HALLOWEEN THRILLER: Blackhawks 5 Predators 4 (OT)

Tonight for Halloween the Chicago Blackhawks were encountered by a horror more chilling than a thousand deaths, a sight more hideous than the melted countenances of a million hellbound souls.

Barry Trotz was in town.

The Hawks rode two goals by Patrick Kane and a sweet goal by Viktor Stalberg in overtime to overcome the absolutely sick goaltending provided by the Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne, winning 5-4 in the United Center.

Let's get to this:


Kane. Nothing like seeing Sarah Kustok in a Kiss t-shirt to motivate #88. He was a magician tonight, setting up Nick Leddy on a goal, while scoring two of his own. This boy loves getting that first-star interview after the game when the tall blonde will be holding the mic. If the Hawks want to have another parade in June, they'll keep Dan Roan the hell away from the ice.

Rinne. He deserves mention here. 5 goals on 35 shots doesn't sound like a stellar night for any goalie, but those 5 goals should have been 8 or 9. He was simply unconscious.

Stalberg. The Man With The Tan saw the ice a lot tonight, and won the game by flying down the right wing, slamming on the brakes to let Jack Hillen fly by before beating Rinne to send everyone home. That's two wins, two game winners for Stalberg.

Brent Seabrook. 2 assists, a presence all over the ice. Hairgel has been an absolute beast all season long, and now the Blackhawks may really look to him to step up to another level still, because...


Duncan Keith takes a Ryan Suter shot off what appeared to be his hand in the second period, and didn't return. Keith has returned to his elite form this season, and he's a big reason for the Hawks' early success. Hopefully he was kept out as a precaution, but this is a guy who spit out seven teeth and was back on the ice in the same period. It doesn't look good.

The Hawks' power play. Early in the game, it was absolute clown shoes. Later in the game they generated a lot of excellent scoring chances, only to be denied repeatedly by Rinne. At some point shortly, they'll get a power play goal. I'm guessing once that happens everyone stops pressing and the floodgates open. In the meantime, you can't help but notice that not only did the Hawks adopt the Blues' power play music, they've also apparently adopted the Blues' power play.

John Scott dressing. There is nobody on Nashville who is going to throw down with the Murdersaurus, who skated as a forward. I know Rotislav Olesz isn't exactly Ovechkin out there, but should he really be scratched so Scott can take 2:45 of ice time over 4 shifts?


Trotz. The closest thing the human race has to an Angry Bird got way too many close ups tonight, and I couldn't always remove my glasses quickly enough. He reminds me of Tim Hunter's nose, only all over his face.

Next up for the Hawks is the bi-annual Fathers' Trip, when they face the red-hot Panthers in Florida on Thursday night. See you in the Shoutbox. Don't click on my links.


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