Show of hands if you had Adam Clendening scoring on his second shift, on the power play, in his first NHL game. Alright liars, put your hands down.
However unlikely of a scenario that was, that's the way the Blackhawks got their annual "circus trip" started in Calgary. Clendening got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard first, and later on in the 1st period, another unsuspecting Blackhawk continued the scoring. A hard working shift by the "4th line" resulted in Gorilla Salad giving the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead. After that, the sloppy, careless play of the Blackhawks took over, and they yielded 2 power play goals to the Flames to end the 1st period tied at 2.
Just past the midway point of the 2nd period, Brent Seabrook fired the puck past Jonas Hiller to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead. That lead however, was short lived, as the Flames managed to tie it up at 3 just under 2 minutes later.
Its well documented on my feelings on a goalie that plays the puck. I believe they should stay in the damn net. Well Jonas Hiller backed up my opinion by coughing up the puck to Patrick Kane, and Kane made him pay. Kane's goal put the Hawks up for good, and in the end got the circus trip started off on the right foot with a 4-3 win.
- Thank the good Lord that Brandon Bollig didn't score
- It was nice to see Adam Clendening score in his 1st NHL game. Way to set the bar high, and become the newest star in the meatball world.
- The hard work of the "4th line" paid off on the Hawks 2nd goal. Dirty work along the boards resulted in a turnover, and Gorilla Salad of all people scoring a goal. That's the kind of effort you want to see out of the grinder line.
- Patrick Kane's first game as a 26 year old was stellar. His steal resulted in the game winning goal, and he also had a sweet centering pass to Seabrook on the Hawks 3rd goal.
- The power play was 1 of 2 on the night. For a change, I'll take that.
- Once again the "physicality" of the Blackhawks showed. I am big proponent of the stat of hits in the game, and the Hawks were outhit 15-4. Time to toughen up, and throw the body around when needed.
- Duncan Keith and Brad Richards defensive "positioning" on the Flames 3rd goal was horrendous. Nothing like being mesmerized by the puck guys.
- Anytime you take five straight penalties in a game, you deserve to lose. Luckily for the Hawks they were able to get away with this tonight.
- Ladislav Smid was a solid -3 on the night. I remember actually wanting the Hawks to take a run at him at the trade deadline a few years ago. See we're not perfect or experts.
- This wasn't one of Niklas Hjalmarsson's strongest games, as he took 2 penalties.