Before we get all crazy let's go ahead and admit the facts: that was not a real Blackhawks team. Since they've jettisoned everyone except for dudes making $5 million-plus from the team, they have some legitimate roster battles going on. Flip side, the Blues iced a version of the team that's pretty close to what we'll see next Saturday against Philly.
But whatever, wins always feel good and got-damn if it isn't great to see goals from T.J. Oshie, David Perron, Alexander Steen and the enigma Matt D'Agostini (if that guy doesn't get a place on The Hill, I'll be pissed). Brad Boyes even had a couple assists, which, if he isn't scoring, I'll take since he only had 28 all of last year to go along with his 14 (14!) goals.
But most importantly, Jaroslav Halak looked great (even on that grainy jumbotron feed we had to watch), stopping 30 out of 31 shots and a penalty shot. The grainy Halak that I watched looked pretty calm in there and most impressively (to those of us who spent every game night last year waiting for the Chris Mason Soft Goal Of The Game (TM) to make its eventual appearance), he handled the easy shots just as simply as the difficult ones.
Beyond even that, Halak made a fan out of me with the greatest non-Slapshot "Slapshot" athlete quote of all time in his post game interview, which you can watch below. When asked about the penalty shot he stopped he says, and I may be paraphrasing (it's hard to tell with that Inglorious Basterds extra accent he has) that his job is to stop the shot so, "He shoot the puck and I was there."
Yes, that is a factual breakdown of the action, thank you for your quote Mr. Halak. Everyone who reads the Post-Dispatch will be enthralled tomorrow morning. I love it, we have our own Denis LaRue in net. Right fucking now.
If he gives us a whole season of great games and great quotes, I might even break the cardinal rule of sane hockey fans and buy myself a Halak t-shirt.