All it took was one extended rush at the end of the second period to tilt a 2-1 game completely in the Hawks favor. With less than five minutes left, Jiri Hudler’s breakaway shot beat Corey Crawford to the glove side. The puck hit the crossbard though and Marian Hossa led a 3-on-2 the other way.
As Hossa crossed the Wings blue line, he left a drop pass for Patrick Sharp. Sharp had a couple of options with the puck. he chose to give it right back to Hossa who made a power move towards the net. As he took the puck to the crease, Jimmy Howard poked the puck off Hossa’s stick. The puck went right to Tomas Kopecky who was crashing the net and just like that, a 2-2 game became 3-1 in 15 seconds.
And that was effectively that.
Troy Brouwer added another goal almost halfway through the third after extended Wings pressure and if Kopecky’s second goal didn’t break the Wings back, that one certainly did.
The Wings had all sorts of possession in the Hawks end but came away empty-handed the entire time. Meanwhile, Brouwer potted a goal on, basically, the Hawks first extended pressure of the period. The play started with Patrick Kane controlling the puck from one side of Detroit’s net to the other, drawing about three Red Wings to him in the process, and ended with Brouwer banging home an easy one-timer from Jonathan Toews.
Corey Crawford was nails the rest of the way and the Hawks picked up another important two points.
—I’m not sure why but towards the end of the third period, Pat and Eddie were, more or less, lobbying for a lineup change because the big, bad Flyers are coming to town on Sunday. The example given was the big brawl Philadelphia and Ottawa got into earlier this week. Seems pretty logical to me the Hawks should probably just keep doing what they’ve been doing. That’s just me though. Trying to anticipate the physical actions of their opponents is kind of why they’re currently fighting to get out of the Blob.
–As the trade deadline is only a month away, there’s bound to be loads of speculation in the upcoming days. With Dave Bolland suddenly flipping the switch and becoming the playoff Bolland of the past two seasons, the Hawks can re-calibrate their needs. I’m sure there is still a want within the organization for a slobbering veteran 5th/6th defensemen, which is fine. I’m not entirely sold on Nick Leddy doing anything positive come playoff time.
If every one in the Blackhawks organization can just come to grips with the fact that Patrick Sharp is a pretty damn good 2nd center, they’re only looking for a defenseman and perhaps an upgrade at wing for the Dave Bolland line.
That’s certainly better than what their wishlist probably looked like a few weeks ago. We can all thank for Dave Bolland for deciding to start his season at the end of December for that.
–I get it, Tomas Kopecky is one of the more frustrating players in recent memory. But I think it’s time to admit he’s having a pretty decent season. He’s already set a career high in points with 31, assists with 21, and his next goal will set a career high in that mark. Just past the halfway mark of the season, he has an outside chance at 20 goals. Kopecky scored two goals today that not many other wingers on the Hawks would’ve scored.
Other than Troy Brouwer, I can’t really think of anyone else on their roster who can get to the net as quickly as Kopecky with the size he possesses.