It took all of forty-four seconds for the Blackhawks to express their dominance over the Edmonton Oilers. Patrick Kane gathered a head of steam into the Edmonton zone, flipped a backhand pass to Jonathan Toews and he ripped a shot through Jeff Deslauriers’ legs.
For the next 38 minutes, the Hawks completely dominated the game while Edmonton slapped on a stamp and licked the envelope.
Six minutes into the second period, Kane dangled all five of the Oilers on the ice, went wide on his backhand, and found Troy Brouwer all alone at top of the slot. Brouwer did his job and beat Deslauriers to the short side to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
The rest of the period saw Dustin Byfuglien score his first goal in nearly two weeks when he tipped in a Duncan Keith one-timer. Marian Hossa finished off a dominating power play by pounding a slap shot into a wide-open net and the rout was on.
With a four goal lead and the opposition looking like they’d rather be skinny dipping in Lake Minnetonka, the Hawks let up off the gas. What followed was the Hawks allowing another goal in the final minute of the second period. Fernando Pisani scored his second goal of the season after the Hawks failed to clear their zone. (On a side note, the Oilers have literally paid Pisani a million dollars for each goal he’s scored thus far. And Hawk fans still want to bemoan the Brian Campbell contract.)
Then early in the third, Ham Sandwich coughed up the puck on his goal line. Patrick O’Sullivan found Ryan Potulny alone in the slot and after sleepwalking through 45 minutes, the Oilers found themselves within striking distance. Unfortunately, the only reason they were in the game was because of mistakes by the Hawks. The Hawks didn’t make any more blatant mistakes the rest of the way in and the Oilers really never threatened again.
Well, Cristobal Huet did deny Dustin Penner on a really nice post-to-post save with less than ten seconds in the game but while it looked great, it didn’t make much of a difference unless you bet on the game.
—It’s pretty hard to gather much emotion out of this one. The Oilers mailed it in the second Toews’ shot went into the net and after the Hawks spent 39 minutes pounding them relentlessly, it’s only human nature to eventually let up. While the two defensive miscues were still rather glaring, it’s going to get cleaned up. The more encouraging part was just how easily the Hawks controlled the game.
–Maybe it’s just the trend in January but since New Year’s Eve against the Devils, the Hawks have developed an aggravating habit of allowing goals late in the period. The old hockey cliche says, “The first minute and the last minute of the period are the most important.” It’d be nice to the see the Hawks honor it.
—Pat and Eddie are getting a solid D- so far this year. I can live with every other player being called Troy Brouwer; I can live with Eddie’s “IMMMEEDDDIATTTELLY” and “NINE!” but what drives me up the wall is the conversational broadcast. I know there’s some people out there that enjoy the back-and-forth banter between the two, but call me old-fashioned, I’d rather listen to them call the action. Hockey isn’t like baseball or football where the constant stops in play allow side-conversations.
It took about the 8 minute mark of the second period for them to basically ignore the game and break into all sorts of different talking points. In the third period, Foley was trying to spit out when Dave Bolland is coming back while the Oilers were cutting the Hawks lead in half. It drives me up the wall and there’s no doubt JWoww’s fingerprints are all over it.
–This probably flew under the radar but I loved what Joel Quenneville did at the end of the game. With a two-goal lead, he let Brian Campbell, Jordan Hendry and the Toews line finish the last 50 seconds. There are going to be games down the stretch where Keith and Seabrook aren’t available. Other players need to start facing the all-out blitzes. It probably doesn’t mean a whole lot against a truly pathetic Oilers team, but it was still kind of nice to see.
—Patrick Kane’s first of his two assists pushed him over the 200 point mark in his career. He’s the fastest Hawk to reach the milestone since his former coach Denis Savard did it early in his third season. What a lazy bastard.
*On the Farm*
Kyle Beach was scoreless as Spokane was raped by the Kamloops Blazers 8-1.