“We’ve had poor starts the last three or four games,” Quenneville said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about and it was nice to see the results.”
It sure was nice. Dave Bolland scored 10 seconds into the game as the Blackhawks came out flying against the Stars in Dallas. Queneville has been preaching the mantra of getting off to a fast start to his club and for whatever reason it hasn’t been happening. But not last night.
After Bolland scored 10 seconds in, Patrick Sharp ripped a wrist shot over Lehtonen’s shoulder at 1:42 of the game.
Hawks up 2-0 less then 2 minutes in. This against a team that the Hawks have struggled against. This against a goalie who was coming off back to back shut outs!
Sharp and Marion Hossa added goals in the opening two minutes of the third period to put the game out of reach. Chicago is now 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
Jamie Benn ended Crawford’s bid for his sixth career shutout with 5:50 remaining for his 22nd goal of the season. Normally that might make me upset especially considering that the Hawks are the only team in the NHL this season without a shut out and this was a good chance to finally get one. But, I have Benn on my fantasy team so for selfish reasons I’ll not complain.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for the Stars before a crowd of 19,099, the largest since the team moved to Dallas in 1993. The count was swelled by about 600 standing-room tickets and a loud contingent of Blackhawks fans. You gotta love Hawks fans, unless maybe you’re a Stars fan.
With the loss, Dallas remains at 83 points which is only 2 ahead of Phoenix. They wanted that win. This could have been considered a trap game for the Stars as it’s the first game of a home stand coming off a road trip. Those can be tricky for the home team for some reason.
Nice to see that effort from the Hawks against a very possible playoff opponent. “Anytime you play a team with a potential playoff matchup, you want to make sure you give your best effort,” Sharp said. “But that’s so far down the line. We just want to get as many points as we can to secure a playoff spot and then worry about who we’re playing.”
This team is playing as a team without their leader. With the win the Hawks split the season series with the Stars.
Patrick Kane, doing an impression of a pink flamingo, took a shot off the inside of his knee. He was down on the ice, a scary sight for Hawks fans, for several minutes. He did get up and skate off on his own. Taking a shot there hurts bad. You have a lot of nerves down there. Anybody that has played can tell you how much that hurts. It hurts even when you take a shot right off the shin guard. I’ve had huge painful bruises on my leg, even with protection. A puck is hard, it’s a vulcanized rubber disk flying at speeds up to 100 mph! Even with protection it hurts. Kane got it in a spot that doesn’t have great protection. He’ll be sore but should be fine. With Toews out, the Hawks can’t afford to lose Kane too.
Nice game from Crawford. He only had to face 22 shots but he looked good again. It can be tough when a goalie doesn’t see too many shots. They can get cold. He didn’t, he looked pretty good. The Hawks recalled a goalie from Rockford, Carter Hutton, since Emery was out with the flu. Good thing Crawford didn’t need to be pulled. Also interesting is that Salak was not the goalie recalled. If you remember in preseason Hawk nation was calling for Salak to get the back up position instead of the experienced Emery. Good thing Hawks brass didn’t listen. He was just passed up by a goalie you’ve never heard of. Apparently he’s been playing really well so remember his name. This probably won’t be the last we ever see of him.
Good game from Andrew Shaw too. He got an assist on the opening score and had 4 blocked shots. He’s quickly becoming a favorite around here.
Next up for the Hawks – Sunday evening on a nationally televised game (NBCSports) when Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals come to town.