The annual Winter Classic was played at Busch stadium today between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks. Tarasenko and the Blues came out victorious winning 4-1. It is said that teams win 67% of the time when scoring first. That doesn’t seem to be the case for the Blackhawks. The past 2 games Michal Kempny has scored the first goal and the Blackhawks response is to hang up their skates and watch the opposing team play.
Alright let’s get this over with
The Blackhawks offense only contributed a total of 2:00 minutes tonight. Unfortunately, these were the first couple minutes of the game. Blackhawks came out guns blazing and for a brief moment I thought, “Look who decided to show up in the first period.” The Breadman, set up Michal Kempny for another one-timer from the point to put the hawks up 1-0 1:02 into the game (Sauce). This shot wasn’t a laser, it was a knuckle-puck.
Pretty sure Kempny said that he was using R.A. Dickeys arm as his stick today because it sure looked like it. The shot fluttered around and redirected off of Parayko’s skate going right past the Allen. After this, it seemed as if Quenneville sent the offense back into the locker room because the Blackhawks were virtually non-existent.
The defense were the only ones keeping the Hawks in this game, and the majority of this was from Crawford. Corey Crawford stood on his head. The Blues, however, did score 6 minutes later off of a nice center ice pass to Patrik Berglund to put the puck in the back of the net. After this Crawford prevented multiple breakaway opportunities from Hawk killer, Vladimir Teresanko. At the end of the first, the Blues lead the Blackhawks 8-6 in SOG.
The second period was all blues. Only one goal scored, and that would be by the opposition. The Blues set up a nice play in front of the net for Patrik Berglund to Score the Blues’ first of the game (No Sauce). The Hawks didn’t have too many opportunities this period. After going 0-1 in power plays in the first, they were given another shot after a boarding penalty given by Robby Fabbri. Another opportunity wasted. The Blackhawks have been terrible this year scoring off of penalties and in these 2 minutes, they managed to put up close to 0 shots on goal. In the final minute of the second period, Hartman decided to get lazy and force the Hawks to kill a penalty from an interference call. Fortunately, the Berglund goal was the only blood drawn in period 2.
After killing off the Penalty at the beginning of the third, Vladimir Teresanko set his phasers to kill. Vladimir Teresanko couldn’t be stopped, though, after knockin’ on Crawford’s door all day long he puts one past him bouncing it off of Hjalmarsson’s skate for the Blues’ second goal of the game (No Sauce). This was a freak occurrence for Crawford. He might have been playing a little too far out of the net, but if Tarasenko were to perform that play 10 more times none of them would’ve gone in. A minute later Vladimir striked again putting a wrister under Crawford’s glove at 13:58 in (No Sauce). Vladimir Tarasenko has scored 9 goals in his last 9 games against the Hawks and putting up a total of 13 points. The Hawks now down 3-1, Quenneville decides to pull Crawford with 3 minutes left in the game. Seabrook was the only player keeping the already destroyed hopes alive by managing to block two shots on the open goal. Finally, Alexander Steen would be the person to hit the last nail in the coffin. Blues end up winning 4-1, and put 35 shots compared to the Blackhawks’ 23.
Hans’ Skate Shop of Insights and Highlights
Not much has changed in the eyes of Hans after today’s game. His insights are very similar to last games. The Hawks have yet again not capitalized on Power Play opportunities. Going 0-4 today on power plays the Blackhawks continue to dig themselves into a hole with their offensive struggles. Panarin was the only player to capture a point from the Kane line today. The only positives were defense & goaltending. Defense helped manage to keep the Hawks in this game for as long as they possibly could. Hjalmarsson gave up his body blocking shots and doing anything in his will power to prevent the puck from going to the net. Goaltending was spectacular today also. Although the scoreboard doesn’t show it the score should’ve been 2-1. This is because of Steen’s empty netter, and Tarasenko’s fluke of a goal bouncing off of someone’s skate in front of the net. Tarasenko was the top number 1 star of todays game adding two goals to his resume. Overall, The offense needs to contribute more if they are going to win games. They have to play the entire game and not give up. It has to be a full team effort.