The Chicago Blackhawks broke their insanity-inducing nine-game losing streak tonight by beating the New York Rangers 4-2. You could argue that the win was achieved in the first 10 minutes of the contest as Chicago burst out to a 4-0 lead in 9:38 of game time.
Sure, the Rangers might have been a little bushed after shutting out the Boston Bruins in a clash of East titans on Tuesday, but that’s still a nice way for the ‘Hawks to break a slump.
Chicago fired 10 shots on net in the first before nursing that lead through the rest of the game, as they were out-shot 19-12 in the final 40 minutes. New York certainly had its chances, too. John Tortorella might have to hold his tongue to avoid critiquing officials for blowing one goal dead and the Rangers power play went 0-for-7 on the night.
It’s obvious that the Blackhawks’ big guns lead the way. Marian Hossa looked like the guy who was arguably the team’s best forward early in the season, scoring a goal and an assist. Perhaps Patrick Kane can ward off some of the ridiculous trade rumors after collecting an assist in a crucial win. Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist of his own.
As bad as things have been for Chicago, the team is currently ranked sixth overall in the West. Their hopes of taking the Central Division have probably just-about dried up, but the most important thing is that the Blackhawks are back on track.
Check out the highlights below:
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.