Folks, I have to enter into a few moments of honesty here. Firstly, I – like the Blackhawks – was not fully invested in this game when it started. Secondly, I turned the game off for good when the Devils tied it up, because I assumed (correctly) that meant they were going to win. Thirdly, I don’t want to talk about this game because it was stupid, and friend of the blog Aaron has made me feel bad about it. So I’m going to be brief. Thanks for understanding.
- If there is any one key takeaway from the first period explosion the Blackhawks exhibited tonight, it is that Schamltz and Top Cat need to be on a line together right now. They sparked the three-goal outburst with a rush so beautiful it belonged in the Louvre. Surely, something good coming from them playing together will not spark any interest in Q keeping them together, but it SHOULD, dammit.
- Speaking of, Top Cat’s big weekend strikes me as the start of something special for him. That might be optimistic of me, but he’s looked locked in, despite playing on a line with Mo and Curly for his two-striker in Carolina. He had a 76.92 CF% tonight, second on the team overall and first among forwards, and had that goal to boot. He’s proving that he belongs at the NHL level, and showing that skill that’s gonna make him a special player.
- I would like to start a petition for Brent Seabrook to get scratched instead of any number for Forsling, Kempny, or Rutta. He’s unabashedly looking like one of their worst players. He posted a fine overall CF% tonight at 52.38, but it was the Devils so don’t get too much hope from that. He was actually a -12.32 in CF%Rel, which was better than only Saad – who we can forgive for an off night – and Lance Bouma. So, yeah. It’s bad.
- Staying on the topic of the blue line, Joel showed some progress in his usage of Forsling tonight, letting him start 60% of his shifts in the offensive zone. He still ended the night below team share in CF%, but still had a nice 57.89 shot share while on the ice. I’ll take that.
- Jan Rutta looks like he is good. Three points tonight, including a PPG. That is a very good thing for a blue line that needed some good luck.
- Who the fuck is Miles Wood? Please keep that name out of my ears forever.
- No doubt the most frustrating part of this loss is that the Blackhawks overall were pretty dominant. They owned a 60% shot share – though again, it was the Devils – and ended basically were undone by Crawford’s first bad night in a long time. I am willing to forgive him for that, and we can all move along.