Hawks Enter Shooting Gallery in 4-3 OT Loss

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Imagine some sounds if you would. A 100 mph puck hitting the plexiglass. Another whizzer clanging off the goal post. The deep thud of a blast off the goalie pads. And lastly a stick to puck to enemy stick shot. That’s what Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling endured last night in Colorado. 51 total shots were thrown his way. 16 in the first, 18 in the second and 16 in the third and one in the OT. Sadly, after jumping to a 3-0 lead, Chicago allowed four straight scores enroute to a 4-3 OT loss to the Avalanche.

Happily, we are down to two regular season games left. Thursday at Anaheim and Saturday at Los Angeles. Thank God. Last night’s effort, while fast starting, was not something to build off of for the playoffs. Let’s just put this one behind us and get past the next two contests. D-men Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjmarlsson sat out the contest which perhaps led to the defensive collapse. The only real thing of note for the two remaining would be Ryan Hartman collecting his 20th goal of the season. Hartman got his 19th of the year last night. A 20th goal by Hartman would give the Hawks seven 20 plus goal scorers on the season. A real nice accomplishment. Hartman had this to say about last night’s loss. “You want to get up for every game. The playoffs are two games away and you want to play every one like it’s a playoff game just to get our bodies and ourselves amped up and ready for the playoffs. That’s not the way we wanted to start. So let’s regroup, have a better first period – actually all three periods – on Thursday.”

Artemi Panarin collected his 30th of the year last night. He is in some pretty select company with that number. I see three active players who scored 30 plus goals in their first two seasons in the league. Those dudes are Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin. Panarin is now 10th in the league in scoring with 73 points (30G and 43A).

Not much else. Let’s get these last two over with and ready for the playoffs.

Thanks for checking in,

John