Saturday night at Soldier Field, the Blackhawks gave an incredible effort in a very special game fans will never forget. There was a lot of anticipation as to how the Blackhawks would match up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Many had that match up pegged as last season's Stanley Cup Final.
Throw in the once in a lifetime setting of Soldier Field for the bout, add freezing temperatures and a blizzard, and you have a night that will be remembered forever in sports history. Aside from the unique experience and blowout victory for the Hawks, a lot of positives came from the March 1st game.
Many Hawks had smiles from ear to ear the entire game, relishing in every moment of the experience, but several of the players may have been driven to make some kind of statement in the game. Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad who played up on the Hawks' top line after Marian Hossa left the game after the 1st period, had a +4 rating for the night. Saad no doubt wanted to play a strong game against his hometown team and it showed.
Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews, +3 in the Stadium Series (2G, 1A), helped shed some light as to who the more valuable player between him and Sidney Crosby (-3 rating, 3 shots, 0G, 0A for the night) may be. Toews' undressing of Brooks Orpik for his first goal on the night is one of the best highlights of the season so far.
Kris Versteeg earned the most notable stats Saturday night at Soldier Field. He scored his 100th NHL goal on a pristine pass from Patrick Kane and he's the only player to score at the United Center, Wrigley Field (2009 Winter Classic) and Soldier Field (2014 Stadium Series).
The Blackhawks blowout of the Penguins illustrated they were the better team, at least on Saturday night. It should also give them some solid momentum for the second half of the season.
Scott King is a contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal and RedEye Chicago. Follow "Blackhawks Crazy" on Facebook.
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