If I haven’t said it’s crunch time before, it sure is crunch time now. Though the Blackhawks managed a point in their last game against Montreal, their situation in the West is far from safe. They are only 2 points ahead of both the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars for 8th, so in order for them to cling on to that coveted post-season spot, the Hawks have no choice but to win every game they have left.
Unfortunately, both the Flames and the Stars have the same mentality, and when playoff desperation kicks in, there’s no telling what will happen in the NHL.
The St. Louis Blues technically shouldn’t be a formidable opponent for the defending Cup champs, but early on the Blues proved that their intention was to be the spoiler. Just 17 seconds in, a Blues goal sailed past Corey Crawford, first being credited to TJ Oshie but it was eventually determined to be David Backes’ goal. Oshie got his point though, just over a minute into the second period, and just like that it was a 2-0 game in favour of the Blues.
It may have taken a while but the Blackhawks finally put one up on the scoreboard when Marian Hossa’s shot cut the lead in half, though it was a controversial at best. The goal was thought to have been kicked in and was under review for several minutes before being deemed good. That shot by Hossa sparked the offense on the Hawks roster, and they went on to tie the game a few minutes later, courtesy of Tomas Kopecky. And as the second period wound down youngster Nick Leddy buried the go-ahed goal for the Hawks.
The 3rd period saw an equalizer from the Blues’ Chris Stewart at the halfway point. Tied at 3 and with no other goal-scorers for the remainder of the 3rd, the Hawks headed into overtime for the second consecutive game. This time though, overtime went favourably for the Hawks.
They don’t call him Captain Clutch for nothing. Jonathan Toews scored the winning goal, earning his team a HUGE 2 points to maintain their lead over the Flames and Stars. With 2 games left before the regular season ends, the Hawks have a daunting task ahead of them. They play the dominating Detroit Red Wings in home-and-home games. While their chances of clinging to 8th are better than the chances of the Flames or Stars overtaking them, it’s still far from a home stretch for the Blackhawks.
About the Author
Written by Anna Santiago
26-year old sports writer from Calgary, Alberta. A hockey and basketball lover above all.