October 28, 2013 by Cups n Pucks
By: Joe Klich
Granted a golden opportunity of redemption for Saturday’s Pepto-party, the Chicago Blackhawks had an immediate chance for payback against the Minnesota Wild.
The first noticeable change tonight (after the home/away jersey swap) was yet another line-up shuffle by Coach Q. Oftentimes, Q’s shuffling leaves me more baffled than anything else,(I don’t think I’m alone on this one) but tonight’s combos definitely tickled my tastebuds, highlighted by Pirri centering the second line (finally).
There’s much more to like with Pirri’s game right now than any of his counterparts for the second line middle man. No doubt he boasts a higher ceiling and fitting in between Kane/Hossa/Sharp/Saad never hurts, either. Methinks the Hawks are most likely hoping for a successful Pirri campaign for an upgraded trade asset, however.
Hossa was a force all night both offensively and defensively as he muscled the puck to Sharp for the only goal of the first and also stopped Parise from potentially scoring on a juicy rebound from Craw with an opportune stick-lift. That’s arguably a two goal differential from Hoss tonight in the first alone. It boggles my mind people were tossing his name as a buy-out candidate.
I had this noted before Brookbank’s goal (I liked Brookbank before it was cool) but he’s been playing significantly better than his previous season. I know that’s not saying much, but with Rozsival turning 34 to 60 the past offseason and Kostka shelved for a month plus, Sheldon’s playing solid sixth-man defense at a convenient time.
I don’t always own a Blackhawks’ player jersey, but when I do, it will Brandon Saad’s *drinks commercialized mexican beer*
The obligatory mentioning of Nick Leddy for Cam Barker . That happened. What is also happening (hopefully) is the latter dressing as Doug Funny for Halloween.
The reigning champs responded as well as one could have asked after two questionable games. Stalwart goaltending mixed with a persistent offensive attack allowed the Hawks to gain a lead and FINALLY bury an opponent in the third period.