Well that was fun. Games against the Chicago Blackhawks always provide the opportunity to see proper hockey played by insanely skilled players without the side rubbish that the unskilled lean on to drag the better players down.
Last night's game had the second highest event total of the year with 117 shot attempts. The only other game to beat it out was when Pittsburgh played another one of the Western Conference's better teams, the Los Angeles Kings (120).
Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, and Artemi Panarin all found the scoresheet last night. And that isn't to say Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa didn't have their moments either.
It was a fairly even game with Pittsburgh having a slight edge
Sidney Crosby scored for the fourth consecutive game and now has six goals in his last six games. Looks like he is shooting the puck with authority again
Crosby ripping shots into the net from that spot of the ice is becoming a regular thing again.
The shot was nice but I would like to draw attention to the amazing zone exit that led to the goal via Kris Letang
You either have that ability or you don't.
Kris Letang has eight points in his last three games and 20 in his last 19 games.
Evgeni Malkin has seven points in his last four games.
The big guns are playing like big guns again
Malkin is the only player that has seen a drop in his even-strength offense but I looked into his points per 60 in all situations and it was 2.9 with Johnston and is also 2.9 with Sullivan. Malkin is doing most of his work on the power play lately.
Pittsburgh has the second best Score-Adjusted Fenwick in the league since the Sullivan hire at 55.0%.
Artemi Panarin is pretty awesome. Makes you wonder why he was undrafted and took until he was 24 years old before he made his way over to the NHL. Chicago's KHL shopping got them a bonafide top six winger while Pittsburgh's got them a decent fourth liner.
Here is a Matt Murray update
And some Jagr quotes because why not?
Pittsburgh and Chicago get to do it all again tonight and hopefully it will be just as fun.
Brand new Hockey Hurts Podcast talks about Jonathan Drouin situation, Jagr and the Panthers, Montreal's slide, and Pittsburgh's resurgance. You can find that here