A Hard Team to Play Against.

A Hard Team to Play Against.

This game was over 12 seconds into it. With all of the talk about this most likely being the end of the streak, and how the Blues are going to be the tough competitor to tough for the Blackhawks to hold on for yet another win, you can't mention this year's Hawks without talking about how tough they are to beat, and you have to be pretty joyous about the outcome.

Well rounded, with a ton of explosive offense, a deep back end that rivals any ever formed in the NHL, and goalies playing at the top of their game. The Hawks are capable of winning every night and it seems like they just might do that.

One of the better elements of this game, and a few of them prior, is the Hawks play in their own zone. The Blues were not without their own prime chances, and the Hawks most likely got lucky again on a couple, but overall, the Hawks are playing with confidence, composure, and strength at every end of the ice. Playing in their own zone has been one of the achilles heals of the recent past, and that hole is closing up.

This was even more evident in how well the Hawks did late in the 3rd, allowing the Blues to control a little of the puck movement, but still had all of their holes covered.

Good for them in finding a healthy place between getting too comfortable, and having too much adrenaline.

Maybe the dumbest aspect of this game was the lopsided power-plays given to the Blues. If there was any way to let the Blues back into it, taking dumb penalties was it. And none were more dumb than the first involving Bollig. The Hawks had the lead early, they have no reason for starting useless fights, and he didn't even get to fight. Wow, was that terrible.

Once again, this just gave the Hawks a reason to display their super PK, and it had to be good, because if it wasn't perfect, this game was completely different. Big win for the PK!

Bigger win for our goaltenders. This is just awesome to see. Both goaltenders got some action in this one, both made some big time saves for their guys, and they gave a combined effort shutout. Already the 3rd this year, and 2 in 3 games. Can we be any happier about a position that had so much controversy coming in? I hope Crow can figure out what is keeping him down, but Emery coming in with that performance was beyond huge.

This game had challenge written all over it. Challenge accepted and completed by the 2013 Hawks. Keep in mind the Blues were missing a few integral parts.

Let's give it up once again for Brandon Saad, who saw some movement around the lineup and performed beautifully in all roles, and of course had a huge hand in the game winning, breakout goal. Props must go to Hossa for the great pass over to Saad, and to the breakout as a whole. This isn't even what gets my so amped about Saad. I would like to however focus my attention on the moment when he stripped St. Louis of the puck from behind on the PK, and drove it all the way to the net, missing another shorty by inches. This is why his skills excite me so.

Keep it going for Captain Marvel who was everywhere tonight, especially on the scoreboard, and especially on top of Halak. This is why he is a super hero. He simply does it all. I was talking about this with my brother, Toews is the perfect symbol of someone who has mastered the fundamentals of hockey, taken every lesson and best practice to the max. He is what happens when you become the best at doing everything right in hockey.

And keep it going for the 3rd line, because they were beasts out there all night, and it was in the absence of the 2nd line. Kaner is just not going to be effective against a tough and rough defense like St. Louis'. That's okay, the 3rd line has the twin towers with mighty mouse between them, and they can play a fast, rough and tough game, put pressure on, and score goals while at it. These guys are really figuring out how to work with each other's strengths. Shaw was the 7' monster trapped in a high school freshmen's body like he always is, and his wingers did everything else needed to control the tempo and generate scoring chances, keeping the pressure on all night. I hope no one ever tells Shaw how big he really is.

34 hits by the Blues to the Hawks meager 14. Not pretty, but I have to applaud some of the big hits that Hjalmer took in which the guy hitting him got the worst of it.

This game was very even through the first 2 periods of play, and I know we were all nervous heading into the 3rd. What do ya know, the Hawks are cleaning that area of their game up as well. The Hawks have been scored on 5 times in the first 4 minutes of 3rd period play this year. Tonight, they were doing the scoring, against a more rested team.

Taking a challenge like tonight and leaving with a 3-0 win is pretty awesome in my book. Make that 20 games without a regulation loss.

Go Hawks!

 

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  • This team can and will eventually lose and at this point, the streak matters to me only in that it means the Hawks have now played 20 games with stunning consistency. A consistency that IMO, was not even present in the year of the cup run. Of the many things we bitched about for two years, one of the chief gripes was that this team did not have an identity. They do now. Up til this season, I think most of the teams in the west had some kind of "gimmick" they could beat the Hawks with. Some teams would ass kick their way to winning and abuse the Hawks all night. Other teams would choke the shit out of the game, score one fucking annoying goal and then sit on it for the rest of the game. And then there were variations of those themes.

    This team is not perfect, but no matter how hard other teams work at their gimmick, they no longer have a gimme against the Hawks. From here on out, the Hawks are going to get the best game every team can bring and I think it's going to be hard to keep this level of intensity up every night. How they handle losing will probably fill in most of the blanks left on what we need to know about this team for this year.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    I think the intensity other teams bring on a consistent basis will only help to prepare them for the playoffs. I just hope they stay relatively healthy and keep working on some of the loose ends.

  • I'd have to turn in my "Troll Card" if I didn't say the following:

    Dry your panties and call me when your team wins 62 in one season (as the record setting Red Wings own) Oh that's right.... there are less games in this season than in my freshman JV year!

    Your losing streak begins Sunday! Lol!

    (Just a little friendly trash talk old school pregame)

    Go Wings!

  • In reply to OneTeam:

    Considering your team did not make it to the cup that year, why would we want to capture that record?

  • Great game guys. I really wanted the Wings to be the ones to snap the streak but the hockey Gods and Kane prevailed. Shoulda had it but two dumb penalties were too much to offer the Hawks.

    Felt good to pull out the old troll card for a bit, but now it is back to the cave.

    Ps. Vegas- There was no such thing as a Chicago hockey fan in 1996 so I assume you obtained your information via google. (Just joking...com'on, you guys already won the game! Lol!)

    Crawford was great in that game. Looking forard to reading the wrap.

    Take care fellas

  • In reply to OneTeam:

    LOL, not gonna lie to you, you got a point about hockey fans in 96, Oye! Actually, this was a really good game. Generally, I don't like defensive games of rooster block and since I wasn't able to watch this game live, I was fully expecting to see just that once I knew the score. Wings came back pretty strong later in the game, which has been their MO for a long, long time. Hang around, play the other team's game, and then come back drop a turd in the punchbowl.

    Prior to the Hawks winning the cup, I was much more phsyched about a rivalry going back to games in the 80's at the old stadium. The Hawks emulated the Wings style for sure, (Scotty Bowman's style?) but the Wings are no longer a measuring stick and I tend to agree with a comment I saw on another blog, it's about winning cups at this point. This was the rare, exciting game that I think both teams probably enjoyed playing. From here on out, it will be back to having to grind night after night while other teams come out with the intention of "slowing down the offense" and look to just trap the game.

    I will miss seeing the Wings if the move East happens.

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