Observations From Section 321: Skill > Goons

The Blackhawks rolled to their 5th straight victory with a 2-0 shutout of the hated St. Louis Blues

I could pretty much copy and paste every recap of a Blackhawks/Blues game I have ever done and it would apply to Sunday's game. Nothing ever seems to change. The Blues try to thug it up and beat up the Hawks, but eventually the Hawks' superior skill overcomes the douchebaggery. The Blues were on a mission yesterday and after the Hawks withstood the first 10 minutes of the day, the game wasn't very close. You would think a team in the thick of a playoff race would care more about puck possession and goals than hits and extra curricular stupidity. But then again, these are the Blues.

The Hawks 3rd line made its triumphant return on Sunday and they ended Brian Elliot's scoreless streak at 4:31 of the 1st period. Viktor Stalberg was able to use his speed to gain the zone and centered the puck. Bryan Bickell was there to slip the puck past Elliot for his 9th goal of the year.

Marian Hossa added an insurance goal at 6:34 of the 3rd period. While the Blues had control in the offensive zone, during a power play, Jordan Leopold played the puck with a high stick. This lead to a draw to the left of Elliot in the Blues zone. Jonathan Toews beat Andy McDonald at the dot and Hossa blasted a shot from the top of the circle for his 15th of the season. Replays show the shot might have been slightly tipped by Alex Pietrangelo, but that was the kill shot the Hawks needed to bury St. Louis. I really hope the final game of the year against the Blues finds them needing a win to make the playoffs. It would be the perfect end to a great regular season if the Hawks could prevent the Blues from entering post season play.

* Corey Crawford was fabulous on Sunday, picking up his 3rd shutout of the year, and in my eyes solidifying the starting position for the playoffs. He was very confident in the net and didn't let Alexander Steen's multiple attempts to run him over get him off his game.

* I really hope these last 8 games can really help Dave Bolland regain his form from a year ago because right now he is a hot mess. He was only noticeable when was mucking it up after the whistle or crosschecking people from behind. I did get a huge kick out of the "two for flinching" moment he had with Vladimir Sobotka towards the end of the game. Q did the right thing by holding out Patrick Sharp from yesterday's shit show. I wouldn't mind some of our bigger names getting a night off here and there down the stretch.

* The Hawks have played two each in Nashville and St Louis and have given up zero goals in those games. That's how you run and hide from a division.

* Another stat that should make you feel good heading into the post season is that the Hawks are 19-3-4 in one goal games this season. They have won the high scoring affairs but lately they have been grinding out wins in the types of games we will see the playoffs.

* Oh David Backes, you are truly the things that make up a great captain. Your knee to knee hits and cross checks behind the play are what dreams are made of. And then to trash talk Bryan Bickell, by asking him if he even plays, is the stuff that gets you into the Hall of Fame. Let's not mention that Bickell has a point per game against your crap team this season, has 4 more goals than you and scored the game winning goal on Sunday. If it wasn't for the pain in Tazer's leg your cheap shots caused, nobody would even noticed you were playing.

* Barrett Jackman is one of my heroes too. His willingness to stand up to some of the biggest tough guys in the game like Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg is admirable. These thugs need to be taught a lesson and Jackman is one of the few who has the stones to give these deviants what they deserve.

* Saw some complaints about Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers not being in the lineup in such a physical game. Why sink to their level? You don't beat goons with more goons. You beat them by skating circles around them which is exactly what the Hawks did.

* I actually earned a droplet of respect for Pierre McGuire yesterday. He kept trying to get Edzo to say nice things about Viktor Stalberg which made for some very forced and pained comments from Eddie. I enjoyed this very much.

* Michal Frolik and Brandon Saad accounted for 7 of the Blackhawks 13 hits yesterday. You got to love Frolik's determination and work ethic on the ice. He never gives up on a play. He is going to be a key player in the post season run. There was a great moment in the 3rd period after Saad made a rookie mistake by turning the puck over by passing it towards the center of the ice. The camera showed Jonathan Toews coaching the kid up. The very next shift Saad was in a similar situation and made the correct play by chipping the puck up along the boards.

No rest for the wicked as the Hawks take on the red hot Dallas Stars tonight, who have traded away everybody and lost their goalie but nobody told them they are supposed to be losing.

Blackhawks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 17:24 13 16 -3 +6 -5
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 18:53 12 16 -4 +6 -6
Brent Seabrook D 15:48 17 12 +5 +1 +5
Nick Leddy D 14:00 15 10 +5 +1 +5
Marcus Kruger C 9:40 9 12 -3 -3 -2
Sheldon Brookbank D 13:26 12 14 -2 0 -2
Jonathan Toews C 15:43 9 11 -2 +3 -3
Brandon Saad L 15:40 10 9 +1 +4 -1
Viktor Stalberg L 8:42 10 6 +4 +3 +3
Michal Handzus C 9:16 9 10 -1 +2 -2
Johnny Oduya D 16:38 13 16 -3 0 -3
Bryan Bickell L 9:44 12 8 +4 +4 +2
Dave Bolland C 11:07 9 9 0 -1 +0
Brandon Bollig L 10:00 7 12 -5 +1 -5
Andrew Shaw C 9:59 13 10 +3 +3 +2
Michael Frolik R 9:52 7 11 -4 +2 -5
Marian Hossa R 14:12 5 16 -11 +2 -12
Patrick Kane R 15:37 20 10 +10 -1 +10

Blues Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Barret Jackman D 13:27 4 14 -10 -1 -10
Jaden Schwartz C 9:30 5 9 -4 -3 -3
Andy Mcdonald C 14:59 17 16 +1 -1 +1
Vladimir Sobotka C 14:06 17 17 0 -2 +1
Jay Bouwmeester D 19:19 19 13 +6 -4 +8
Alexander Steen C 14:06 10 10 0 -2 +1
Patrik Berglund C 10:05 8 10 -2 -3 -1
Kevin Shattenkirk D 16:38 21 13 +8 -3 +9
Chris Stewart R 13:36 13 14 -1 -1 -1
Alex Pietrangelo D 16:57 11 16 -5 -4 -3
Chris Porter L 9:13 7 7 0 -1 +0
Jordan Leopold D 16:18 22 13 +9 -2 +10
David Backes R 15:21 13 9 +4 -3 +5
Roman Polak D 13:21 7 13 -6 0 -6
David Perron L 13:58 15 7 +8 -1 +8
Ryan Reaves R 6:54 5 5 0 0 0
Adam Cracknell R 6:52 5 5 0 +1 -0
Vladimir Tarasenko R 12:44 11 11 0 -3 +1