We won we won we won we WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN.
We won on the second night of a back-to-back (more on that in a minute) IN CHICAGO against the CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS. We won on the second night of a back-to-back ON THE ROAD. WITH CHELSEA DAGGER RINGING IN OUR EARS. FRIIIIIIIICK YESSSS.
Okay enough of that.
This was one of those nights where I felt bad about every single thing I’ve typed/thought about Kari this season, because he was so on point it was AMAZING. (And then I remembered that almost everything I’ve typed/thought about him this season is justified and I scaled that back a bit.) But seriously, this was Kari in top form tonight. He needed a big game and he gave a really really big game.
Wait, to start let’s talk about football. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, THIS IS HAPPENING. There was a big game tonight, I think, between . . . two teams, I would guess, that play football. I only know because twitter.
Okay now that’s over.
So remember a few games ago against Winnipeg when we had phenomenal possession numbers and still managed to lose? Yeah that was bullshit. This game was EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. Check out this gross graph:
Thanks to my cohort Carolyn for putting this together. All numbers 5v5, all situations, from War On Ice.
But look at that! Look at it! The Hawks are looking at their corsi numbers tonight and crying, because they are us a couple games ago against Winnipeg, possessing the puck forever and not able to pull out a win. I mean they could have, honestly, Kari did let three of their 41 shots in. But on the other end All Star Game starting goaltender Corey Crawford was a SIEVE. (I’m sorry Corey, I like you most of the time, just not when you’re playing my boos.)
OKAY THE GAME.
Hawks possession started early. Ales Hemsky was on the ice for 2:30 to start off the game because they Stars literally could not clear the puck enough for him to get off the ice. He got stuck on the change and was GASSED by the end of it. I mean, the first ten minutes really set the tone for the whole game. All the possession in the Stars end, Kari standing on his head, Stars defense (Jordie blocked PKane and it was BEAUTIFUL) actually doing their jobs a little bit (not clearing but hey nothing ended up in the back of the net until later) and then two Stars goals, one of them a SHORT HANDED GOAL. Like, look. If you’re not gonna score on the power play, that’s nifty. Just score on the pk. SO THEY DID.
They let the Hawks score twice in the second half but honestly, the amount of time spent in our zone it was inevitable. Patrick Kane slid right in behind Kari and then literally just sat and waited for someone to pass him the puck. Hemsky was standing right in front of him, idek where Jokipakka and Oleksiak were, just watching??? It’s Patrick Kane, I understand the impulse.
Saad’s goal was a bad rebound off a defender and Kari just being soooo far out of his net. Sometimes I wish I could leash him to the cross bar, but that’s frowned upon, I hear.
Either way doesn’t matter because FIDDS GAVE US THE GO AHEAD in the dying minutes of the period, burying a rebound off the cross bar. Corey also really far out of his net, what is it with goalies?
The first period was giving me palpitations and I was super dreading the rest of this damn game. Final score probably 20-21 with the Hawks scoring in OT, AM I RIGHT?
Okay seriously just ignore the graph here and watch this fight because this is the second period in a nutshell:
It all starts with a clean, hard hit from like the sweetest dude on the Stars and ends with two dudes fighting who almost never fight, and. well. They fought like it. Hockeyfights.com has voted Sharp the winner, but honestly, we’re all winners for having witnessed it.
After that it was Saad scoring his second of the night (ughhhhhh Saad like seriously I like being happy when you score so could you just NOT against the Stars?) and a lot of HOLY SHIT stops from Kari:
When you stop and think about it, you don’t really like to see your goalie have to make these kind of desperate saves to keep your team in the game, because you want your defense to be working better and you want your offense forcing the OTHER team’s goalie to be making these kinds of stops. But FRICK MAN, these stops are delightful to watch. It’s nice to see Kari making them again.
(A note on Stars/Hawks games: I wish they would all end like the Canada/US game in the Olympics. One goal scored by someone I love and that’s it.) (One goal scored by someone I love on the Stars, natch.)
Idk things got wibbly. Like literally these were my notes for this part of the game:
RICK NASH PASSED SEGS IN POINTS SHIT
TIC TAC TOE EAKIN!!!
LIKE STUFF IS HAPPENING IDEK
GRAPH HOW TO GRAPH
So you tell me how that gets graphed. The stuff that was happening was a lot of Stars possession, actually. I know it’s weird, but it’s true. Stars kept the Hawks to just 5 shots in the final frame (impressive considering the Hawks had TWENTY in the first) and I was too afraid to BREATH for most of the period.
Listen Eakin’s tic tac toe goal from Jamie and Segs was a thing of beauty, and it was on a power play, so that was glorious. Cole’s was another beauty, because why not reward his 100% CF in the third with a goal. It’d been coming literally the whole period. (That line’s overall CF was terrible, as the first graph shows, but in the third period literally all of them were 100% CF. You can check my math on War On Ice but I double checked with Carolyn even and I’m totally doing it right.) Horcs with an empty netter got them all scoring situations and was a beauty of a finish.
Look, it happens. It can be good and it can be bad. Thankfully, tonight it ended well for us. I’m very thankful.
Whoever makes the NHL schedule is the perpetrator of the sickest jokes. Idk what team they’re rooting for because I have no idea what anyone else’s schedule is like, but maaaannnnn. The Stars played in Chicago three times this season. Every. Single. Time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Every single time they played in Chicago it was the second night of a back-to-back. Thankfully we’re done with that now and we ended strong, but the first game was a blow-out and the second (which was just two weeks ago, gross) was a heartbreaker of an OT loss. Hopefully this scheduling error literally never happens again but somehow I doubt it.
But hey, buds! We won!!!!