Going into Thursday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago that winning was the way to get even for what happened during the 2012 playoffs. Well, Chicago did that and more tonight.
In Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres’ first game against the Chicago Blackhawks since he delivered a hit that hospitalized and concussed Marian Hossa, Torres and Chicago’s Jamal Mayers were quick to drop their gloves.
Both players got in some big blows in the first period sparring match, but in the end, it was Chicago that was energized by the fight.
The Blackhawks followed the fight up with four unanswered goals within the span of 10:08 minutes. Phoenix played a more even game over the final 40 minutes and Torres even found the back of the net, but the damage was done.
After the game, Chicago’s players were singing Mayers’ praises for his role in this contest.
“It takes a lot of guts to do something like that. …Credit to Jamal for doing it, that’s the toughest job in the game,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said, according to Chicago Sun Times writer Mark Lazerus. Sharp also tips his cap to Torres for participating in the brawl.
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.
Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.
So far, it shows, too.
The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.
There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:
Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week
Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.
WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry
A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.
As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.
While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.
Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.
It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.