In 55 minutes of hockey on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks scored more goals than the Boston Bruins have in their last 270 minutes.
The game was a big-time win on every level. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane led the way with two goals each while Patrick Sharp, Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky scored one each. Kopecky had the biggest night of all the Blackhawks, adding three assists to post a team-leading four points and team-best plus-three.
Also having a strong night were Viktor Stalberg and Brian Campbell, who were credited with two assists each. After a Circus Trip that was essentially an empty six games on his resume, Stalberg was a force with the puck against St. Louis, and ended the game plus-two with two blocked shots. In a scary moment with less than six minutes remaining in the game, he was boarded by Andy McDonald. He was able to skate off on his own and should be ok; McDonald should get a call from the league office for the hit.
And yet, despite many of the usual suspects showing up on the scoresheet, it was a giant and a kid that stole the show.
Jeremy Morin, who was called up to replace Marian Hossa on Tuesday morning, was outstanding on nearly every shift. He skated 11:38 (20 shifts) and was credited with three hits, but his impact on the game was bigger than a box score. He made an aggressive play on the forecheck in the first period that led to Tomas Kopecky’s goal, and bounced a puck off the boards right into Brouwer’s lap for his.
It was hard to miss the 19-year-old wearing the number most Chicago fans still associate with another physical sniper – Jeremy Roenick. In fact, the way Morin played on Tuesday night, he will easily start drawing comparisons to the former Blackhawks’ superstar.
Oh, and John Scott won another fight.
The box score wasn’t positive for everyone in the home sweaters, though. Bryan Bickell and Brouwer tied for the team high with five hits each, but they also shared the team’s worst plus-minus with Dave Bolland at minus-three. And, despite winning a fight, Scott was minus-two in only 5:31 on the ice.
Also suffering statistically on Tuesday night was Corey Crawford.
In his third straight start, Crawford wasn’t nearly as sharp as he had been to in the previous two. He allowed five goals on only 26 shots (.808 save percentage), and looked less-than-spectacular in a third period in which he allowed three goals in 12 shots.
What is most important, though, is that the Blackhawks posted two points on their home ice against a tough division opponent. St. Louis was struggling coming in, and the Blackhawks hammered them early and often. Offensively, the Blackhawks did whatever they wanted, and were able to handle the physical play of the scrappy Blues. The defense in the third may have left a lot to be desired, but the end result does not. This was a good win for the Blackhawks.
Here’s Jeremy Morin’s fight against Chris Porter, who he fought recently in with Rockford in an AHL game:
Here’s Nick Boynton’s stupid fight that ended up giving the Blues momentum late: