Adjourned: Hawks 5, Blue Jackets 4 (SO)
So, we made it to the Olympic break. We're battered, bruised, tired and drunk, but we made it. The Hawks played a ragged game against Columbus today, sending a clear message in the first period that they really, really just wanted to get this over with. Columbus managed a couple of goals off lucky breaks, and then Hawks decided maybe they did want these two points after all.
The I-90 Connection: Brian Bickell and Jake Dowell were both suited up for this one, and each of them got a well deserved goal. While the other Hawks seemed to be content to shoot from the perimeter, these two played like guys who wanted to make an impression, throwing body checks and going hard to the front of the Columbus net. Eventually their mates took the hint, but these were the guys who gave a full 60 minutes.
Troy Brouwer: The Tower of Brouwer assisted on Dowell's goal and then in the third period reminded the Hawks fans that while they don't have an "enforcer", there are guys on this team who can handle themselves. After Anton Stralman caught Patrick Kane with his head down and nailed him with a knee-to-knee hit, Brouwer took exception, and pummelled Starlman good. Of course, Brouwer received 19 minutes in penalties and the Blue Jackets tied the game on the resulting power play, but Troy returned to the ice for the shootout and scored the game winning goal.
I'm not going to pick on any single Hawk here. I think most guys were looking forward to getting this game overwith. The Hawks played like it in the first period, playing shit defense, lazy offense and nearly waiting too long to snap out of it. But they did recover and got two more points. This one's over, so let's all enjoy the jingoism that is the Winter Olympics and then we'll see what happens after the Blackhawks are rested (somewhat) and (hopefully) healthy.
The Line Combinations: Not faulting Quenneville for this, as he had 3 newer guys in the lineup again today and he was constantly shuffling the lines to try and find some chemistry. My only real issue with this is that the Hawks were wearing their 3rd jersey and I could barely read the damn numbers on them, let alone the names.
Up Next: OLYMPICS OLYMPICS OLYMPICS
Here's some things to do to occupy yourself during the Olympics:
1. Watch ice dancing.
2. Download and listen to every Hockeenight Puckcast
3. Check Hockeenight for the "Looking Back" Series we'll be running during the games
4. Live in sweat-drenched fear that every Hawk participating in the games will get injured except Kopecky.