COLUMBUS CURBSTOMP: Blackhawks 5, Blue Jackets 1
No better way to keep a roll going than to spend an evening in Columbus. Need power play goals? Hello, Steve "Red Light" Mason. Want to rest your top guys? Early leads aren't hard to come by.
Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks took advantage of the Blue Jackets' hospitality, scoring three times in the first period before throwing it into cruise control the rest of the way, taking a 5-1 win out of their final visit to Ohio for the season.
Let's get to this:
Duncan Keith. 4 assists, a new career high. Even better, under 22 minutes of ice time. His game has been a little uneven lately, but nothing like racking up some nice numbers against the worst team in the NHL.
Handsome scored another two goals tonight, bringing him up to 30 for the year. One was even on the power play. How about that? The Hawks actually had two power play goals tonight. The other was by...
...Marian Hossa, who recorded his 900th career point tonight with an assist and his power play tally off a really sweet pass by...
...Andrew Shaw, who added yet another goal, bringing him to 10 in his brief (29 games to date) rookie season. There's still no way he has a long career taking the poundings he takes, but we might as well enjoy it while it lasts.
The Blue Jackets are not going to get good any time soon. Kristian Huselius is the only big contract that goes away this offseason. They still have Red Light for another year. They traded their first round pick this season for Jeff Carter, who is currently plying his trade in Los Angeles. Now that they're going to have more ping-pong balls than anyone else in the draft lottery, hopefully they don't fuck it up. The empty seats in Nationwide Arena won't get asses in them unless they start playing decent hockey. They need to build a team here, not just keep trying to patch their holes. And that needs to happen through the draft. At this point, I don't even think Saskatoon would want them.
Darryl Boyce's third period hit on Nick Leddy. Leddy was trying to get a handle on the puck, and Boyce lined him up. By the time Boyce got there, Leddy's back was to him and Boyce got two minutes. Sure, those two minutes resulted on Hossa's goal, but he was looking to knock Leddy into next week. Leddy got up after the hit and got back to the bench, but wound up in the dressing room. If Steve Montador isn't ready to go tomorrow, we might see Old Donald suit up.
Tomorrow night is a home game against the red-hot Vancouver Canucks, who really don't have anything to play for, being securely locked into the 2 seed. As of this writing, Nashville is getting smoked in Edmonton. If that holds, the Hawks will be 2 points behind both Detroit and Nashville, albeit with one less game to play than either of them. Still, it's better to be in that tight on the 4 seed than having to worry about the 7 seed breathing down your neck.