There was something a bit familiar about Marian Hossa’s game winning goal in the Chicago Blackhawks’ game against the Nashville Predators on Friday night. The goal came almost a minute into overtime on a four-minute power play stemming from Rich Clune’s high sticking of Marcus Kruger. Hossa caught a perfect pass from Patrick Kane and stuffed it behind Pekka Rinne for the 5-4 overtime win and a clean sweep of the Blackhawks’ series with the Predators.
It’s not the details of the goal that are familiar, but the general situation itself. It was April 24, 2010, and the Blackhawks were playing the Predators in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Hossa had just spent four minutes in the penalty box for a major boarding penalty. Right as he sprang from the box, he sprinted across the ice, grabbed the puck on the rebound and stuffed it behind Rinne to give the Blackhawks the 5-4 overtime win with a minute to spare as well as the 3-2 series lead. We all remember what happened to the Blackhawks after that game.
By the way, for those who were wondering about the Blackhawks’ power play, you may now breathe a sigh of relief. Not only was Hossa’s goal on the power play, but Duncan Keith scored the first Blackhawks goal on the power play as well. It’s okay, I also nearly fell out of my chair. Fans aren’t used to the power play being this good.
There’s one last thing I noticed. Both this game and the Blackhawks’ game against the Dallas Stars on Monday were televised on NBC Sports Network in a week that found the country shaken by the devastating events in Boston. In that game on Monday, the Blackhawks observed a moment of silence for the victims of the bombings, and the national anthem was as loud as it had ever been. On Friday, as Jim Cornelison sang the anthem as he always does, I watched on Twitter as the announcement came that the surviving bombing suspect had been taken into custody alive. I know it was a coincidence, and it’s hard to articulate just why I made that observation. All I know is that it made me smile.