I was entertained. If you weren’t please seek medical attention immediately.

It felt like the Chicago Blackhawks controlled this contest tonight for the better part of 45 minutes of game action. The thing is, they really didn’t though. The Red Wings seemed to get their legs underneath them in the final frame and it was the right time considering the game was tied heading into the that last period of play. This game was pretty much flipped on its head. Even the shot totals reflected that with the Blackhawks hammering Detroit 17-6 in the first period, an 8-8 even second period and the Wings having an 11-7 advantage in the last period.

But back to how I opened this: this was a hell of a hockey game and it really is a shame we only play these guys twice a year anymore.

When writing these recaps I do what I always do and just open up the NHL.com box score to see how it jives with what I actually watched. That box score, which is really Bartl’s specialty, was dead even just as most of this game was. Standard counting stats like hits, faceoff wins, blocks, takeaways and giveaways were separated by less than five, if not dead even, in most cases. It actually makes the construction of these recaps more difficult when that’s the case. There’s nothing to pick at. Nothing to praise or complain about. Instead, I’m just going to get to the observations portion and enjoy what I just saw even if it only resulted in the Hawks coming away with one point in the standings.

Observations. Right. Here we go.

  • The Blackhawks were 0 for 4 on the powerplay but hell if they didn’t generate a grip of chances on the man advantage. The first unit with Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook peppered the net on the first Hawk powerplay while staying out there for virtually the entire two minutes. I hope that group stays together. Forget distribution of talent. Overload when you’re up a skater.
  • Pavel Datsyuk’s head reminds me of a Triforce piece from Zelda; he’s really good at his job.
  • Did we not make enough of Johnny Oduya’s broken foot that he sustained in the Western Conference Finals against the Kings last May? He had it surgically repaired over the summer and never missed camp or a game. Well, maybe, just maybe, that foot injury can explain why he sucked out loud for the first 3-4 months of this season. Since reuniting with Hjalmarsson in the last week he’s looked like the Oduya of old.
  • ^^^ I still don’t miss Nick Leddy any less but c’est la vie.
  • Just how long is Patrick Sharp going to play on the 4th line with two guys who can neither get him the puck nor finish? I’m fully on board with Versteeg together with Richards and Kane, but that doesn’t mean I think Patrick Sharp should be wasted on a checking line. It also doesn’t mean 20-19-81 should be broken up neither. Sorry, I have no solution here. I hope our bench boss figures one out before St. Patrick’s Day.
  • While I’m loathe to praise anything involving the shootout I certainly did not expect one that featured Pavel Datsyuk and Patrick Kane to be highlighted by Gus Nyquist. Tatar wasn’t bad, but Nyquist was brothel in South East Asia filthy.
  • Kyle Cumiskey and Ryan Hartman combined to play exactly 14 total minutes. Teuvo comin’ back. Those two guys aren’t sticking around once TvR returns and perhaps that’s the solution to Patrick Sharp’s current problem.

Colorado is here on Friday. Through five games on this homestand the Blackhawks have 7 of 10 points. 12 of 16 is the bar I’d like to set by the time it’s done which means beating Colorado in regulation.