The Chicago Blackhawks went to the skills competition for the third straight home game, but the results were finally different. After missing on their first six shots in the shoot-out this year, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored and the Hawks picked up the second point.
When the dust settled, Kane was the game’s star.
Kane’s ridiculous spin-o-rama assist to Marian Hossa got the Blackhawks on the board, and he later assisted on Patrick Sharp’s third goal of the season. In the shoot-out, Kane scored the game-winner to seal the deal.
Overall, Tuesday night’s game ended on the positive side of the ledger despite more issues being exposed.
Sean O’Donnell had a forgettable night for the Hawks. He was grossly out of position on Ryan Getzlaf’s power play goal early in the second period, and looked slow all night. He also served four minutes in the penalty box on the night.
The passing of the entire team left a lot to be desired as well. After Kane’s filthy assist to Hossa, he then gave the puck away on an ill-advised pass to Duncan Keith that led to a Teemu Selanne goal; it also forfeited the tie the Hawks had worked so hard to earn after Getzlaf’s goal.
Chicago was whistled for six penalties on Tuesday night (not including Jamal Mayers fighting major), five of which could have been avoided with proper positioning. Hossa’s alleged interference call late in the third was a nice flop by Hall of Famer Selanne, but the rest were lazy calls. High-sticking, tripping, slashing, holding and a delay-of-game were all called on the Blackhawks; certainly coach Joel Quenneville will help the players see how those could have been avoided.
Overall, the Blackhawks dominated the first period and then played two fairly mediocre frames on Tuesday night. Most fans in attendance were frustrated by the play of the Hawks in the final 40 minutes, which has been a trend early this season.
The more important trend so far this season has been the Blackhawks picking up points. Tuesday marked the seventh straight game that Chicago registered a point, and the Hawks have been doing it against some of the hotter teams in the NHL. Dallas, Colorado and Anaheim have been playing very well to begin the season, and the Hawks have overcome their flaws to either win or, at worst, pick up a point.
Hossa now has five goals on the young season, and Kane’s two assists give him eight points (two goals, six assists) in eight games. Toews won 14 of 20 faceoffs, and Corey Crawford was outstanding again. Crawford stopped 29 of 31 Anaheim shots (.935 save percentage), including a number of critical stops in the third period.