by Patrick Stankus
With the regular season entering its final week, the Blackhawks traveled north of the border to Winnnnnnnnnipeg to take on the Jets for the final time this season. Before the game even started, news broke that Duncan Keith will be suspended six games, meaning he will miss one playoff game. In addition to Keith being out, Hossa missed the game with an illness, while Crawford was still nursing an upper body injury. I guess the good news heading into tonight's game was at least Brent Seabrook returned tonight. Needless to say, it sounds like it could be an eventful final week of the regular season.
When the puck dropped, both teams looked as if they were skating in a daze, like they're are trying to get the regular season over. The Jets opened the scoring just shy of the midway point of the period, but the Hawks would twice over the final six minutes of the game to take a 2-1 lead. I feel like I should mention that we were treated to two rare feats by the Hawks in the first, a power play goal by Panarin, and a goal by The Manshitter. I am still in shock. In the period the Jets would out shoot the Hawks by a 13-9 margin, but trailed 2-1 on the scoreboard after twenty minutes.
The Hawks started the second period shorthanded, thanks to a late first period penalty by TVR. The penalty kill came through and killed off the Jets power play to preserve the Hawks lead. Blake Wheeler tied the game just past the half way mark of the game with his 21st goal of the season. Shortly after Wheeler tied the game, the Jets would get another crack on the power play after Seabrook put the puck over the glass. Just as the case was earlier in the period, the PK was able to keep the Jets off the score sheet. Late in the period, Patrick Kane netted his 40th goal of the season to put the Hawks back on top. When the horn sounded the Hawks would remain in the lead 3-2.
The third period had a wonderful display of sloppy, shitty hockey. Early on, the Hawks had a chance with a 5 on 3 power play, but couldn't convert on it. As the Jets second penalty was coming to an end, Panarin had a chance to put the Hawks up two, but he missed a wide open net. As is always the case, the Jets came down the ice right after they killed off the penalty, and Byfuglien tied the game at three. Blake Wheeler added his second goal of the game, later in the period, to put the Jets in the lead 4-3. Not to be outdone, Artemi Panarin felt the need to add his second goal of the game with just under five minutes remaining, and tied the game at four. Of course, since I'm recapping the game, this one would head to overtime. Fucking awesome.
The overtime period proved to be a short, thank God. After a couple of fabricated 2 on 1s for both teams, Panarin set up a one timer for Seabrook and thankfully ended this "exciting" game as said by Steve Konroyd with a 5-4 winner for the Hawks.
- The gross power play finally showed up, and opened the scoring tonight with a Panarin one timer. Jump for joy folks.
- Artemi Panarin had himself a nice, little game with a four point night. He wound up with two goals and two assists.
- Other Hawks that had multi point nights were Seabrook 1G, 1A; Kane 1G, 1A; and The Gus Bus 2A. Of the three of them, Kane and Gus especially had strong games. Nice to see The Gus Bus return from his tune up with a strong game.
- The PK killed off all three Winnipeg power plays tonight. I really missed saying that. Can I also say, #KrugerEffect ?
- In the waning seconds of a power play in the third period, Artemi Panarin had a chance to put the Hawks up by two with a wide open net, but he pulled a Stalberg and shanked the shot. In typical fashion, the Jets came down the ice after killing the penalty and scored to tie the game. Gotta bury the golden chances when you get them.
- Midway through the second period during a tv timeout, Andrew Shaw left the game, and did not return. After the game Q said he was day to day, and it wasn't serious. I'll drop the Q line of "we'll see" on that one.
- Shaw wasn't the only one who had a rough second period. TVR took a big hit from Wheeler, and Toews took a puck to the head. Basically the Hawks were dropping like flies in the middle frame.
- Scott Darling was alright. He certainly wasn't stellar, but he got the win, and I'll take that.
- We all know TVR's skating isn't his strong suit. It was on full display on Byfuglien's game tying goal in the third period.
- For Christ's sake, I give up on goalie interference challenges. They're stupid. They're all fucking stupid and a waste of everyone's goddamn time. Big middle finger to the GMs for voting this horseshit into the league.
- Not only did TVR take a huge hit in the second period, but overall he had a night to forget. He was a team worst -3 on the night, and looked lost out there more than a few times.
- Well the awesomeness of 3 on 3 OT seems to wearing off. Tonight was another example of that. Its starting to look like the players don't even give a shit. Not even a waffle cone of SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM could have made that exciting.
- Live look at the Hawks defensive core with Keith out.......