Observations From Section 321 : I Got Your Hashtag Right Here!

The Blackhawks defeat the St Louis Blues to improve their record to an amazing 17-0-3.

The St Louis Blues came into the shortened season as the darling of many of the so call "experts" around the league. The were picked to come out of the Western Conference by many but the historic start by the Blackhawks have made them what they usually are, just a footnote on the NHL season. Blues fans started using the hashtag #EndTheStreak yesterday but by the end of the night they were #AddedToTheStreak!

It didn't take very long for the Blackhawks to remind the Blues that they are the class of the NHL right now. Right off the opening faceoff the Hawks scored a team goal because all five skaters touched the puck before it went into net. Brent Seabrook made a cross ice pass to Duncan Keith, who made a diagonal pass to Marian Hossa who quickly got it across ice to Brandon Saad, who found a wide open Jonathan Toews for a 1-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game. It was a thing of beauty that I have watch quite a few times. The play looked like the Blues weren't even on the ice and the Hawks were doing one last line rush in pregame warm ups. The remaining 19:48 of the period was rather unremarkable.

The 2nd period started with a new face on the ice for the Blackhawks. Ray Emery replaced Corey Crawford in goal after the 1st period. If you were watching the Chicago broadcast you would not have known this right away because Pat Foley was too busy doing an insufferable Harry Caray impression to actually tell you some rather important news. Late in the period, the Blues were given a power play thanks to a phantom holding call on Marcus Kruger and looked like they were going to tie the game. Kevin Shattenkirk hit the post on a shot Pat and Eddie thought might have went in from their view in the booth, but it stayed out of the net. A few moments later Emery made the save of the night on Chris Stewart who found himself all alone in front of the crease but was denied.

The Blackhawks added an insurance goal at the 2:11 mark of the 3rd period. Viktor Stalberg did a nice job keeping control of the puck behind the Blues net where Bryan Bickell was able to find Andrew Shaw in the middle of the ice. With all the Blues defenders focused on the puck behind the net Shaw was able to sneak around to the front of the net where he buried a wrist shot for his 5th goal of the season. Captain Serious would add his second tally of the night a 6:56 to seal the Hawks 17th victory of the season. Nick Leddy fired a low slap shot from the top of the left circle and Toews was in front of the net with his stick on the ice to clean it up. Not many people are going to deny our captain when he is in the blue paint.

* Still not sure what happened with Corey Crawford. He did look a bit woozy coming off the ice after the 1st period. Some reports said he became ill and might have had the flu. Coach Q said he had the famous upper body injury and is day to day. He added that it was unrelated to the concussion that caused Crow to miss 4 games on the recently completed home stand. All we can do is play the waiting game and see if Henrik Karlsson or Carter Hutton gets the call up from Rockford today.

* I am becoming a huge fan of the budding bromance between Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell. I really wish Shaw wasn't so stupid sometimes because he has great offensive instincts. Bickell is playing for a new contract and at this point, I would give him an extension at the year's end. The Hawks 3rd line has been so good this year. Bickell, Shaw and Stalberg have combined for 12 goals with 13 assists and collectively are a plus 14. They have a great combination of size, speed, grit and skill and will cause some match up nightmares in the postseason.

* Remember when Blues fans bragged that David Backes was the greatest captain and was one of the best two way forwards in the league? Yeah, not much. Did you watch what number 19 in white?

* Still not a fan of Daniel Carcillo taking away 1st line minutes from Brandon Saad. Saad is in the long term plans for this franchise and Carcillo is not. I did like the move to include Saad on the penalty kill. I will never figure out how this kid fell to the 3rd round of the draft.

* I Tweeted last night that the over/under for the pointless Brandon Bollig vs Ryan Reaves fight was 6 minutes. Even the referees didn't want to see and thankfully broke up the fight before it could even start.

*The Blackhawks only had one giveaway last night, compared to 9 by the Blues.

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 19:00 21 14 +7 +3 +6
4 D HJALMARSSON, NIKLAS Niklas Hjalmarsson D 16:21 7 9 -2 +1 -2
7 D SEABROOK, BRENT Brent Seabrook D 18:28 17 14 +3 +3 +2
8 D LEDDY, NICK Nick Leddy D 14:42 10 4 +6 0 +6
10 R SHARP, PATRICK Patrick Sharp R 14:02 11 6 +5 +2 +4
13 L CARCILLO, DANIEL Daniel Carcillo L 10:15 8 6 +2 +2 +1
16 C KRUGER, MARCUS Marcus Kruger C 14:25 9 12 -3 +1 -3
19 C TOEWS, JONATHAN Jonathan Toews C 14:40 10 9 +1 0 +1
20 L SAAD, BRANDON Brandon Saad L 10:24 4 8 -4 0 -4
25 L STALBERG, VIKTOR Viktor Stalberg L 12:59 13 4 +9 +2 +8
27 D ODUYA, JOHNNY Johnny Oduya D 16:30 6 10 -4 +1 -4
29 L BICKELL, BRYAN Bryan Bickell L 12:17 15 5 +10 +1 +10
32 D ROZSIVAL, MICHAL Michal Rozsival D 14:59 13 5 +8 0 +8
52 L BOLLIG, BRANDON Brandon Bollig L 6:16 1 6 -5 +1 -5
65 C SHAW, ANDREW Andrew Shaw C 15:27 16 5 +11 +1 +11
67 R FROLIK, MICHAEL Michael Frolik R 8:09 2 8 -6 0 -6
81 R HOSSA, MARIAN Marian Hossa R 14:23 12 9 +3 0 +3
88 R KANE, PATRICK Patrick Kane R 16:43 10 6 +4 +2 +3