I always smile when I remember that Cam Fowler plays for the Ducks. I smile especially big when the Hawks rub the Ducks’s faces in it. To the bullets.
– One of the Hawks’s third liners, Alex DeBrincat, had a hat trick on Free Hat Night. The fix is in. It’s important to reiterate that the Hawks drafted Kitten Mittons with the pick they got for trading Andrew Shaw to the Canadiens. He scored two of his goals while on the ice with guys other than his regular linemates, which makes one wonder how many more goals he’d have playing with guys with similar vision, speed, and finish. But that’s for another day. DeBrincat was everywhere tonight. The Hawks have something special in him.
– The score sheet will tell you that Rutta and Panik had assists on Saad’s goal, but let me assure you, that was pure Saad. His stick lift into a goal sent Derek Grant one step closer to the Junior Wealth Management Associate job his father reserved for him when he named him. And if that’s not enough for you, at about a minute into the second period, Franson was semi-interfered with and the Ducks had an odd-man rush developing. Then, like an excited electron, Saad was suddenly just there, breaking the whole thing up. Plus he’s starting to click offensively, and when Saad clicks offensively, there’s no one on the Hawks who’s an all-around better player.
– Except maybe Crawford, who really only gave up one soft goal tonight. The third goal was on a chance bounce while on the PK, and the first was scored by Ducks Third Star Brent Seabrook. And early in the game, when it looked like it might actually be a game, he made a few big saves in close. I’d have to dig into the numbers, but dare I say it, Corey might end up in Hall of Fame talks if he keeps this all up. If nothing else, he’s a Hall of Famer in my heart.
– Speaking of heart, Heart Man was spry tonight. His pass from behind the net to end Sharp’s goal drought reminds you of why he was a first-round pick. His possession numbers were strong (63+ CF% at evens), and he even made Corey Perry flinch in that third-period scrum at the end. More of that will bode nicely for all.
– Of all the great things that happened tonight, my favorite thing by far was Tommy Wingels walking away from Josh “Don’t Call Me Charles” Manson after Manson had dropped the gloves. The only thing more humiliating than losing a fight is having the guy you pick a fight with chuckle and skate away. More of that will also bode nicely, both for the Hawks and hockey in general.
– Artem Anisimov is still the Hawks’s leading goal scorer after tonight. Connor Murphy had an even-strength CF% of fucking 81+. Pleasant surprises are fun.
– Man, I can’t even try to drag out any Chicago sports fan pessimism about tonight. I wanted to bring some levity to everything by saying that Duncan Keith’s CF% of 35+ at evens wasn’t great, but then I saw that it was still higher than seven Ducks players and tied with Sami Vatanen. Logan Shaw had a CF% of 16.67. Through three periods. A third liner scored three goals after being traded for a guy named Shaw. Again, the NHL fix to keep the Blackhawks relevant is afoot and active.
That’s two convincing victories in a row, and nine points out of 10 through the last five. It’s beginning to look a lot like Blackhawks hockey.
Beer Du Jour: High Life. Champagne is for celebrating.
Line of the Night: “I don’t call him The Cat. I call him The Lion.” –Jamal Mayers on Alex DeBrincat, making lion references Brandon Bollig can only dream about.