By Sidney Brown (@sidkid80)
Not much has jumped out in the Chicago Blackhawks’ season so far in the way of highlights, making anticipation of the team’s latest Winter Classic outdoor game reasonable in spite of the team’s bad history outdoors.
After losing three previous games on New Year’s Day in the elements, the Hawks were being given another shot in the showcase, this time their opponent was the Boston Bruins who can be counted on for some positive memories given that they lost to the Hawks in the 2013 Stanley Cup.
The stakes were different in the NHL’s first game of 2019, the pressure of winning it all downgraded to wanting to maintain a sort-of home ice advantage at Notre Dame Stadium in front of the second largest crowd in outdoor game history (76,126), but not enough intangables worked in the Hawks’ favor in a 4-2 loss to a likely playoff-bound Eastern Conference heavy in the Bruins.
The Hawks kicked off the game’s scoring in the opening period with a goal from Brendan Perlini at eight minutes, 30 seconds into the game off a perfect pass from David Kampf to give the “home” team an early 1-0 lead.
Boston responded soon after courtesy of David Pastrnak (12:38) on the power play, tying the score after the first 20 minute session. The second period saw the Hawks start hot again thanks to Dominik Kahun who scored his fifth goal of the year (11:24) with a taper pass from defenseman Erik Gustafsson to give Chicago a 2-1 advantage.
As the story has gone all year, penalties leading to goals for the opponent led to a Hawks downfall and veteran Patrice Burgeron scored his 13th goal of the year (18:48) in such fashion to tie the score at 2-2 in time for the second intermission. Burgeron’s score would wind up foreshadowing a third period downward spiral for the Men in Red, who committed three straight penalties to put the game in Boston’s hands.
The Bruins’ efforts paid off when Sean Kuraly scored the go-ahead goal (10:20) to give the Bruins the lead and Brad Marchand sealed the deal with his 13th goal of the year on an empty net (19:27).
- Tuukka Rask (BOS): 36 saves; Cam Ward (CHI): 32 saves
- Power Play: BOS (2-5), CHI (0-4)
- Shots On Goal: BOS (36), CHI (38)
- Faceoff Wins: BOS (25), CHI (37)
Today’s loss to Boston drops the Hawks to 0-4 all time in the Winter Classic, but Chicago is looking a lot better in the present tense. Since December 18th the Hawks hold one of the best record in the Western Conference. Is a turnaround finally taking hold or is this just a mini hot streak?
Records Since 12/18
- Hawks: 5-2-0 – 10 points
- LA Kings: 5-1-0 – 10 points
- Vegas Golden Knights: 4-0-2 – 10 points
- Dallas Stars: 4-2-1 – 9 points
- San Jose Sharks: 3-2-2 – 8 points
The Road Ahead (All Times Central)
- Thursday at New York Islanders — 6:30 pm
- Sunday at Pittsburgh Penguins — 7 pm
- Monday vs. Calgary Flames — 7:30 pm
- Wednesday vs. Nashville Predators — 7 pm
- 1/12 vs. Vegas Golden Knights — 7:30 pm
- 1/14 at New Jersey Devils — 6 pm
- 1/17 at New York Rangers — 6 pm
- 1/20 vs. Washington Capitals — 11:30 am
- 1/22 vs. New York Islanders — 7:30 pm (End of 1st Half)
Sidney Brown covers the Chicago Blackhawks for WARR