After their opening bout against the Blues, it was clear that the Blackhawks had a tough road ahead of them. The Blues are like that itch that you can’t quite scratch, and even if you do, it can come back at the worst moment when you can’t get rid of it.
Thankfully, Duncan Keith returned from his suspension, so the defense was semi-upright again. In typical Duncs fashion, he logged in the most minutes on the team (31 minutes) and scored to tie the game in the second period while also assisting on Artemi Panarin’s empty net goal in the third to win the game.
Ah, the third period. You know those coach’s challenges that everyone complains about? Double your pleasure, double your fun, this game had two, not just one! The first came after Vladimir Tarasenko scored, which Joel Quenneville challenged for offsides. As the officials huddled around their Kindle/LeapPad-sized monitors, the DJ at Scottrade Center played “Let It Be” to try to influence them. Alas, Paul McCartney’s words did nothing to sway them, as the goal was overturned.
For our second challenge, Ken Hitchcock did not like the giant pile of players that ended with a Blackhawks goal from Andrew Shaw, who was right at the goal and shoved the puck past Brian Elliott. Hitchcock claimed goalie interference, and the refs grabbed their Kindle/LeapPad once again. This time, the refs declared that it was indeed a good goal, and this extended broke the tie.
Oh, and the Blues scored with two seconds left in the game. Too little, too late.
Not to be lost in the fray is the fact that Corey Crawford, he of the extended regular season absence, broke Tony Esposito’s franchise record with his 46th playoff win. Unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong, he’ll only get better as their Cup run extends.