“We’ve had a lot of games in the past 11 days,” Patrick Kane said in an ESPN report. “I think it’s seven games. So maybe there’s a little excuse there.”
He’s right, and that stretch included three one-game road trips.
In the grand scheme of things, a two-game losing streak is hardly a big deal, especially given the cushion the Blackhawks have given themselves. And yet, by the same token everything the Blackhawks do has been magnified by their success.
It wasn’t that many years ago that the Blackhawks were, as broadcaster Pat Foley put it in a NBC Sports report, “irrelevant,” but that’s changed.
Since Jonathan Toews was drafted in 2006 and Kane in 2007, a chain reaction has started that’s led to 203 consecutive sold out contests, incredible television ratings, and – oh yeah – the Stanley Cup in 2010, their first since the 1960s.
Their historic 24-game points streak is the latest in a running list of accomplishments that’s reconnected the Blackhawks to their city.
Expectations are high in Chicago this season and the playoffs aren’t far off either.
The Blackhawks are starting a stretch of off-days and will enjoy a similar stretch from March 21-24. That will give them a chance to rest up and prepare for the monumental task of finishing what they’ve started.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger