by Vince Maranto on 10/21/11 at 02:20 PM ET
Colorado, who came back to town after winning 5 straight road games (a franchise record, the last time they won 4 in a row they were in Quebec) lost to the Blackhawks on Thursday. They remained perfect at home, 0 - 2, with what has to be a won - lost record that is strange, to say the least. Some new Av’s faces included Varlamov (from Washington, a LOT more on him later), Jan Hejda via free agency, and the kid Landeskog, the overall number 2 pick in the NHL 2011 Entry Draft.The Av’s came into the game 2nd in the league in face off percentage. That’s always an pretty good indicator as to how well your team is doing.
The first period (heck, the entire game) was a goal tending seminar by Varlamov and Crawford. The period was very fast paced and presented good scoring opportunities for both teams. Each time had a power play chance in the first half of the game, but came up empty. The first goal was scored by the Hawks with around 4 minutes left. Carcillo set up Toews who elevated a back hand (I love that shot) to find the back of the net. The Hawks had another power play and came up short. The Hawks, 3 out of 22 on the PP, entering the game got no help from a VERY aggressive Colorado penalty kill. The Av’s out shot the Hawks in the first 13 - 6.
The second period mainly continued as the first period did. Crawford, however was beat this time. The goal bounced off a stick, hand or body of an Av’s player. The play was under review and even after watching it several times, it was difficult to say how it went in, but it did. As Edzo always says, “Good things happen when you get to the front of the net.” The funny thing is Crawford almost made that save, which would have been the save of the year. Varlamov would have topped that save in the third anyway had Cro made it. The Hawks closed the shot on goal margin a little that period by out shooting the Av’s 12 - 8.
Patrick Sharp, after a flurry of saves by the Colorado goalie, scored to put the Hawks up 2 - 1. It should have been 3 - 1 but Varlamov came up with a point blank save on Kruger that cannot be fully appreciated until you see it. With a little more than 2 minutes left in regulation, the Av’s went on a power play. Shortly, they pulled their goalie for the 2 man advantage. Hossa answered with a short handed goal to make the final 3 - 1.
The Hawks and Av’s will continue the home and home on Saturday at the United Center..
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