The Blackhawks rebounded with a win after consecutive losses to Vancouver & Montreal. From a coaching perspective this may have been the perfect matchup for the Blackhawks to vent some of their frustration due to the recent struggles and the embarrassing loss to the Canucks.
The Blues have dominated the season series with the Blackhawks and are a playofff level team that have had the Hawks number utilizing a style similar to the one the Canucks used: clog the neutral zone, make you play dump-n-chase and play very physical. Well this time the Blackhawks were ready, playing with a chip on their shoulder thanks to the Canucks and Joel Quenneville who spent practice reminding the Blackhawks how poorly they have been playing and that everyone in the Western Conference knew how to beat them.
This may have been exactly what this team needed, I mentioned it after the Canuck's game and I'll say it again now “this team felt disrespected” and beware Western Conference the Blackhawks may have been polarized by one game. The attitude of the underdog is a scary thing, that common goal “if you don't respect us yet, you WILL!”
What Was Different? in This Game…
The level of determination for one, you can always tell a team that is amped up by their chase; the way they pursue lose pucks and from the time the puck dropped on this one the Blackhawks were determined to beat the Blues to the puck.
Plus this season the Blackhawks have played very well with the lead, it maybe a product of the teams youth but if they can get that inch in a one goal lead they can often stretch it the mile into a lead of two goals or more.
Leaders: Learn & Lead
In my last post I mentioned the need for Jonathan Toews to step up, he made a very immature comment by continuing to talk about the teams disappointment over the Canucks loss after they had just been equally embarrassed by Montreal.
Well Taser came through, made plays went to the net even took the body and ended up with a highlight reel goal walking out of the corner a and beating Mason low stick side.
There is always certain players that you wish shot more or passed more etc. Jonathan Toews is one of those players that you wish would just hold the puck a little more, he is such a good passer that he gets rid of quickly but he has the hands to force the issue and still create chances. Even in the NHL you can count the players with this type of ability on one hand.
Shot's from the Point
- Khabby played very solid in a game that the hawks needed him to be and is still likely the number 1
- Sami Pahlson is just starting to find his place on this team and had his best game as a Blackhawks as did his line Ladd-Pahlsson-Byfuglien
They Said It…
“St. Louis has checked hard against us all year,” Toews said. “We went out there and took it to them”
”It's not too often I can say we got outworked,” Mason said. “Tonight we got outworked, we got outplayed. It was one of our worst games, I think, in a long time.”
About the Author
Written by Terry Shilton