by Patrick Stankus
Send a McRib to #Fatrick
With the dog days of the regular season for a playoff bound team fully upon us, the Blackhawks traveled north of the border on Tuesday night to take on the Montreal Canadiens. The Hawks were coming off a big win at home on Sunday against the division leading Minnesota Wild. With both teams in action, there was a possibility the Hawks could leapfrog the Wild with a win and a Wild loss tonight. Prior to the game, the Hawks got some good news from the injury department, as Scott Darling was cleared to return..... to the bench. Anyway, lets get this Eastern Canada trip underway.
The first few minutes of the game was nothing more than two teams getting their legs under them, with a couple of chances here and there. Thankfully the pace of the game picked up as the period went on, otherwise we were all going to fall asleep. While the Habs peppered the Hawks net, all the Hawks could do on the offensive side was throw four shots at Carey Price. Despite only registering four shots, it was the Hawks who found themselves on top at the end of the period. Unfortunately, it all wasn't positive for the Hawks. As time wound down, Artem Anisimov had his leg rolled up on, and left the game.
In the second period, the Hawks looked much better. For much of the period, it was end to end action at a brisk pace. It was much more enjoyable than the opening twenty minutes. The Hawks did try to make it interesting. During the middle stage of the period, the Hawks managed to kill off two penalties to keep the Canadiens off the scoreboard. Between the Canadiens' power plays, the Hawks did manage to increase their lead to two, thanks to a goal by Johnny Oduya. Down the stretch, the Canadiens had a few great chances, but Corey Crawford was unbelievable, and the Hawks went to the intermission up by two.
With a two goal lead in their pocket, the Hawks wasted little time in adding to their lead in the third period. Artemi Panarin scored forty-seven seconds into the period to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead, and basically put themselves on cruise control. That cruise control style of play came back to bite them in the ass, as the Canadiens scored two goals in under four minutes to cut the Hawks lead to 3-2. Luckily the Hawks finally woke up, with Toews adding an empty net goal to seal the deal, and the Hawks escaped from Montreal with a 4-2 win. Next up for the Hawks is a trip to Canada's capital, Ottawa, to take on the Senators.
- Patrick Kane opened the scoring in the first period, after a great set up by Artem Anisimov. The assist by Anisimov gave him a new career high in points at forty-five. Scary part is, there's still 3 1/2 weeks left in the regular season.
- Johnny Oduya tallied his first goal in his second stint with the Hawks after one timing a loose puck from the point. I've seen Oduya make this play before (when it comes to one timing a puck from the left point towards the net), except A LOT more was on the line, and it wasn't him who scored.
- With Anisimov injured, #DickSchmaltz took his place on the #AK72Line, and was excellent. He set up Panarin's goal in the third period with a nifty pass from along the boards, and Panarin did the rest.
- The final will say he gave up two goals, but Corey Crawford was outstanding tonight. He made several spectacular saves. In the end he made forty saves en route to the win and remains unbeaten in regulation against Montreal in his career.
- Who didn't enjoy Tanner Kero laying out Andrew Shaw?
- TVR played a team low 14:52 for all you TVR haters. Not to be outdone though, Michal Kempny's ass was in the press box again, so I win.
- Patrick Kane had himself a night. Not only did he have three points, but he also moved ahead in the league lead in scoring. Although as I am writing this, Connor McClavicle and Edmonton are still playing tonight, so it could change. Regardless, I'm sure Kane being in the scoring lead will get some committed bloggers upset. Isn't it McAwesome?
- I love the heart of Ryan Hartman, but son you're going to get yourself killed laying out in front of a Shea Weber slap shot. Put that one in the memory bank next time you think that will be a good idea.
- Speaking of Shea Weber's slap shot, let's ask Corey Crawford's mask how it feels. In the second period, Crawford's mask was the victim of a Weber bomb that knocked him on his ass.
- For the most part, the Hawks looked pretty good tonight, except for some sloppy play in the second period. During that stretch, they took two penalties, but did manage to kill both of them off. They were also guilty of taking their foot off the gas late in the third period, and the Canadiens managed to score two goals in under four minutes to make it interesting.
- CSN decided to put Adam Burish on during the intermissions, and post game tonight. Actually, he was a lot better than Jamal Mayers. Maybe this is like #DickSchmaltz. Baby steps into a bigger role with the team. Or it could just be because Burish is broke and will work for food.
- For reasons unknown, Pat Foley decided to say Corey Crawford is better goalie than Carey Price. His basis? Crawford has two Jennings Trophies to Price's one, and Crawford's two Stanley Cups to Price's zero. Jesus Christ, shut the hell up Pat. If we're going to judge players based on championships, then Colin Fraser is an all time great.
- What the hell were the Canadiens thinking on Kane's goal. Its like Moses' parted the Habs defenders to give Kane all the time and space he wanted.
- Remember when I said the Hawks got good news from the injury department before the game? Well that was the kiss of death, as Artem Anisimov went down with a lower body injury at the end of the first period. Anisimov had to be helped off the ice, and as Captain Obvious would say, it didn't look good. (Update) - Post game Quenneville said it wasn't as bad as originally feared, and Anisimov will be re-evaluated in a few days.
- Anisimov missing the last two periods of the game probably didn't help, but the Hawks were crushed at the dot 39%-61%. WOOF.