The Blackhawks' 2-1 overtime win is important for many reasons. First, it's a divisional win. One of those famous "4 point games." Second, it sets a franchise record for the best start in history. No Blackhawks team has ever started a season 6-0. After 9 days, 6 games, 5 states, and 4 time zones (thanks to @just1idiot for the breakdown), the Blackhawks have 12 points. Third, it was a goalie win.
Corey Crawford was the absolute difference in this one. The road weary Hawks started the game flying, and Duncan Keith got them out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st period with a water bottle destroying slap shot on the powerplay. From there, the Red Wings started to surge while the Blackhawks faded. Detroit kept coming and coming...including four powerplays (including a 5-on-3) in the second period. The Hawks killed all of them, but wore themselves out even more in the process. Johan Franzen finally got the Wings on the board when he tied the game at 1 in the 3rd. From there, Crawford held on and got the Hawks to overtime. Nick Leddy scored on a wrist shot to give the Hawks the OT win, and the franchise record.
- As I've said over and over...the Hawks looked and played tired in this game. Don't mistake that, though, for a lack of effort. This was truly a grind it out win. The Hawks worked as hard as they possibly could to get this win. I'm not going to start planning the parade route just yet, but these are the games that ordinary teams lose, and special teams win.
- Brent Seabrook doesn't look himself just yet. He's a -4 in 6 games. That's unlike the Hawks' best stay-at-home defenseman. He's looked a step slow and has shown more rust than any of his teammates. That said, I'm not worried about him just yet. He didn't play overseas during the lockout, so it could be a case of heavy, early season legs. If it continues for another half dozen games, though, then you can worry.
- Marcus Kruger had another excellent game. His efforts during the 2nd period penalty kills was outstanding. If he keeps playing this way, he's going to get a look on the 3rd or 2nd line. Joel Quenneville will tweak the lines should the Hawks lose two or three games in a row. Expect Kruger to be one of the first Hawks promoted. He's earned it.
- Sheldon Brookbank was in for Michal Rozsival again, and again he didn't look too strong. He turns the puck over often, and hasn't had the physical presence many expected. Could Rozsival be dinged up, or is he already in Q's doghouse. Either way...if he's healthy, he should be playing over Brookbank.
- Michael Frolik played what Quenneville said may have been his best of the season. His work on the penalty kill has been outstanding all season, and while he's not putting the puck in the net with any regularity, he could be another Hawk primed for a line promotion when the time comes.
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