Viktor Stalberg: Swedish Limbo Champion (photo credit to Jonathan Daniel,

I’ll be honest with you all in saying that I definitely missed the first goal of the game. While driving to the destination that I was watching last night’s game, we had a little user error and had to listen to the first five minutes on the radio. I did rewatch the game today so now that I’ve seen it twice I feel I can competently comment on what transpired.

That was about as bad as I’ve seen this team look this year and still get a win.

The first goal is very much on Ray Emery. Dorsett’s shot was a soft wrister from the circle and Emery failed to catch it in his glove instead offering up a terrible rebound about five feet in front of him. Vinny Prospal found it before Emery could locate both his skates and the puck and the Hawks were down early 1-0. This is actually the Razor that some of us expected to see at least once a game but we haven’t so far this year. So that’s nice. The majority of the first period saw the Hawks loafing around with the occasional extended possession in the Columbus zone. It wasn’t until late in the period on a just expiring powerplay that the Hawks were able to tie it up on a goal mouth scramble that saw Viktor Stalberg punch one in.

The 2nd period, on both sides, was awful hockey to watch. There was no flow. There was no rhythm. There was a pointless fight in which Gorilla Salad [nods at HockeeNight] pummeled Nikita Nitikin. OK, that wasn’t pointless. It made Quenneville put Saad back on the top line for five minutes. That’s a goal worth accomplishing. But outside of all that, there were three goals scored and only one of them really should have gotten past a netminder. That being Bryan Bickell’s twisted wrister on a great defensive play that set up a 2-on-1 break.

Sidenote: I love our third line. Like, almost as much as I love Hossa.

The third period saw the Hawks once again try and maintain a third period lead instead of forcing their skates across the Jackets’ throats. It’s worked at some stops this year but not last night. Instead, the Jackets managed to get a point by taking the game to overtime. A game in which they never really showed that they were even close to being (read: getting lucky) the better team.

The overtime goal… WELP. Steve Mason didn’t even try to stop it. Granted Toews set up Seabrook with a very large space to put the puck into, but Mason never even attempted to stretch out and stop it. 2 points. 21 straight with at least one. On to a few things I noticed.

  • The powerplay is still a bit of a unorganized mess. They are trying some new things though. As much as I hate the forward on the point I was actually OK with it being Patrick Kane for a stretch tonight. It’s not wasting Sharp’s shot back there and if anyone can see something develop back there and put one right on the tape, it’s 88. Again, not a fan of the forward at the point but I’m willing to see how this goes. At least for a little while.
  • Ray Emery gave up two pretty soft goals tonight. I’m going to guess that third star he was awarded was the Blackhawks trying to acknowledge his 3rd star of the month award that was announced yesterday. Because this was not Razor’s best effort. It was, however, just enough to beat the opponent and that’s all we can really expect out of our backup.
  • The Blackhawks have won eight straight games. Sometimes I feel like these streaks get lost in the larger point streak. But this is eight straight with two points. I just really wanted to type that.
  • Patrick Sharp took a lot more draws than I’ve seen him take this year last night. He won half of them. Until Dave Bolland gets back, and even in the defensive zone after, let’s see more of that.
  • This won’t be a very popular sentiment because I know people loved Dave Bolland’s role on the third line but I absolutely love the current construction of that group. No, they are not a shutdown checking line. They are a line capable of scoring and doing some bum slaying to other teams’ bottom six. That’s what I want out of my third line. That group can play against almost any other competition that is sent out by the opponent. While I bagged a lot on Andrew Shaw last season for neutral zone asshatery, he’s really starting to develop a game that is beneficial to the Blackhawks. He’s never going to be the most defensively responsible player, but he is absolutely a serviceable player on the third line. Also, Bryan Bickell… keep doing what you’re doing. Not sure there’s a better bargain in the league right now than his $541K and change contract.
  • Carcillo was a -2 in just over 9 minutes of ice time. Both those goals came with Hossa and Toews. Remind me just exactly what he’s contributing to the top six again?
  • Rozsival in for Brookbank on Sunday. Please and thank you.
  • More slobbing the third line: Viktor Stalberg deserved a star tonight. Excellent game from the Swede. He used that speed to beat inferior players to the outside and added two more points to his season total.
  • Ryan Johansen’s goal was pretty so there’s that, Jackets fans.

Sunday brunch at the Joe on Sunday. 22 awaits. Go Hawks.