In two shifts lasting no more than 25 seconds combined, Ben Eager racked up 8 penalty minutes, including the always popular, six minute triple minor. Right after he got out of the box for his bone-headed too many men penalty, he chased down everyone’s favorite goon Drew Stafford who made the mistake of having Duncan Keith’s head skate into his shoulder.
Eager got something I’ve never seen in a hockey game before, a 6 minute penalty. At the time of his historic penalty, the score was 3-1 ‘Hawks. By the time his penalty expired, the score may as well been 12-1. The ‘Hawks got two standing ovations through the penalty, and if Buffalo got more than two shots on net during the sequence, I’d be shocked. That killing sequence was without question, their best of the season. No one was more relieved than Eager as he definitely avoided a long term stay in Coach Q’s dog house. The usually stoic Coach Q was visibly upset with Big Ben following his too many men penalty.
After trailing 1-0 ten minutes into the first, the ‘Hawks scored two of the ugliest goals you’ll ever see. Patrick Sharp’s rebound of Ben Eager’s whiff barely crossed over the goal line and Jonathon Toews’ shot was reminiscent of JFK’s magic bullet. The puck hit Patrick Lalime in the shoulder, rolled down towards his elbow, and then was knocked into the net by Lalime committing the horrible act of standing up (‘Back and to the left….back and to the left’).
In the second period, Martin Havlat was given way too much room and time on a 2-on-1. He roofed it short side on Lalime and five minutes in, the ‘Hawks had a two goal advantage. The turning point was the 6 minute kill though. If Buffalo got any life there, it’s probably a completely different outcome. By the time the penalties ended, Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell were practically foaming at the mouth to get back on the ice. Then, in the third, the ‘Hawks must have been motivated by all this video game talk because they brought a classic NHL ’94 play to life. Toews skated with the puck behind the net and found defenseman James Wisniewski cross-ice. Wiz fired the one-timer across Lalime’s body and he really had no chance (Just like in the video game!).
The biggest story of the game (other than Bob predicting the final score once he found out Lalime was starting) was Duncan Keith leaving midway through the second after getting popped in the head by the aforementioned Drew Stafford. After the hit, Keith looked a newly born calf. He barely made it back to the bench. Immediate word after the game from Blackhawk officials was he seemed to be ok and they kept him out for precautionary measures. Let’s cross our fingers on this one. Besides Patrick Kane and Martin Havlat, Duncan Keith is one guy the ‘Hawks will miss desperately if he’s gone for any extended length of time.
In case you missed it, our article ran in tonight’s ‘Committed Indian’. Big ups to Sam for asking us to do it. We had a lot of fun with it as you could probably tell.