Great 2nd period helps Blackhawks match NHL record - FOX 35 News Orlando

Great 2nd period helps Blackhawks match NHL record

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

As a sports fan, the moments to remember are when you watch something occur that may never happen again.

On Tuesday night the Blackhawks equaled a NHL record after completing their 16th game of the season without suffering a regulation loss. For what it is worth the Hawks have also accumulated one more point than the Anaheim Ducks recorded when they set the record back in 2006. Out of a possible 32 points available in 16 games, Chicago has captured an amazing total of 29 points after defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in shootout.

Blackhawk fans need to let this accomplishment soak in for awhile.

Tying this record won't get as much media coverage as it should. There will be those who will quickly say it isn't an unbeaten streak because the Hawks have lost three games in a shootout. The above two statements are true, but to begin a season at such a high level seldom happens. You could watch hockey for another 50 years and the Blackhawks may never come close to having this start again.

This feat can't be compared to winning the Stanley Cup but it ranks way up there.

Maybe the Hawks will finish the season as did the 2006-2007 Anaheim Ducks and win the Cup. There is still a lot of hockey to be played and injuries including concussions will play a role in determining who wins their last game. For now, without question the Blackhawks are as their record indicates the best team in hockey.

There was something for everyone in this game.

It was a night that featured five failed breakaways in the first frame. There were great saves as well as a soft goal allowed by Ray Emery. There were good clean checks and others that have no place in the game. As is too often the case in the NHL the officials missed calls, but this game was still a treat to watch.

Marian Hossa proved in the second frame why he is one of the top all around players in the world.

It was Hossa who led the Blackhawks in their finest period of the season as they swarmed the Canucks and scored three goals. With a 16 shot outburst the Hawks dominated Vancouver during which time Hossa connected for two goals, his last being unassisted. The energy and effective play illustrated in the middle frame even drew praise from Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault.

On a very special night Blackhawk fans were treated to some outstanding hockey and also got a scare.

The buzz went out of the United Center in the opening minute of the third period when Hossa went to down to the ice after seemingly suffering another head injury. Hossa left the contest and the Canucks stole the momentum and grinded away scoring two goals in the final three minutes to tie the score. Vancouver played well, but the better team found a way to win in a shootout.

Unfortunately, such a marquee matchup didn't feature the best officiating as two referees with over 25 years of combined NHL experience both had a bad night.

In a game where officials should have realized bad blood exists they were not as alert as they should have been. In Tuesday's battle the first late hit should have been whistled as well as the first cross check to the back. Both clubs were affected by the sloppy officiating and play got chippy.

The Hawks may have scored a goal because of a missed too many men on the ice penalty.

That infraction, as much as any other is subjective. Most that watch the NHL on a regular basis don't complain too loudly when this call is seemingly missed. There isn't a set standard in place and it is a fast game. Last night, one referee could be seen counting Hawks on the ice during a line change but he didn't blow his whistle. A short time later Patrick Sharp connected to tie the score at one.

In the opening period a hard check by Dale Weise on Marcus Kruger prompted a retaliatory reaction by Brandon Bollig and a fight broke out. The ugly side of the sport was also illustrated by the Canucks Yannik Hansen as he struck Hossa's head with his forearm. Hansen will probably say he was just going for the puck, although he had no chance of getting to it unless Hossa's body suddenly disappeared. Hansen was positioned directly behind Hossa and he was careless.

This hit to the head didn't look as blatant as the one Duncan Keith delivered to Daniel Sedin last March but it was just as dangerous. Time will tell if Hossa has suffered another concussion but there is little doubt Hansen wasn't making a hockey play. Certainly his forearm to Hossa's noggin will be reviewed for a possible suspension.

Although allowing a weak goal in the first period Emery had another fine outing. He bounced back after his miscue and couldn't be faulted again. It isn't easy to win a game after allowing a soft goal when playing such a high caliber opponent. Emery stood tall in the late going and helped his teammates etch their place in the record book.

Friday's opponent will be San Jose who recorded a 2-1 victory in St. Louis on Tuesday night.

The Blues had travel issues and didn't get into town until 7:00 AM yesterday morning. The Sharks ended their seven game losing streak by edging the road weary Blues and now will rest up to face the Hawks at the UC.

Emery should get the start in goal as Corey Crawford is progressing as he has skated but has not practiced. Last night Brent Seabrook was not dressed after being struck by a puck in a very sensitive area on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks do not have another defenseman with the same skill set as Seabrook. Versus the Canucks Keith and Johnny Oduya shouldered much of the load, but an entire team effort was needed to make up for the loss of Seabrook.

Blackhawk faithful will be hoping Hossa and Seabrook will be back to face San Jose. If Hossa did suffer another concussion there is no telling on how long he could be out of action.

The 2013 Blackhawks have a place in the NHL record book. All that remains to be determined is if they will be sole recorder holders, but either way this is a time Hawk fans should always remember.

I will be back on Saturday morning.

Follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia

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