GOODBYE, BROLUMBUS: Blackhawks 2, Blue Jackets 1 (SO)

Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks, the top team in the NHL, met one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Let me repeat that...the Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

The Hawks threw 40 shots, many of the "how the hell did that not go in?" variety, at Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. He stopped 39 of them. Hawks' goalie Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 30, and the Hawks won in a shootout after Bobrovsky decided trying to come out to pokecheck a puck from Patrick Kane was a good idea, 2-1.

Let's get to this:

THE GOOD:

Due to today's realignment, the Hawks will face Columbus only twice a year from here on out. This team is going to give the Eastern teams headaches. They aren't giving up any goals, and at some point they'll get stud defenseman Ryan Murray (2nd overall pick in the 2012 draft). Once they get somebody who can find the net on a consistent basis, they'll start seeing the postseason. Hell, don't count them out this year - they're currently on a 9-game point streak. Oh, a bonus to them moving to the East? Watching Flyers fans lose their shit every time former Flyer Bobrovsky shuts them down.

Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Oduya pinched in to take a sweet pass from Patrick Kane and slam it home for the Hawks' lone goal. Hjalmarsson blocked three shots. Night in and night out, they've been stepping up while Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have been...something other than Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

Brandon Bollig. He actually wasn't bad tonight. Neither was Jimmy Hayes, in his first Blackhawks game of the season. Best thing about those two looking solid tonight? No Gorilla Salad.

Corey Crawford. He only let in one goal out of 30 shots. After the ugliness of the Colorado game, and fighting the puck during his relief stint against Edmonton, he looked like a Vezina candidate once again.

Kane. Again. Insane.
That works better if you pronounce it "a-gain" like a Canadian.

THE BAD:

Sheldon Brookbank. The Accountant took a less-than-great holding penalty that led to Jack Johnson's power play goal in the second period. OK, so maybe he wasn't necessarily bad, but he was as close to bad as we have tonight, other than...

The officials. At one point Adrian Aucoin, Captain Healthy Scratch himself, lost his stick and yanked Hayes down to the ice, with no call. Then at the end of regulation, an incredibly shaky goaltender interference call on Viktor Stalberg. You can't keep the whistles in the pockets for 58 and a half minutes then make a garbage call like that. Good thing it didn't affect the game's outcome.

THE UGLY:

This. (Stick tap to Tim Kaczar)

Next up is a Saturday night tilt in Dallas against the red-hot Stars. Yee. And furthermore, Haw.

 

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