Grease Paint and Monkey Brains: Blackhawks 5, Blues 2
The Blackhawks headed to St. Louis to play one of their biggest rivals in what has, over the last few weeks, turned into a pivotal game in the standings early in the season. The Blues have been red hot, as we like to say around here, and were throwing their "backup" goaltender in Brian Elliott out there who's only gone 10-1 in his 11 starts so far this season. Meanwhile, Ray Emery gave the not so hot Corey Crawford a rest for the Hawks. In another significant storyline, David Perron made his return to the ice after missing over a year with an unfortunate concussion. The Blues have been excellent since Planet Hitchcock took over as head coach and the Hawks just barely dispatched of the Islanders at home.
But something about the Blues always brings out the best in the Blackhawks and this was just such a night. In what Pat Foley constantly referred to as a throwback to an 80's tilt between the two rivals, the Blackhawks might have just found almost everything they've been looking for tonight in a 5-2 win. A THOROUGHLY SATISFYING win. I'm going to try to give some objective analysis in the Good and the Bad so if you're here for the insults you can skip ahead to the Ugly. Here we go.
I can sideline my pettiness for two seconds to say good for Perron for scoring in his return to the league. Good for him. I hope he is forever done with the symptoms that have plagued him for so long. I also hope he never scores against the Hawks again.
Marian Hossa was a bad ass tonight. It was evident from the first period on that he just had that extra step and scored twice, one shorthanded and the other off a beautiful feed from a beautiful man, one Patrick Sharp.
Coming out of the gate hard (pause) in the second period, the Blackhawks turned one of their best shifts into paydirt as Kane hustled to save icing, found Niklas Hjalmarsson at the point who ripped one that was deflected in by Jonathan Toews.
Sing it with me to the tune of The Who's "It's a Boy" - A KILL. A KILL. A KIIIIIILLLLLLLLL! The penalty kill went four for four and even potted the aforementioned shorty that helped the Hawks on their way. Hell of a time to show up, boys.
I thought Hjalmarsson played one of his better games tonight and had a few blocks, an assist and a +1 to show for it. He gets to stay out of the firebarn for one night. Sleep well, Jokkmokk - and have your wife call mine so they can speak Scandinavian to each other.
I thought the Hawks got a little bit lucky tonight avoided a few really good scoring chances by St. Louis because the Blues couldn't find the net with a GPS. Edzo claimed it was probable that the Hawks were clogging the shooting lanes and that may be part of it. I choose to believe the Blues are a lukewarm bucket of piss and played like it.
Let me just grab this Reynolds Wrap here (fashions a tri-corner hat, fastens to scalp) - the refs were shitty tonight. Not only did they miss a blatant trip on Andrew Brunette by Vlad Sobotka which led to a turnover that led to the second St. Louis goal, they also gave an extra deuce to Dan Carcillo for coming to Toews' aid in a scrum. Perhaps that was a reputation thing or because Carcillo escaped the grasp of TJ Oshie to get there - either way it was doody.
I don't love the way Toews and Backes keep having these physical competitions where Toews seems to come up short. He's usually the recipient of hits from Backes and Backes seems to enjoy going out of his way to try and punk our Captain. That said, Toews does his talking on the scoresheet and he can always put his Cup ring on his middle finger and wag it at Backes any time.
So about these Blues...I'm honestly surprised this game didn't end in an Ice Hockey for Nintendo type brawl where everyone gathered in the center of the ice and did their best impression of ten hockey players in a blender. But it didn't. And I'm glad it didn't. Save something for the encore - and there will be a few of them. Make no mistake, from here until the playoffs, and possibly including them, the Hawks and Blues are going to scrap. Every game they play is going to resemble this one.
Ryan Reaves, who was conceived in a dumpster behind the Purina building, continues to be one of the many penisloafs that plague the St. Louis roster. It makes it difficult when simply putting the blue note sweater on instantly makes one more penisloafish by at least 732%.
If a piece of human shit could get herpes and be covered in sores, that would be the St. Louis Blues hockey team. They're a loathsome group of malcontents and dickloads. Most of them belong in prison. Barret Jackman probably has a basement full of neighborhood cats that he's collected and killed for fun. Kris Russell sprinkles his own butt hair on his pizza. Roman Polak was basically the inspiration for Zangief in Street Fighter 2. Have you seen that asshole? Ian Cole tried to chirp Duncan Keith from the MINORS. Chris Stewart has scored on approximately .0053 percent of his shot attempts. Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner are two of the three dudes in Lemon Party. Scott Nichol is made entirely of calcified boogers.
I could not think of a more despicable team to be coached by hockey hating fitness guru Ken Hitchcock. I can't wait to see them again. They might have woken the Blackhawks up from their slumber. Whoops.
Next up for the Hawks is revenge on the Coyotes on Monday. Go Hawks.