The event was snowy, but the fans of just under 63,000 (62,921), were having the time of their lives.
The last time the Hawks played outdoors was January 1, 2009, in Wrigley Field. The Hawks pulled out the black jerseys in both events. The last event the jerseys were a bit retro, as this time around the jerseys were a bit more modern with chromed logos, half stripes on the sleeves and socks and a faux lace up at the neckline. Most importantly, the Hawks won with the new jerseys,…making the experience a bit more enjoyable.
The fireworks as the Penguins and Blackawks made their way out of the dressing rooms to the ice was awesome. The National Anthem was sung by Jim Cornelison and sounded just as amazing as when he sings it in the UC. The fans were just as nuts.
As the game started, it was apparent that the Hawks figured out that playing "small puck" instead of grand cross ice passes, was definitely more beneficial. Outside of maybe 4-5 times, they played this way throughout the entire evening. Penguins never revised their game after seeing their way was unsuccessful. It first appeared this game may be a 2-1 or even a 1-0 game because nothing was getting through either end. This until Patrick Sharp lifted one that clanged inside the right post over the right shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury.
|Toews and Saad recognize Sharps goal is good late in the 1st Period.|
The Second period was more of the same. If you missed this second period,…youtube it or something, because the two goals scored that period were amazing. Especially the next goal that lifted the Hawks to 2-0. Jonathan Toews absolutely schooled Bruce Orpik and deeked him out of his skates then slid one under the goaltender that snuck its way through his legs to find the back of the net. It was one of the prettiest goals I've seen Toews make.
|Toews makes a sick deek move and slides it in 5 hole.|
Not to be outdone, Patrick Kane drew defenders toward him as he slid one to the right of the goal mouth for an easy tap in by Kris Versteeg. Penguins may have hit the Hawks harder, but that was because the Hawks generally had puck control all night except for the 6 penalties they had to kill off.
The first goal by Pittsburgh was nearly 6 and a half minutes in the 3rd period. It started on a Andrew Shaw turnover in their defensive zone and ended up in with a Brent Seabrook OWN goal. This was credited to James Neal. Hawks never let up that rush and got that goal back when Brandon Saad made a sweet pass to a net crashing Bryan Bickell who had to take 2-3 swipes at it,…but it went in to make it 4-1. Then to trade own goals,…Jonahan Toews got credited a goal late as it went off a defenders stick right past Fleury to make it 5-1.
Most impressive stats?: Hawks Kruger was 77% in the F.O. dot (10/13).
Biggest reason the Hawks won?: They figured out how to play in the snow. Short passes and shoot on net as often as possible.