HAT TRICK SHARP: Blackhawks 7 Avalanche 2
Hey, remember when the Chicago Blackhawks started the Circus Trip by losing to the Colorado Avalanche 5-1? Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Stanley Cup Champions didn't need a reminder either.
Patrick Sharp celebrated his 12/27 birthday by scoring a goal at 12:27 of the first period before adding two more, as the Hawks absolutely obliterated the Colorado Avalanche (who were on Rookie Setting) 7-2 tonight in Fort Kickass.
The Hawks have scored 5 or more (excluding a goal being awarded for a shootout win) for the 16th time in 41 games. In those 16 games, once there were three goal scorers, six times there have been four goal scorers, and the other nine times there have been five or more., including seven different guys in their curbstomping of the Flyers. These guys just come in wave after wave.
Let's get to this:
The Red Wedding Line. Not just Sharp's hat trick...the play of the year was Sharp catching Matt Duchene from behind on a breakaway and lifting his stick to force a turnover before breaking Jonathan Toews going the other way to bury his second goal of the night. Hope Sharpie didn't have his heart set on watching the Olympics from Cancun.
Antti Raanta. It's not easy to keep focused when the Hawks are dominating not just the goal scoring, but also puck possession . Still, on those rare occasions the puck came his way, he was more than up to the task. He also came up with a huge save while Johnny Oduya was on his ass in the first period, while the game was still scoreless.
How much is Kris Versteeg enjoying playing in Chicago again? He had 7 points (2G 5A) in 18 games in Florida. Now he has 15 points (6G 9A) in 21 games back here. I'd say quite a bit.
Johnny Oduya was a bit of a mess early in the first period. That's it.
All the angst surrounding tonight's game with Colorado. There was much gnashing of teeth over the fact that the Hawks didn't beat the Avalanche earlier this season, and what it could mean for the Hawks' season if they didn't win tonight.
What will it mean? Nothing.The Colorado Avalanche are not making the playoffs. Let me repeat that, using each word as its own sentence to be emphatic and dramatic. And also to turn me into Clyde Frazier.
The. Colorado. Avalanche. Are. Not. Making. The. Playoffs.
Nathan MacKinnon is going to be a helluva player in this league. But as soon as Joey Snowblower decided that he'd rather have yet another goal scorer than a franchise defenseman, that was it. Good. Hope you were happy watching Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda get absolutely torched all night. That's your top pair, and members of the I-Didn't-Know-They-Could-Stack-Shit-That-High Club.
Here's our final salute to the Avalanche for the night: