( Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune / October 29, 2011 )

So life and work got in the way of me seeing any of the game last night. Praise Jeebus for DVR! The Blackhawks faced off against a miserable Columbus Blue Jackets team just a night after laying an egg in Carolina. They got back in the win column, having the good fortune of facing some guy named Allen York (an R.P.I. teammate of Brandon Pirri) in the Columbus net. The Hawks were able to come away with a 5-2 victory. Time is short so just a quick recap today:

Nick Leddy’s turnover in the opening minutes just cannot happen in future. Terrible.

♦Congrats to Freddy Kruger on his first NHL goal! They tell you to go hard to the net at the earliest stages of youth hockey. It’s good advice. Seabrook began the play with a long pass to Kruger who dumped it to Jamal Mayers at the line who let a slapshot go. Kruger crashed the net and buried a fat rebound left by York.

Brent Seabrook was given a lot of praise for his pass that set up the Kruger goal. However,  his ill-advised home run pass led directly to the first Columbus goal by Vinny Prospal, just 3 minutes after the Hawks had taken the lead.

♦ A great Dave Bolland moment late in the 1st: flying out of the box, he directed Marcus Kruger out of the slot (you could hear Bolland screaming at him), then promptly headed behind the net, stripped Ryan Johansen of the puck and cleared the zone. Classic Bolland.

♦After a Jonathan Toews penalty, the Hawks struck with a shorthanded tally. The goal was completely the result of the hard work of Michael Frolik. The unibrow blocked a hard slap shot and then won a race to puck on the rightwing board. He was able to get the puck up ice to Bolland who wouldn’t be denied on a tight breakaway – even if he was being taken down from behind.

♦Speaking of being shorthanded, what the fuck is going on with all the lazy Hawk penalties? It’s bizarre to see the Captain take two bad penalties in a night.

♦Even with new personnel, the Hawks power play still sucked. 0/5 on the night.

♦Bad luck for the Hawks on the second Columbus goal. Niklas Hjalmarsson blew a tire with the Blue Jackets entering the zone. Even with Bolland racing back, the Hawks couldn’t get set up defensively and the Blue Jackets were able to bury a rebound. No heads need  roll on account of that goal.

♦I’m almost happy the Patrick Sharp goal was called off. Otherwise, it would have meant that we didn’t get to see James Wisniewski get a stick right in his douche face.

♦Beautiful first goal of the season for Viktor Stalberg. He came in on the right side and then cut to the slot and went five hole on York.

♦Just minutes later it was Stalberg again. Vik banged home his second of the evening off a great feed from Andrew Brunette. The Blue Jackets never really got anything going after this point.

♦Hey, another no goal. This time on Bolland. This wouldn’t be the last no goal somehow. The Blue Jackets had one called off with 4:19 remaining in the game.

♦Frolik capped off the night with an empty net goal. Frolik has been good this season even if the numbers don’t show it. I also wonder why he wasn’t used on the penalty kill more last season.

John Scott played 1:44 seconds tonight on the 4th line. What must Rusty Olesz be thinking to himself while he sits in the press box? Scott was the only Blackhawk who was a minus on the night. Blackhawks fans are being trolled and whoever is responsible for it is a sick puppy.

Sami Lepisto dressed in place of Sean O’Donnell. O’Donnell had a terrible game against Carolina and deserved his trip to the scratch list. Lepisto played 13 minutes and was fine.

♦Detroit got shutout by Josh Harding tonight in Minnesota. Hahahahaha.

The game was closer then it should have been for most of the night, although the Hawks did pull away in the 3rdRay Emery turned away 27 shots and played much better tonight than he did in his first game when he faced the Winnipeg Jets. Hopefully this was the start of something for Marcus Kruger and Viktor Stalberg, but we should all be skeptical about this. The Hawks are first in the Central Division and move three points ahead of Nashville and four ahead of Detroit.

The Blackhawks finish off a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights against Nashville tomorrow. Boxing returns this week and Tim will be around with a preview.