Blackhawks fans loved both the broadcast and the outcome on Friday night as the organization honored one of the best play-by-play men in the business and won another hockey game.
Pat Foley has been known for his calls when the Hawks score goals, and he had five opportunities to get excited on Friday night. After a nice pregame ceremony, Foley made his way to the booth and handled a game that was anything but the norm for this year’s Blackhawks.
The Hawks needed all five of their goals to win a game that went into overtime against a Nashville team that hasn’t been very good offensively this year. Corey Crawford allowed four goals against 27 shots; after the game, Joel Quenneville said the team hadn’t decided if Crawford would start again on Saturday night or if Carter Hutton will get the nod between the pipes.
On the other end of the ice, Pekka Rinne struggled just as much as his counterpart. Rinne faced 30 shots in the game, of which only three came in the third period and overtime.
After hearing plenty about their struggling “power” play, the Hawks scored twice in three opportunities on Friday night. The first came off the stick of Duncan Keith, who received a pretty pass from Viktor Stalberg and put it home. Keith added two assists and two blocked shots on the night.
Two other Hawks had multi-point games. Jonathan Toews had two assists, two takeaways and won 14 of 23 faceoffs. Patrick Kane scored his 21st goal of the season in the second period and was credited with the primary assist on Marian Hossa’s overtime, game-winning powerplay goal.
The goal was Hossa’s 17th of the season and his team-leading sixth game-winner.
Chicago once again received contributions from their youngsters. Nick Leddy led the Blackhawks with five hits on Friday night (though he was minus-two), and Brandon Saad was credited with two hits, two takeaways and scored his 10th goal of the season in the first period.
And Michal Handzus scored his first goal with the Hawks as well.
If there is any momentum to carry over from Friday night’s game – especially on the powerplay - we’ll see quickly as the Phoenix Coyotes visit the United Center on Saturday.
On a personal note, Pat Foley has been the voice of the Blackhawks since the year I was born. His voice has represented the Blackhawks to fans that jumped on the bandwagon… whether that bandwagon was with Savard and Larmer, Roenick and Belfour or Toews and Kane. During his comments before the game, Foley thanked Rocky Wirtz for giving him his job back. And, indeed, calling play-by-play for the Chicago Blackhawks is his job. There aren’t many that do it better than Pat Foley, and Hawks fans are lucky to have him in the booth.