Just when you thought it was safe to write a Blackhawks game story midway through the second period.
There’s a reason I write two versions of a quick post-game story: it’s just a good safety net. The last two games, however, it’s been a necessity. The Blackhawks survived another one on Tuesday, pulling out a wild 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Now that you’ve caught your breath, let’s look at Five Things to take away from that game.
1. Congratulations, Marian Hossa. We’re not sure if it was more relief or happiness for Hossa when he collected his 500th career goal in the second period. Actually, yes we do. Hossa was clearly ecstatic, celebrating with teammates along the bench following that power-play goal. Now the question is, will he be back on Friday to look for goal No. 501? Hossa was injured in the third period and was seen wearing a walking boot after the game. That could be more precautionary than anything – coach Joel Quenneville said he’s hoping Hossa plays Friday vs. Columbus – but we’ll know more later.
2. The second liners get going. Patrick Kane was talking on Monday about how the veterans needed to get going. He, Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov had been quiet, especially when we all recall what they did last season, seemingly right out of the gate. But on Tuesday the three broke were noticeable and productive. Anisimov had a four-point night, as did Kane. Panarin had three points. That line can’t be the only consistent trio as it was most of last season, but the Blackhawks will obviously take anything it does produce.
3. What the heck happened? We’ll talk more about this following Wednesday’s practice but the Blackhawks have now squandered sizeable leads in two consecutive games – 3-0 vs. Nashville on Saturday and 4-0 vs. Philadelphia Tuesday. The Blackhawks pulled both out of the fire but this is not their style. And much like the penalty kill, it’s something they’ve got to clean up quickly. Oh, and speaking of…
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
4. That penalty kill is still a problem. Eventually it’s going to turn around – everything goes through its ebbs and flows – but the Blackhawks gave up two more power-play goals on Tuesday, and these were to a team that hadn’t done anything on its advantage prior to tonight’s game.
5. Dennis Rasmussen scores his first of the season. We’re throwing this in for a reason, so stick with us. Rasmussen’s in the lineup right now because Ryan Hartman was injured last weekend in Nashville. Hartman, once expected to be out for a while, could be back Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Should Rasmussen stay in too? Quenneville’s been very happy with him, he knows to get to the net and added some offense. Just a thought.