Hawks Thoughts - Kane Finds His Inner Savard
Blackhawks fans will remember one thing from last game against the Anaheim Ducks:
That Patrick Kane Spin-O-Rama pass.
The Chicago Blackhawks came away with a 3-2 SO victory over the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on Tuesday night. After going down 1-0 and then 2-1, it was amazing to see the Hawks battle back to tie the game and keep themselves in the battle for two points, which they ultimately came away with.
Patrick Kane had another monster game with 2 unbelievable assists on both Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa's goals, not to mention the eventual game winning shootout goal to seal the deal. Kane dazzled with his "Denis Savard Spin-O-Rama Pass" that he essentially gift-wrapped for Marian Hossa right on the doorstep to tie the game at 1, though he did have an unfortunate giveaway to Andrew Cogliano who then set up Teemu Selanne's go ahead goal minutes later. But he was able to make up for his faux pas by giving Patrick Sharp a nice one-timer feed in the 3rd period to tie the game at 2 a piece. Let's also not forget that Kane finished off the shootout with the game winner to grab the 2 points for the Hawks.
Defense as a whole was decent, but I feel there is still plenty of development yet to come. O'Donnell showed a few times last night that he doesn't have the speed anymore to match that of, say, Ryan Getzlaf, as evidenced by his inability to hold on to his man driving to the net. With better communication, though, these are things that can be worked on.
Corey Crawford looked very good in goal vs Ducks and really had little chance on either of the goals he yielded. No need to get worried about him as I think he has shaken off the rust he may have had after the off season. The point here is that Craws made the big saves he needed to make when the game was on the line. That's what good teams need their goalies to do.
Forward honorable mentions include:
Patrick Sharp - Has started to find his rhythm out there. Great one-timer goal off of Kane's feed.
Marian Hossa - his scoring streak continues - 7 pts in his last 6 games
Michael Frolik - Continues to use his speed to generate scoring chances. He's going to start cashing in really soon.
JT - Starting to really elevate his game more and it's still early. Love to watch that play out.
And how about a little love for Dan Carcillo, who as Eddie-O so aptly pointed out, really created the space for that Kane spin-o-rama pass to be successfully completed. As Carcillo drove to the net, he took a defenseman with him, opening up the lane Kaner then used to thread the pass to Hoss.
These games beyond regulation are fun to watch, but also make you a little uneasy as a fan. We'd all prefer the Blackhawks to take that lead early on and just hold on tight. Then again - that's the western conference, folks. And you can argue the East is going to be very similar this year too. The bottom line is that the Blackhawks are 5-1-2 through 8 games, they're scoring and Crawford is looking solid. There is a lot to be excited about.
Blackhawks take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at the RBC Center. Here are some keys to the match up -
Marian Hossa - guy has 7 points in his last 6 games - and 5 goals in his last 5 games. Look for him to continue that streak.
Patrick Kane - He only has 3 pts in his last 5 games, but he still ties for 1st in team scoring with Patrick Sharp at 8 pts a piece. His last game should serve as a nice springboard for additional confidence against a young Hurricanes team.
Corey Crawford - Craws will have to be sharp tonight as Jeff Skinner has really picked up his play in the last two games - 4 pts. Crawford has been stellar when his defense has been solid in front of him, so the trickle down effect will make a big impact on how Crawford performs tonight against 2011 all-star goalie Cam Ward.
Special Teams - Blackhawks powerplay still needs work. It's clicking just above 13%. However, Carolina's penalty kill has been horrendous so far - coming in at just under 77%. Here's to hoping that spurs on the Hawks PP. Hawks penalty kill has been an admirable 91% thus far.
Fortunately, Chicago has not had to worry about injuries over the last couple of games, though Carolina is only possibly missing Anthony Stewart tonight, who is questionable for the game.
This is bound to be a good matchup between two skilled teams. Game time is 6 pm Central and will be televised on CSN-Chicago.
Hawk, Hawk, Hawk it up!
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