Tuesday night’s matchup between the Ottawa Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks seemed like it would be relatively quiet and an easy victory for the Hawks at home. That silence quickly turned to anger with Nikolai Khabibulin in the net.
Khabibulin is a washed-up, aging hockey player. He is completely mismatched with the young and fast Blackhawks. Khabibulin has surrendered 10 goals on his last 45 shots and is a backup goalie who is about as effective at blocking shots as my 75-pound English bulldog has no place on the Blackhawks roster.
But praise the Hockey Gods for sending Captain Jonathan Toews to the rescue! To say Toews had a good night is a severe understatement. “Captain Serious” started out with an incredible assist to Marian Hossa, which was only the beginning. After Khabibulin had been called back to the bench in the second period and Corey Crawford resumed his post as netminder, Toews fired away.
Toews landed an incredible hat trick, his third career overall and his first since November of 2010. Long overdue, it seems, but well worth the wait.
Watching this guy skate is something special. Coach Joel Quenneville commented that:
“It was a special performance. As a fan you’re going to remember that game. That was a ‘wow’ game when you watch what he did.”
I couldn’t agree more, Coach.
Chicago has a fantastic thing going with Toews as their captain. Not only is he a phenomenal player who has been ‘wowing’ us since the beginning, but he is just an all-around great guy. He even cross-checks nicely.
Though it seems Chicago is stuck with a practically useless and venturing on comatose No. 2 netminder, at least they have the benefit of a fantastic team that is growing stronger and more unified with every subsequent game. With Captain Serious at the helm, the Blackhawks will only continue to soar higher and higher, especially once they cut the dead weight that is Nikolai Khabibulin.