CHICAGO – It doesn’t feel quite right- and it probably won’t for the remaining 21 games of the NHL season after Wednesday night. After all, the Blackhawks usually don’t play for just pride, they’re usually adding to it in the late Spring and early Summer.
As you probably know, the odds of that happening this year are remote. Instead of acquiring new talent at Monday’s trade deadline, the Blackhawks are actually in a position to giveaway assets in hopes of talent for the future. It’s not the end of the dynasty, necessarily, but certainly it’s a one-year pause on a memorable era of the Original Six team.
Enough hyperbole for you?
We’ll these are weird times and these facts will probably get brought up again and again. This, of course, barring a miraculous finish in which the Blackhawks would make up 11 points in the standings and leap the four teams ahead of them for that last Wild Card spot at the moment.
So Wednesday night brought some relief in a rough stretch for the team and fans – a close-played contest that ended with an overall entertaining shootout. Plus the Blackhawks won for just the eighth time in 2018 as they beat the Senators 3-2 thanks to a seven-round shootout.
The entertaining second extra session came after both teams traded goals in the first then second period. Patrick Kane got the Blackhawks on the board in the first before Ottawa answered to tie it. Artem Anisimov’s tally in the second was answered by Matt Duchene, then the teams went scoreless in the third and the five-minute overtime.
During the shootout, the goalies remained strong with Anton Forsberg and Mike Condon stopping two of the first six attempts the saw. In the seventh round, Nick Schmaltz pushed one into the Ottawa net to give the Blackhawks the advantage. A final Forsberg stop on Mark Stone sealed the two points for the Blackhawks as they enjoyed their second home win in three games.
It’s not gonna save the season – nothing probably would at this point – but it was a reprieve for one night from a rough and unusual season at the United Center.