Hawks stars shine in NYC – beating Rangers 4-2
Ah New York, New York “I'm gonna make a brand new start of it In old New York. If I can make it there, I'd make it anywhere Come on, come through, New York, New York.” – Kander/Ebb lyrics
And make it there the Hawks certainly did. This game had everything, Two Original Six teams meeting who don’t normally see each other, historic Madison Square Garden and ey New Yawkers in the stands. If that was not enough to stir the blood, you had the classic offence versus defense and two teams on different trajectories.
I was not sure what to expect in this one except the Hawks had nothing to lose. What I was pleasantly surprised at was the way they played which, in my opinion was one of the best team games they’ve played all year. Everyone was helping each other out and they played with passion and jump. When you can keep a MSG crowd silenced for most of the night you know you did your job as the visitors.
The goaltenders in this game were Crawford for the Blackhawks and Biron for the Rangers. While Lundqvist was not in net don’t think the Hawks had it any easier Marty Biron is very very good.
The first period started off for the Blackhawks with a bang. We were just 1:05 into the period when a penalty shot was awarded to the Captain. Jonanthan Toews alone with a goalie seems like being in Times Square with a professional pick pocket totally unfair. Toews went strictly meat and potatoes and went five hole with a snap shot beating Biron.
That was just the start of the barrage the Hawks heaped on Biron as they scored three more goals within the first 10 minutes of the game. The second goal was scored by Nick Leddy on a blast from the point. What was impressive about this goal however, was the set up by Hossa. I know NY is used to Linsanity but they got educated in Hossamania. Marian Hossa must have did a tour of the NY Rangers zone before he passed it to Leddy. The Rangers were mesmerized by him with the puck that they left Leddy alone at the point. 2-0 Hawks.
Less than two minutes later Toews sent Patrick Sharp on a breakaway and you know if it’s unfair leaving Toews alone with a goalie it’s lethal leaving Sharp alone with a goalie. He had no chance as Sharp beat him with another snap shot five hole. 3-0 Hawks.
Since he had so much fun with Hossamania in the NY Rangers zone it was now time for the Marian Hossa show again on a pretty pass from Kane again on a snap shot five hole sent Hossa on another breakaway. MSG has so many world class performers that have performed here but on this night you had to add Marian Hossa to that list of show stoppers. 4-0 Hawks The period ended I think to the delight of New Yorkers and to Bronx cheers. The period was dominated by the Hawks. Chicago looked like they were on a fast break and the Rangers just could not keep up.
The Rangers managed to score one goal in the second on a Staal slap shot beating Crawford who was screened and then late in the third Hagelin put one past Crawford to make the final score 4-2 Hawks. The game was won in the first 10 minutes of the 1st period and then the story was all the penalties the Hawks took eight in total and how their penalty kill kept the Rangers from the scoring.
- The Hawks did so many good things it’s hard to list them all but I will try since we always pointing out what they didn’t do it’s only just to point out what they did do well. I liked that John Scott was used as a forward in front of the net as a big screen and I do mean Big screen.
- Corey Crawford played goalie and stayed in his net. He did not try to play defensemen too and boy did it pay off. He looked like the old Corey Crawford no rebounds and solid play. I hope he gained confidence from this game because the Hawks need you Craw.
- I have been complaining about the players needing to watch their spacing and positioning. Well their positioning tonight was almost flawless. They had active sticks, blocked passing lanes, backchecked well and controlled the neutral zone. The overall team play was excellent.
- The Hawks PK held the Rangers to 0-8 they have shortened their PK player time on ice to keep fresh bodies and it paid off. Need to continue this especially against great teams. A tip of the cap here to the coaching staff of the Blackhawks for correcting this now if we can only fix that PP but one thing at a time.
- Viktor Stalberg or maybe it was Apolo Anton Ohno out there. Stalberg may just be the fastest player in the NHL. When he decides he is going to the net no one I repeat no one can catch him. Viktor needs to do this more often.
Now that the Hawks have broken out of the slump, they can focus on collecting points and continuing their team game that they found in both Nashville and New York. I am so happy for the Blackhawks and the coaching staff I’m sure all of the questions on the streak where taxing.
Everything happens for a reason. At the time it may not seem like it’s a good thing but maybe the Hawks had to learn some lessons the hard way I’m not sure. What I am sure of is they stuck with and by each other in the face of uncertainty and outside scrutiny. They never once questioned each other or turned on each other. If that isn’t a team I’m not sure what is, which could make them even more dangerous than any street in New York.
Three stars of the game – 3) Sharp 2) Hossa 1) Toews
Hawks play again Saturday afternoon against the Columbus Blue Jackets which can be caught on CSN or WGN Radio 720. Start time is at 12:00 pm CT
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