautiful play.

* Viktor Stalberg had himself most Viktor Stalberiest night he could have. Yes, he did score, but these are the Blue Jackets and that's what he does. He could have scored two or three more goals on the night. Not only did he shoot wide on a 1st period breakaway but he also he a goalpost and missed an opportunity with Mason down and out late in the 3rd period.

* I really like the 2013 Bryan Bickell. Both Stalberg and Bickell are due for new contracts after the season. I never thought I'd say this but as of now I would resign Bickell and let Stalberg walk. Bickell will be the cheaper of the two options and right now he is playing better hockey. I would love to keep them both but I am not sure that can happen with the salary cap going down next year. Stan Bowman will have to work some magic with a buyout or two in order to keep the majority of the good young talent on this team.

* Was Patrick Kane fun to watch last night or what? He is the best puck handler I have seen in Chicago since Denis Savard.

* Ray Emery was a bit shaky last night and was fighting off the puck for the majority of the game. He hadn't had this much trouble with his rebound control since his first start of the year in Phoenix. He still turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced to remain perfect on the season at 9-0-0. This was only the third time this year Razor gave up more the 2 goals.

* Sure it looked like the Hawks were uninterested for some of the night but they never eased off the attack. They got 35 shots on goal, the Jackets blocked 19 shots and the Hawks missed 14 more. They attempted 68 total shots compared to the 50 total shots attempted by Columbus (22 on goal, 14 blocked, 14 missed).

* What did Mrs. Brookbank put into Sheldon Brookbank's Wheaties yesterday morning? He was definitely playing with an edge last night, something I was not used to seeing out of him.

* The Blackhawks announced that the April 19th game against the Nashville Predators will be Pat Foley night, in honor of his 30 years in the booth. The Chicago Police Department is going rake on DUI's that night. I would suggest that everyone take cabs to that game.

Corsi Numbers

Number pos name Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
2 D KEITH, DUNCAN Duncan Keith D 23:30 26 24 +2 0 +2
4 D HJALMARSSON, NIKLAS Niklas Hjalmarsson D 20:08 20 14 +6 +2 +5
7 D SEABROOK, BRENT Brent Seabrook D 24:02 22 23 -1 0 -1
8 D LEDDY, NICK Nick Leddy D 14:46 18 11 +7 -1 +7
10 R SHARP, PATRICK Patrick Sharp R 18:05 20 14 +6 +1 +6
13 L CARCILLO, DANIEL Daniel Carcillo L 9:29 6 9 -3 +1 -3
16 C KRUGER, MARCUS Marcus Kruger C 16:51 17 10 +7 0 +7
17 D BROOKBANK, SHELDON Sheldon Brookbank D 10:26 15 4 +11 -1 +11
19 C TOEWS, JONATHAN Jonathan Toews C 17:01 15 15 0 0 0
20 L SAAD, BRANDON Brandon Saad L 12:35 14 7 +7 +1 +7
22 R MAYERS, JAMAL Jamal Mayers R 6:25 5 6 -1 +2 -2
25 L STALBERG, VIKTOR Viktor Stalberg L 13:07 20 15 +5 -1 +5
27 D ODUYA, JOHNNY Johnny Oduya D 21:53 20 20 0 +2 -1
29 L BICKELL, BRYAN Bryan Bickell L 14:45 16 17 -1 -1 -1
65 C SHAW, ANDREW Andrew Shaw C 14:30 21 14 +7 -1 +7
67 R FROLIK, MICHAEL Michael Frolik R 10:00 11 7 +4 +1 +4
81 R HOSSA, MARIAN Marian Hossa R 16:48 15 15 0 -1 +0
88 R KANE, PATRICK Patrick Kane R 19:11 18 11 +7 +1