That was certainly a throwback. I was almost sure those kinds of games were pretty much relegated to the past but apparently David Backes’ mere presence made everyone so angry tonight that we took a trip back in time. A feisty one for sure, but one in which the Blackhawks answered their head coach with an important divisional road win.
It’s a late-hate so let’s just get to some observations about this one.
– Interesting lines tonight. Besides the unstoppable Kane and the Russians line, I don’t know if I see this Dano on the first line thing lasting. He played just under six total minutes. The line of Kero, Manshitter, and Garbutt, besides sounding like a law firm from a Pynchon novel, is a place where hockey dreams go to die. Please get Manshitter off the team. Teuvo is still pressing and now he’s on the Kruger line with Shaw where he doesn’t belong at all. This just makes my head spin. We’re nowhere near figuring this thing out.
– Artemi Panarin is a god. Nay, the God. He does try to get cute at times but would you want to see that enthusiasm and brilliance coached out of him? That would be a mistake. His pass to Kane for the game winner was perfect and his skills on the puck are unfair at times.
– No coincidence the first Hawks road win in 78 years comes on the night Duncan Keith makes his return. Also, 13 minutes of Michal Rozsival is better than his non-union equivalents that finally pissed off to Rockford. But Rozsival will eventually show his creakiness and we might as well just brace for it.
– I’m not sure what it says for Tanner Kero’s staying power that Quenneville has him killing penalties with Marcus Kruger.
– In the preview, Sam mentioned that the Hawks better score first (they did) and not worry about chasing hits or they’ll lose (they did, but didn’t). It was strange to see the Blackhawks be the aggressors when it came to physicality. The subplot of Marian Hossa’s cold streak provided an entry point to the rambunctiousness. After getting stopped on a breakaway he took a decent hit in the corner from David Backes who was then smoked up high by Jonathan Toews, who seemed extremely angry all night. In the second period, the story continued after Backes nearly made Niklas Hjalmarsson fuse with the boards behind the Hawk net. Toews flew in and fought Backes. There was no clear winner in the very short fight but the Blues definitely won the aftermath: the Hawks lost their captain while the Blues lost their worst player.
– You don’t want to see Toews fighting, let alone twice in 8 days, but there’s got to be something more to this. I’d love to hear from him what he’s trying to do. I get that it might fire up the team but I’d enjoy some goals, too.
– If there’s ever an opposing player I want with the puck on his stick in a crucial spot, it’s Magnus Pääjärvi. God he sucks.
– Steve Ott missed out tonight but I’ve been informed he’s resting comfortably in a refrigerator box full of barf.
– Jabe O’Meester still looks stupid. Like he just walked in on his wife fucking his other wife.
– Marko Dano’s hit on one or both of the guys from Milli Vanilli was pretty terrible. I’m not sure if that’s why he didn’t play much but getting blanked by Jay Gallon’s save of the year nominee was probably a small measure of justice. Marko…you shot it into his glove, man.
The Hawks take on the Flames in Chicago tomorrow night. The Flames are, by almost every measure, the drizzling shits. Let’s get two more points and get the hell away from the circus.