Blackhawks 4, Sabres 3

I assume this wasn’t how Coach Q drew it up, but a win’s a win and two points are two points. 

Despite being outshot in each of Saturday night’s three periods, including a 19-9 first period tally, the Hawks kept themselves close enough to pounce on a couple third-period opportunities and, ultimately, the win.

The first period scoring was supplied in 42 seconds.  After Patrick Sharp gave the Hawks the lead off a petty feed from Patrick Kane.  Then, within 42 ticks, the Sabres had the lead off of goals from Drew Stafford and Paul Gaustad.

The Hawks were able to play most of the second period with a tie after Marian Hossa blew a wrister by Patrick Lalime on a breakaway.  Hossa was sprung by a two-line pass by Brent Seabrook, whose pass made him look more like Aaron Rodgers than an NHL d-man.

But, the Sabres would take the lead before the period ended.

Down a goal, the Hawks went into scramble mode.  About midway through the last period, another long, two-line Seabrook pass gave Dave Bolland a breakaway, and much like the Hossa opportunity, Bolland didn’t miss. 

With the game tied, the Hawks found themselves on a power play just a few minutes after Bolland’s goal.  Tomas Kopecky made a power move to get from the corner to the front, and the loose puck found Sharp who was pinching in from the weak-side point.  Sharp tapped in the loose puck, and the first power play unit celebrated like a bunch a school girls.  That was fun to see actually.  For those of you wondering if these Cup champs could get up for games in October, it’s time to stop wondering.

Of course, the game couldn’t officially unless the Hawks were killing a penalty – I think there was some sort of rules change during the summer.  The Hawks killed it, and with that, after six games, they’re over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Want More?

– I guess, in the end, a win like this isn’t so bad.  The Hawks are the superior team, and they turned it on in time to show it.  Even without Versteeg, Byfuglien and company, the Hawks are again much too talented to let off the mat.  Consider Buffalo believers now.

– Two Hawks find themselves where very, very few Hawks have found themselves since Tony Amonte left town: atop the statistical league leaders list.  Marian Hossa is the current league leader in goals and points (5, 9); Sharp is tied for the league lead in goals, and is fourth in points with seven; and Kopecky is fourth in assists with six.  Yes, it’s early, but Hossa has the look of a 50-goal scorer.  Should be fun to watch.

– Another Troy Brouwer sighting?  Brouwer’s role increased again on Saturday night, as he saw top-six even strength minutes and significant power play time.  Yes, please.

– Kopecky has come a long way since I predicted during the first game last season that he would be bought out last summer.  His problem, as I saw it last sesason, was that he was a top-six forward who didn’t have enough skill to play in the top-six on a top flight team.  Well, skill be damned, Kopecky has willed himself onto the top line, and he’s been fantastic thus far.

– Thanks goodness that two-line passes are no longer against the rules.

– Maybe this whole “mobile goalie” thing wasn’t a great idea. 

– Let it be noted that after Mike Grier took a legitimate run at youngster Nick Leddy with John Scott on the ice, Scott was livid and threatened to kill Grier invited Grier to Chili’s during a friendly center-ice chat.

– No Skille?  While he’s been downright electric in the early going, apparently Q stuck the lion’s share of the blame on Skille for the Dowell-Skille-Stalberg trio being unable to clear their own zone on Friday.

– It’s pretty much official (and absolutely no big deal): Jonathan Toews don’t like no Octobers.  Toews has three points – or one less than Brian Bickell.  He’s also negated two power plays with penalties during the delayed call period during the last few nights.

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5 Responses to Blackhawks 4, Sabres 3

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Like you say, Gentlemen of The Fifth Feather, a win is a win is a win…

    And how bout dat dere Marty Turco eh…made some pretty darn good stops dere.

    Expecting a run on Jassen Cullimore jerseys…

  2. Lou says:

    I will agree Toews is a slow starter but the officiating last night was pretty bewildering. Most of our penalties were definitely penalties. Several of theirs weren’t called. Didn’t see the cross check was watching the puck. But nothing compared to the goalie call.

    I still don’t understand the call on the goal they called off. Especially when the bulk of the hit was by their own player. Then Turco gets absolutely steamrolled and pinned in the net and no call. If someone could explain incidental goaltender contact please chime in. (if you can send that to Holmstrom too :))

    Leddy saw Greeer and sidestepped that nicely. I was disappointed in not seeing John Scott pounding on the top of someone’s head as a human nail being pounded into the ice.

    Hossa is very fun to watch. And this team is good and will get better with time!

    Can’t win the cup in the fall but can sure make it harder to win. A win is a win.

  3. feyer says:

    I’m glad my Cullimore sweater is a hot item again.

    Another great game fir Hoss, Sharpie, and the glorified bowling ball. If the other top line with Tazer, Kaner, and interchangeable part get’s clicking – watch out.

    Q made it pretty clear in the post game that Skille sat to give Scott a spot in the lineup given the recent “history” with Buffalo. I might have picked someone else to sit, but what do I know. I guess that means that Scott will be a regular in the press box, and they’ll bring him out on special occasions (St Louis comes to mind).

  4. illinikc33 says:

    You know, this whole “Scott for Skille because Buffalo may get chippy” is just complete and utter nonsense. You cannot tell me that Seabrook, Boynton, Dowell, and even Brouwer and Hammer himself would not stick up for a teammate should Buff take liberties. And, oh, look, when Buffalo took a run at Leddy, Scott did absolutely nothing anyway, so what was the point?

    You will never, ever be able to convince me that Scott was more valuable to this team for the 6 or 7 minutes (a guestimate) he was on the ice than Skille would have been—like Scott is any better at clearing the defensive zone (and there was one shift in the third period where that became abundantly clear)???

    The UC was great last night; much better game than Nashville for the crowd. I’m guessing a combo of a weekend game and an opponent that actually plays hockey.

    I’m thinking (hoping) we’re going to be seeing a Morin for Pisani swap as soon as Q becomes comfortable with Kopecky on the PK. That is Pisani’s only role, and he kills Bolland on that third line. It’s frustrating because Bolland can’t center a checking line with Skille and Stalberg (and their defensive deficiencies), and Q doesn’t trust Dowell to take on that role, either. A third line of Bolland, Morin (scorer), and Bickell (big body) is somewhat reminiscent of Boll/Ladd/Steeg, though it could be a defensive clusterfuck.

    Anyway, gutsy win in front of the home crowd, and, oh, it’s a travesty that Turco wasn’t the #2 star. He was great last night.

  5. Cam says:

    There were quite a few times last year the Blackhawks lost games in which they dominated and either received subpar goaltending, faced spectacular goaltending, or both. While those losses were quite frustrating, I always felt the team was in great shape because they were showing overwhelming ability on both ends. Last night’s game is one that just wouldn’t happen last year, certainly not at home against a mediocre team with its backup goalie. I can’t say I’m not concerned.

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