Do Not Look Down - Blackhawks 4, Blues 3 (SO)
This was a special night as all four members of your Hockeenight crew were in attendance at the United Center to watch the Blackhawks take on the about-to-be-really-sad-after-a-shocking-first-round-playoff-upset St. Louis Blues.
Coming into the game we knew what was at stake for the Blackhawks. They were facing the best team (by record only) in the NHL without Jonathan Toews, who is nearing a return, and Duncan Keith who is suspended for three more games including tonight. If the Hawks could get two points and the Coyotes lost in regulation they would clinch a playoff spot. As cool as that is, it's really only a matter of when, not if. The Hawks did their part beating St. Louis in a shootout even though they deserved (there's that stupid word) to win in regulation. Even better, the Blues had a chance to clinch the division at the United Center and they failed. Let's get into the things:
- The Sharp-Kruger-Stalberg line is ridiculous. I realize the Hawks are going to get a little healthier here soon but DO NOT CHANGE THIS GROUP. I'm sure one bad game and Q will throw them back in the Random Line Generator but DO NOT. I've made my love of Marcus Kruger known but I'm also recanting any earlier Stalberg hate. The guy has been excellent for quite some time now.
- Corey Crawford (Shootout Only). He just doesn't get scored on in the shootout.
- I thought Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa were pretty damn good tonight as well. Kane had a few ridiculous handles that got us out of our seats. He didn't finish on them but as long as he's getting in those little nooks and crannies we're cool.
- Johnny Oduya. Remember? He told us he'd have Duncan Keith's back and he played over 31 minutes tonight. He's stepped up since he got here and I shudder to think where the Hawks would be without him.
- Brandon Bollig. Thank you for not engaging in a stupid, pointless fight with Ryan "Turdzilla" Reaves who was born, conceived and now lives in a dumpster behind the Purina building.
- I'd appreciate it if the Hawks didn't do stupid things like give up a two goal lead in the third period sending a game against a division rival into overtime.
- Corey Crawford (regulation). He didn't have his best game. Letting in the Arnott goal was inexcusable. He did come up big in OT. I'd still rather see him battle his demons down the stretch than see Ol' Iron Hip creak his way through another game. In Craw We Trust (because we have no other damn choice).
- I was commenting a little on how Nik Hjalmarsson hasn't really looked the same ever since The Smoking of Pominville - but he quickly separated known butthole T.J. (child's name) Oshie from his stick with a really nice open ice hit. Thanks, Jelly.
- Tonight I realized that the Blues have never had a good looking jersey in their entire worthless history. Not one. Some people will tell you that this is a nice jersey. Those people must really like McDonald's. All of you idiots wearing Brett Hull jerseys can felch Ryan Reaves.
Next up another meeting with Snoozeville Predators on Saturday. Get a couple of yellow jackets and tape your eyelids open - if the Blackhawks can win in regulation they may have a shot at climbing the standings after all. Go Hawks.