Martin Havlat’s overtime heroics lifted the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win over the Blues Saturday Night, redeeming the squad’s overtime loss to the Rangers the previous evening.
Havlet beat Blues goaltender Manny Legace just over a minute into overtime with a wraparound goal off of Legace’s skate. Troy Brouwer tallied the first Hawk’s goal, tipping in Cam Barker slap shot, and net-minder Cristobal Huet stopped 27 shots in the winning effort.
Friday’s contest against the Rangers saw the Hawks victimized by two Chris Drury power play goals, including the game-loser 2:23 into overtime. Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves in the game, while Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook supplied the Blackhawks goals.
The Hawks have ended regulation tied a stunning 14 times in just 43 games so far this season, but accounting for only six victories. With a one-in-three chance of seeing extra play in a Blackhawks game, the excitement of overtime may be losing its luster with fans.
“Well, I have to admit it’s just not as exciting as it used to be,” said lifelong Blackhawks fan Danny Sherbert following Saturday’s victory. “I mean, you kind of expect it at this point. A lot of times I won’t even show up until late in the third period. That’s when the game really starts.”
Hawks President John McDonough agrees, “Overtime is so 1994. With the Winter Classic going so well, I’ve been in contact with the Commissioner Gary Bettman about lots of new ideas. Like maybe having overtime decided by a hip-checking contest scored by the ‘American Idol’ judges. I just thought of that right now.”
For the Bandwagon Fan:
When the third period ends in a tie, a five-minute sudden-death overtime period is played with four skaters on each side. If this period ends in a tie, a shootout takes place with each team allowed three shooters, and if still not decided, the shootout continues until one team scores and the other cannot answer. Teams are rewarded for reaching overtime by receiving one point in the standings, win or lose. The victor, however, receives the full two points for the win. The shootout format of tie-breakers was added in 2005 when NHL management finally got sick of the term “kissing your sister” as a way of describing a game ending in a tie.