To say that the Chicago Blackhawks were having troubles would be beating a dead horse. With a game against their 2013 Stanley Cup Final opponent Boston Bruins in an 11:30 start, the team needed to have a complete all-around game with every player playing his best. The result was a determined, if somewhat sloppy game that went to overtime (sounds familiar) but the end result was one that for the Hawks and their fans, was a long time coming.
Aside from the two goals given up to the pesky Brad Marchand (one of which shouldn’t have been given up in the first place), the Hawks may have played one of their best games all year. The Hawks played excellent defense against the talented Bruins and Corey Crawford was unbelievable in net. Despite his earlier struggles after the injury, Crawford has definitely gotten back to the form he had prior to the injury.
And while the offense was a little ‘meh’, their lack of production could simply be chalked up to the fact that is the same Boston Bruins team that nearly took them to seven games (well, 7.66 games if we’re counting all those overtimes). But, it did give Marian Hossa a chance to show why he’s not slowing down and the usually-quiet Brandon Bollig had an excellent goal that surprised Tuukka Rask. And yes, the ever-put-upon Michal Handzus had an excellent game filling in for Jonathan Toews during his 10-minute game miscontuct penalty.
The most important part was the shootout. If you’ve read this site, you’d have noticed that there’s a few articles about the Blackhawks’ shootout struggles. Well, today that changed. Jonathan Toews put the Hawks ahead first and then Patrick Kane finally got a shootout goal, using his patented slow-down to beat Rask. It’s great to see number 88 finally get what he needed. As for Crawford, he continued his shootout dominance.
Just like the last time these two teams played, it was an excellent game. And once again, the Hawks came out on top. Now that they’ve won two very important games, it seems as if they’re getting back into the winning grove. With the Olympic break coming up, it would be good for them to get some momentum going so the two weeks won’t hurt them. But until then, this was a good win that the team needed.