That game was absolutely, positively blackout drunk! Like, when was the last time the Blackhawks had nine (9!) power plays in two periods? It felt like the second period alone took two hours because of the parade to the penalty box. There were 28 assessed penalty minutes in just the second period. I mean… (by the way, #retire28).
Chicago’s big boys showed up and showed out. Jonathan Toews gave the Blackhawks a lead in the second period and Patrick Kane scored the game-tying goal late in the third period. It was a vintage performance from the two faces of the franchise against the young superstars from Edmonton.
I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again here: these Blackhawks are worth the price of admission and if you aren’t watching or coming to the United Center you’re missing a really fun team.
It was an absolute shame Leon Draisaitl scored off a gorgeous passing sequence with 37 seconds left in regulation because the Blackhawks emptied their tanks and left it all on the ice in a valiant effort.
Star 1: The Whistles
Let’s be honest, they got the most work in this one. The penalties were out of control. One after another after another… after about 30 seconds of 5-on-5 play, I found myself anticipating another stoppage. And every time the arm went up, I couldn’t help but laugh and shake my head. From the start of the second period on it was penalty after penalty after penalty…
Star 2: Jonathan Toews
In a game that saw so many penalties and so many different players head to the box, someone had to step up. So far this year, the Blackhawks haven’t needed to rely too heavily on Toews in faceoffs because others players (like Max Domi) have been good. Well, on this night Luke Richardson asked his captain to be the guy and he stepped up big time. Toews took the overwhelming majority of the draws for Chicago and won better than two-thirds of them (he won 17 of 25). He also added his fourth goal of the season.
Last year, it wasn’t until the fourth of January that Toews scored his fourth goal. He’s all the way back people.
Star 3: Connor McDavid
He’s the best player in the world. And we all saw why on Thursday night. They have a tracker on players and can show their speed on the ice at times on the scoreboard. Whenever that was on the board, many of the players were in the 11-13 mph range. McDavid coasted around 15. It was like watching a video game. McDavid had a hat trick and added an assist.
- Yeah, just go ahead and pour one out for the officiating.
- The Blackhawks came into this game wanting to be physical with the Oilers. They did just that — they were annoying, buzzing around the puck the entire night. And the whistles started blowing because the Oilers were pissed off that the Blackhawks refused to go away. Edmonton had no composure and the Blackhawks got calls. Unfortunately, they didn’t take advantage nearly enough. Seven failed power plays through two periods is not ideal. There were a couple great looks that were either shot wide, into the post or into the goaltender.
- Patrick Kane made some more history because that’s what he does. Not only did he tie Brent Seabrook for third all-time in games played for the Blackhawks, but he climbed the all-time assist leaderboard for American-born players.
- Alex Stalock continued playing his brand of in-it-to-win-it hockey. It’s hard to fault the guy for allowing six goals when he spent more than ten minutes behind a short-handed squad against McDavid, Draisaitl and the rest of the Oilers. If the Blackhawks had converted more than two of their ten power plays he might have picked up a dub. The Hawks “held” Edmonton to 3-for-7 on the power play, which isn’t bad considering the talent they have.