HOCKEE NIGHT

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Maui No Ka Oi, Fro Mele: The Week That Was

Maui Improved

Maui Improved

That loosely translates out to, “Maui’s the best, Fro is the worst”.

This week the Chicago Blackhawks came away from the All-Star break and kicked off with 3 road games…the undercard was games against the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes, two teams that are still in the wild card race in the Western Conference. Then the main event was a Saturday night tilt in Dallas against the Stars, who trailed the Hawks by 3 points with 3 games in hand. How did it go?

Pretty damn spiffy, thank you very much.

The Hawks came out of the break with Jonathan Toews suspended for one game for banging out sick for the All-Star Game in Nashville. They got two quick goals in the first period, and it held up as they won 2-1. Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard was the story, stopping 39 of 41 shots. Otherwise this game could have been…well, an avalanche.

Then they had a tilt in their home away from home, Glendale Arizona. After winning a cliffhanger Tuesday, they had to play a real chippy one in the desert. After a horrendous goalie interference goal cost Marian Hossa career goal #495, Hossa got one that stood. Hoss even asked the ref if he was going to wave that one off. It was a back-and-forth affair until Toews got his fifth overtime goal of the season, which was also his second of the night, the other being a shorthanded goal. Hawks win, 5-1.

Then they went into Texas and proceeded to absolutely curb stomp the Stars, scoring two shorthanded goals, and riding a 4 point night from Artem Anisimov and a circus act from Corey Crawford to a 5-1 victory. Hossa got #496, and the Hawks put a little more space between themselves and the Stars.

So yeah…remember how this was supposed to be a rebuilding year? The signings of Artemi Panarin and Eric Gustafsson worked out better than anything they could have gotten with the 30th and 60th overall picks. Then add Anisimov into the mix, and they rebuild pretty damn well. And for everyone being impatient about whether guys like Philip Danault would ever get their shot, his stepping in when Marcus Kruger went down has been huge.

Oh, and it bears mentioning yet again…Panarin, Gustafsson, Danault, Trevor Van Reimsdyk, Donald Rasmussen, Manshitter…can we please finally put to rest the old saw about Joel Quenneville not playing rookies?

Next game is Tuesday night back on Madison Street against the Shorks. Time to keep the pedal to the metal.

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