Chicago Sports: Blackhawks & Bears, Vol. 3

Craig NuzzoCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2008

Chicago Blackhawks

I couldn't be happier leaving the United Center on Wednesday night for multiple reasons.

But for the sake of order, let's begin with the start of my night.

We arrived at the game five minutes in due to the horrific traffic traveling inbound on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago, IL. That was just enough time to see a Patrick Kane Power Play goal! We literally just sat down when the lamp lit up and the entire Blackhawk Nation of the "U.C." went crazy. It was a sight to see.

I have never seen that many people in the United Center at one time. The last 'Hawks game I attended was nearly two years ago (that's what college does to your budget). The games were never sold out like that Wednesday night.

That goal would remain alone until a Troy Brouwer empty netter near the end of the game.

The most impressive play of the game came from the "man from France": Cristobal Huet. He stopped 23 shots and earned his first shutout as a 'Hawk.

"[Huet] played great, and you can tell that he's getting more confident as the season goes on," said Patrick Kane. "It's good to have him get the shutout—he's played great the last couple of games."

So which goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin or Cristobal Huet, will take the net on Friday against the Colorado Avalanche (14-13-1)?

I guess it's up to Coach Quenneville to make that decision.

Personally, I want to see Khabi, but I wouldn't be surprised if Huet gets the nod after his great play during the absence of the 'Bulin Wall.

I also have to give it up to the 'Hawks penalty kill units. They faced a 4:00 minor and a 5-on-3 during the game while not allowing a single goal.

The Chicago Blackhawks (13-6-7) shut out the Ottawa Senators (10-11-5) by a score of 2-0.


Three Stars of the Game

No. 38 Cristobal Huet

No. 88 Patrick Kane

No. 8 Matt Walker

It's great to see the Frenchmen up there!


My Star of the Game (besides the aforementioned)

No. 10 Patrick Sharp

Sharp made a great pass to assist Kane's goal.


Side Notes

The 'Hawks sent defenseman James Wisniewski to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs on loan-term injury expectations. In addition, the 'Hawks sent left wing Pascal Pelletier back down to the IceHogs.

The next game will be on Friday, Dec. 12 at 8:00 PM CT. against the Colorado Avalanche (14-13-1) in the Pepsi Center. The last time the two teams faced off was on Nov. 3, when the 'Hawks won by a score of 6-2.


Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears (8-6) beat the New Orleans Saints (7-7) in OT by a score of 27-24.

This game started out in the Bears' favor. Daniel Manning returned the kickoff for an 83-yard touchdown to start the game.

Then Mike Brown made an interception during the first Saints' drive.

However, not all was well in the beginning for Chicago. Rookie running back Matt Forte limped to the sideline after suffering a toe injury during his first run.

Forte finished the game with 34 yards on the ground, 59 yards in the air, and he scored one touchdown.

Kyle Orton was 24-for-40, throwing for 172 yards and giving up two interceptions. He also had a six-yard rushing touchdown.

Robbie Gould kicked the tying field goal at the end of regulation and then made a 35-yarder in overtime to beat the Saints during Thursday Night Football.

Still, the bottom line remains: The Bears need plenty of help to make it into the postseason. The first place Minnesota Vikings (8-5) have to lose two games while the Bears win the rest.

Even then, will the Bears even make it past the first round of the playoffs?

Probably not.

But it's always fun to watch another Bears game after the regular season for whatever reason.


The next game will be featured on ESPN's Monday Night Football on Dec. 22 against the Green Bay Packers (5-8) at 7:30 PM CT—a must win for the Chicago Bears.


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