Sunday night was a very proud moment for the Chicago Blackhawks. For the first time in franchise history, the Blackhawks are 6-0 after defeating division and historic rival the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime.
The Chicago Blackhawks took full advantage of their opportunities nice and early in the beginning of the game. Only a couple minutes into the first period Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kent Huskins was called for holding, a penalty that was not necessary for Huskins to take and caused the Red Wings to play catch-up all night long.
During the power play Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith skated in, wound up and slapped the puck inside the roof of the net. It was Keith’s first goal of the season and the only regulation goal of the night for the Hawks.
After Keith’s goal to make it 1-0 the Blackhawks held the lead until Red Wings Johan Franzen put his body in front of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford causing chaos in front of the net which resulted in a Franzen goal early in the third period.
Tying the game up 1-1 the Red Wings had control the entire period. Even after two separate penalties in a three-minute time span the Blackhawks couldn’t control the puck and they couldn’t wear down the man-down Red Wings.
After a goal by Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy in overtime the game was over and the Blackhawks were victorious for their sixth-straight game to set a franchise record best start at 6-0.
Yet neither the man who scored the only goal in regulation nor the man who scored the game-winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks were on the three stars list after the game.
Leddy’s game-winning goal brought a historic and record setting moment for the Chicago Blackhawks. For the first time ever they started off the season 6-0, but I’ll give in and say yes that was the only moment he brought to the team all night long and can understand why he wasn’t the number one star.
Keith, however, should have been the man to come out on the ice as the number one star of the game and explain the team’s success and how they plan to continue it.
Keith was the Blackhawks’ heart last night. The number one star went to goalie Crawford. Crawford did had 30 saves but he also didn’t have to face the hardest shots, get wore down by precise side-to-side passing in front of the net and never consistently had to worry too often about rebounds or bodies in front of the net.
This was heavily thanks to Keith. He was on the ice for over 26-minutes, he had three blocks, three hits, and a goal. One could say without Duncan Keith’s goal there would not have been an overtime period and the Red Wings may have won 1-0.
Keith’s hits were destructive and left Red Wings feeling pain. The way he covered open forwards in their zone so that Crawford could focus on the man with the puck and not the man without the puck is critical for a goalie, his team and the ending result to a game.
Keith even had another amazing shot from deep in their offensive zone that zipped passed Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard but deflected off an inside angle of the post that sent the puck wide.
I’m not trying to take anything away from Crawford’s successful and positive game outcome but I was disappointed to see who I believed to have made the biggest impact for the team was completely unrecognized at the end of the night.
The Blackhawks will have a couple days off before their next game on Wednesday night where they will travel north to face the Minnesota Wild who are on top of the northwest division.