After a bit of a slow first few minutes of the game, the Blackhawks opened the floodgates and pummeled Avs goalie, Calvin Pickard, with shots. In the second, the Avs realized there was a game being played and sustained some zone time. In the third, things got pretty hairy with a lot of net front scrambles. Bryan Bickell provided the game winning goal with the assistance of Patrick Kane to seal it 3-2.
- Promoted. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad…I could go on. They shot the lights out. Some laughably poor luck kept those pucks out of the net, but it was good to see some terrific shifts out of those players.
- Demoted. Phillip Danault was sent packing back to Rockford to make room for Andrew Shaw to return to the lineup. Shaw had some defensive lapses as usual, but buried a shot off of a beautiful set up from Patrick Kane.
- Benched. Adam Clendening. That didn’t take long. As is his way, Joel Quenneville decided young Mr. Clendening needed a lesson for making some mistakes…in his third NHL game. While I’m sure it’s difficult to take a chance leaving a player who is having a rough night out on the ice, I am not sure benching the young players time and time again is a sustainable way to develop young talent. Win now is a fine way to think about things, but the investment in these players needs to be weighed against that as well.
- On Leave. Jarome Iginla’s composure toward the end of the game took a leave of absence. He let noted pest Andrew Shaw get into his head and spent more time arguing back and forth with him than he did trying to win the game. This isn’t to say that Iginla is a bad player or something because that’s certainly not the case, but as a seasoned veteran, he’s got to keep himself on task a little better than he did during this game. This is probably just a boil over of the frustration the entire Avalanche roster is feeling now that their goaltending has regressed and their flaws have been exposed for everyone to plainly see without using pesky numbers like PDO or FF%.
- Fired. Patrick Roy, last season’s Jack Adams winner, may be feeling the heat soon in Colorado. Perhaps the Avs’ front office will stick with him for the season, since hopefully, despite their refusal to use any sort of “new age” analytics (or Analidiots as Glen Healy called the stats community tonight on Sportsnet), they simply must understand how Save Percentage works. The Avs rode the PDO magic carpet into the playoffs last season and now that it’s returned to the Cave of Wonders, they seem to be at a loss as to how to fix it.
It was not pretty and it certainly was not the way Chicago wants to continue playing hockey games, but the Blackhawks got the job done and won the game 3-2. Links to game pages are here for your browsing enjoyment: