Jan 4, 2011, 12:34 AM EDT
Instead of missing two weeks, Jonathan Toews only missed two games because of a shoulder injury for the Chicago Blackhawks. It only took one for Toews to remind hockey fans just how much of an impact he can make, too. He helped his team win an outstanding match against the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-3, even if Chicago wasn’t outstanding throughout the game.
The ‘Hawks captain earned an assist and scored the game winner in a weird set of bounces that you must see to believe (video available at the bottom of this post). He wasn’t the strongest player for Chicago, though, as Patrick Sharp‘s two goals and one assist bumped him up to eight points in four games against the Kings this season.
Ryan Smyth scored two goals, including an odd one in which he broke his stick on a deflection to score on the power play. Jack Johnson also had a good game for the Kings, as he provided assists on two of the team’s three goals.
Corey Crawford kept Chicago in the game by a score of 1-1 even though the Hawks were out-shot 13-6, while Jonathan Quick produced similar results when the Kings faced a 12-5 deficit in shots.
The Blackhawks’ four-game sweep of the Kings marks their first sweep of Los Angeles since the 1981-82 season when they went 3-0. Chicago ended a three-game losing streak while they extended the L.A.’s skid to four losses in a row. The Kings and Blackhawks are now tied with the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche at 45 points, although with various tiebreakers Los Angeles is technically in seventh place while Chicago is in ninth.
If these two teams end up meeting in the playoffs, it would be a real treat for hockey fans. First they must make sure that they won’t miss out on the postseason altogether, though.
Update: here’s a better video of the goal, with some different angles.
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