Chicago, IL — The Blackhawks are back in Chicago after a perfect road trip that saw them take a huge bite out of New York’s professional hockey teams and then finished with a thrilling offensive slugfest against an ole Central Division adversary the St. Louis Blues.
The trip east started with an Original Six re- match against the highly touted NY Rangers for the second time in five days.
The Hawks come away from a tight, almost playoff like game with a 2-1 regulation win after dropping the 1-0 in OT meeting vs these same Rangers.
It was good to see the Hawks get three out of four possible points against a very good team.
The next tour of NY saw them take on the Isles in a dramatically different style of play from the Rangers games. Stop the presses this game the power play actually was perfect and went 3 for 3 thanks to two Artemi Panarin blasts perfectly set up by Brent Seabrook.
The Hawks actually had to come back after not a great start going down 2-0 to the Islanders.
Props to Artem Anisimov and Marian Hossa with the other goals. Hossa has never looked so good and Anisimov just does his thing, which is not easy but somehow he manages to compliment two magicians perfectly.
Speaking of magicians I truly hope Stan Bowman is. Artemi Panarin needs to stay right where he is here in Chicago next to Anisimov and Kane.
Stan please find some magic dust. Believe it or not with how great Panarin was coming in I actually see him getting better and he is just so smart and like Kane with great on ice vision.
So the Hawks left New York with a perfect record and then it was onto St. Louis with a preview of the Winter Classic.
The debut of Epix Road to the outdoor Classics which spotlighted four teams that will be playing in outdoor games – The Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks was premiered.
Let me just say to someone the NHL or the Chicago Blackhawks need to figure out a way like the NFL did with NFL films to document cinematically games because they are just brilliant.
Everyone knows how special hockey players are and coaches but this just solidifies our thoughts as we get to see the personalities of these players and coaches up close.
The on ice mic’d up conversations are just priceless. Yes there are profanities but it is a rare view that we get to see and actually feel what the players, coaches and refs see and go through in a game.
I’ve said for some time somehow the NHL needs to get mics and camera’s on the benches and on refs for games.
I don’t know either have an option with ratings warnings to just listen to the on ice and behind bench stuff editing out of course game strategies in addition to traditional broadcasts or somehow have these shown in a weekly highlights reel.
So perhaps the most important game on the road trip was the game in the Blackhawks own back yard of St. Louis.
The Blues being a divisional foe and just six points behind the game represented a four point swing if won in regulation and that the Blackhawks were able to accomplish.
Was it easy NO. They lost Artem Anisimov and had to keep overcoming deficits which they did four times. I saw on twitter they had only accomplished that three times in the entire history of the team.
So for those that keep saying the Hawks are not for real you may want to rethink that.
I think even Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was impressed by the Blackhawks resiliency and determination in his post game presser.
Two of the Hawks six goals came from young players Rassmussen and Hinostroza due to their grinding forchecking and resolve at the net and it was impressive. Below is link to NHL – St. Louis Blues site for Hitchcock post game presser.
If the Hawks young guys keep doing that only good things will happen.
Also Ryan Hartman you are a treasure for sure. This guy is so intelligent he knows how to agitate and go to the edge yet not over. That takes tremendous self control. That smirk is priceless. You keep being you Hartzy.
Hear coach Joel Quenneville talk about the young guys and the Chicago Blackhawks impressive team game on this road trip. When you get your head coach giving you the thumbs up you are doing something right.
So in an uncharacteristically high scoring game between two usually stingy teams this was a wild one and if it is any indication of how the Winter Classic will go it should be a great one.
The Hawks are now home for the next three games before the Christmas break and are looking good with being currently tops in the NHL, West and six points ahead of the Wild and eight points ahead of the Blues.
The Hawks just need to keep it rolling and not let down now that they are home.
Thanks for the thrills you truly have been fun to watch and Happy Holidays one and all.