HAWKS STREAK HAS WILD END: Wild 3, Blackhawks 2 (SO)

All good things come to an end. Sort of.

The Chicago Blackhawks' 6-game winning streak is no more, yet there's still a 0 in the loss column, thanks to the Hawks picking up the Bettman Point by dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Minnesota Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

So although the Hawks didn't get the crooked number in the Win column, getting their 13th point still has them ahead of the herd in the NHL, and they grabbed a point on the road against a team that will certainly factor into postseason seeding.

Let's get to this:

THE GOOD:

Josh Harding starting the game in net for the Wild. Next time you bitch about being at work on a Monday, think about this - Harding was in the pipes against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. So shut up and nut up. Nothing but respect for Harding here.

Know what? I've always liked the Wild's third sweaters as well. Maybe because they remind me of the Bobby Orr in Oshawa ones.  But I think they're sweet.

Corey Crawford. He was very strong in the net once again. Including one save late in the game where he jumped up to stop the puck with his chest. Old farts like me look at that and remember Glenn Hall. And for that one second, Crawford was indeed Mr. Goalie. And the huge question mark that was the Blackhawks' goaltending before the season has been straightened to an exclamation point in the early going.

I think at this point we can pretty much just stipulate Jonathan Toews is in "The Good" until otherwise indicated. His 5-hole beauty in the first chased Harding, then he nonchalantly pulled Niklas Backstrom over to his left to beat him in the skills competition, 5-hole, of course.

Michael Frolik. Sure, he doesn't score goals like he did in Florida. We've come to accept that. But he's a big reason the Hawks haven't given up a power play goal on the road all season, and there's always the threat of some offense being generated by him on the fourth line. Hell, in a 48-game season, if he manages to get 7 goals, it's a huge boost to that line.

Doc Emrick. He said Patrick Kane "Jai Alaied" a puck tonight. He is just the best.

THE BAD:

Sheldon Brookbank. The man with the accountant's name and the accountant's game. Tomorrow I think everyone should find their nearest Hallmark store and send a get-well card to Michael Roszival so Brookbank can spend his time in the press box doing everyone else's taxes.

Brian Bollig. Not that he necessarily did anything bad tonight - he didn't even have his staged fight with Zenon Kenopka that I expected at some point early in the second period. But whatever Jamal Mayers did to piss QStache off, he needs to be in there instead. Because in 65 minutes of hockey, you need all 18 skaters to rack up at least 10 minutes. Especially with the games piling up in this shortened and compressed season. Once Ben Smith is healthy, Bollig should be headed back to Rockford.

THE UGLY:

There is nobody who speaks English and/or lives in the States that makes more fun of the Phoenix Coyotes than I do. But all the hockey tonight was being overshadowed by the reports that rather than the soap opera that is the Coyotes' ownership situation being over, it looks like we're just moving onto the next scene. One way or the other, this just needs to be done. There aren't many Coyotes' fans, but they are certainly passionate. They don't deserve to have their chains yanked like this.

Next up for the Hawks is a stop in Vancouver Friday night to renew their relationship with the Canucks. And Saturday, if you're not GONNA DRINKEN at Galway Bay, then you should at least be able to send us your number in case we need you for our one phone call.

 

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