Chicago Blackhawks Weeks in Review: February 17 – March 2
Chicago Blackhawks: Weeks Five and Six
When last we left the Chicago Blackhawks, they were only three wins away from making NHL history. Three teams tried their best to stop that, but it was all in vain.
First up were the Los Angeles Kings for a matinee game during Hockey Day in America. Brent Seabrook opened the scoring but was soon rewarded with a puck to the lower body. It was also the end of a 10-game scroring drought for Patrick Sharp, who’d heard quite enough of the puck hitting the posts. It would've been a three-goal rout had Mike Richards not scored twice in the third period.
The Vanouver Canucks were next, and even with Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw’s shootout goals giving the Blackhawks their win, the night was tainted by the sight of Marian Hossa once again prone on the ice thanks to an elbow from Jannik Hansen. Hossa had just scored two goals to give the Blackhawks their second lead of the game when the hit occurred, but thankfully he was able to leave the ice under his own power. Hansen was later given a one-game suspension.
The big night came against the San Jose Sharks in their final meeting of the season. It was Brandon Saad who scored the game winning goal and gave the Blackhawks their place in NHL history, as they surpassed the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks as having the most consecutive points in a season start. Two nights later, with Corey Crawford back in net after 12 days, they took their second shutout of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The next night was their first meeting with the Edmonton Oilers since the prior season, and their overtime win drove away the memories of two terrible games. Three days later, they gained their second shutout in a week against the St. Louis Blues, but not before Crawford left the net and was replaced by Ray Emery. In their final game of the week, they fought the hard-charging but injury-riddled Blue Jackets again and won with Seabrook’s shot from an amazing “no-look” pass for the overtime win.
The Hawks have now earned points in 21 straight games this season, and they’re aiming for another record: most consecutive regulation games with points. Can they reach the lofty goal set by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers? Can they ever be defeated? Stay tuned for those answers.
Seabrook Strikes First
Brent Seabrook opened the scoring with a perfect tape-to-tape pass from linemate Duncan Keith for the shot from the bottom left circle. To reward him (or punish him) for his effort, Seabrook later took a puck to the lower midsection, but he played the rest of the game.
Sharp Finally Scores
In the second period, Patrick Sharp took advantage of Jonathan Quick having splayed out to stop Jonathan Toews’ shot to snatch the rebound and bury it behind him. Why is this important? Because Sharp hadn’t scored a goal since January 24, and he spent those ten dry games hitting nothing but post and crossbar.
Hossa’s Night to Remember (and Forget)
The game against the Canucks was a good and bad one for Marian Hossa. On the good side, he’d scored two goals, one of which was a highlight reel beauty in which he’d stickhandled and made a backhanded shot off Cory Schneider’s skate into the net. On the bad side, after that second goal, Jannik Hansen delivered a nasty elbow to the back of his head, knocking him to the ice.
To the Shootout
The game went to a shootout, and it was Patrick Kane who scored first for the Blackhawks. The goal had to go to video review, where it was revealed that Schneider had scooted the puck backwards across the line with his own glove. Andrew Shaw, who was replacing Hossa in the shootout lineup, later scored on Schneider to give the Blackhawks the win.
Saad’s Game Winner
Brandon Saad will be remembered this season for his amazing playmaking, including his game winner against the Sharks. He faked out Brent Burns at the left circle and fired the puck past Antti Niemi to seal the deal for the Blackhawks and also give them their first shorthanded goal of the season.
History Comes Alive
With their win, the Blackhawks took their spot in NHL history outright, earning points in 17 consecutive games to start the season. For the record, the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks and 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers went on to win the Stanley Cup in their record-setting seasons.
Shaw’s Lone Goal
With neither team scoring, it seemed like a stalemate until Andrew Shaw took a beautiful backhand pass from Bryan Bickell and sent a wrist shot past Steve Mason to the top right corner. It was the only goal of the entire game, but it was enough.
Crow Comes Back
After sitting out 12 days and four games due to a suspected concussion, Corey Crawford returned to the net. Mason may have had 26 saves and only allowed one goal, but it was Crawford who stood tall, earning his second shutout of the season.
Under the Pads
Being down 2-1 going into the third period was unacceptable to the Blackhawks, so Viktor Stalberg took a pass from Michal Rozsival and went below the goal line to slip the puck into the net. The goal had to be reviewed, but it was shown that the puck indeed went under Nikolai Khabibulin’s pads past the goal line. That tied the game and put fire back in the team.
With the game tied at two goals each in overtime, Patrick Sharp went hard to the net and passed to Marian Hossa, who flubbed on his first try but caught the rebound and popped the shot behind Khabibulin for the overtime win. That win extended their points streak to 19 games.
That Was Quick
The Blackhawks didn’t allow fans to settle into their seats before Jonathan Toews grabbed the feed from Brandon Saad, flew down the ice and fired his shot past Jaroslav Halak. That entire scenario happened 12 seconds into the first period.
Razor to the Rescue
At the end of the first period, Corey Crawford showed signs of not feeling well as he left the ice. When the second period began, Ray Emery took his spot in net, and he helped the team earn their shutout against the Blues.
Stalberg Ties It
The Blackhawks’ power play leaves something to be desired, no matter how they try. On this particular one in the first period, the Blackhawks scrambled at the last minute to rectify their bad luck. Viktor Stalberg grabbed Brandon Saad’s rebound and fired the puck, scoring his tying goal only one second after the power play expired.
Seabrook in Overtime
In a hard-fought game that went to overtime, Jonathan Toews battled past former teammate Adrian Aucoin to give Brent Seabrook a no-look pass for the win. After the game, it was speculated that Toews used the reflection in the glass to find Seabrook. Either way, it was an incredible play.