Antti Niemi Shows Us Why Chicago Can't Stop Winning

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent INovember 23, 2009

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 13: Tomas Kopecky #82 of the Chicago Blackhawks hits the goal post during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the United Center on November 13, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When your team is on a true winning streak, every bounce goes the way you want. Nothing goes wrong.

That was the case last night, when the Blackhawks played against the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have one of the best offenses in the league now that they have Daniel Sedin back. However, this could not give them a win against the Blackhawks.

Take a look at the shot totals and puck possession. The Blackhawks barely touched the puck, and rarely took a shot on goal. They were out-shot by the Canucks 30-17. They took six shots in the first period, seven in the second, and only four in the third. Even though they were constantly being out-shot, they still won the game 1-0.

The reason that they were able to win is because of their goalie. Antti Niemi was standing on his head for the entire game. In the first period, both Sedins were in front of the net and had chances to put the puck in, but Niemi was able to keep the puck in front of him.

It happened again when the Blackhawks were killing a penalty just over a minute later. He was able to stick his pad out and keep the puck out of the net.

The biggest stop of the night happened in the second period, when Bernier had a breakaway. Once again, Niemi was able to kick out the pad and stop the puck.

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After the Hawks scored the first goal of the game in the third period, the Canucks started playing desperately. They ended up with 11 shots on goal in the third period, most of these with traffic in front of the net, and a few that could have gone in, especially that sequence right at the end of the game.

But, it’s like I said before, when you’re on a winning streak, you just can’t stop getting good bounces. A lot of the shots that Niemi stopped probably would have gone in if it was a different goalie, but Niemi was on fire last night.

That’s why the Hawks are on a winning streak, good stuff hasn’t stopped happening. The chemistry is there, the goaltending is there, the backup goaltending is there, the defense is there, and the scoring is there. Everything that the Hawks need to have to have a good team is happening right now. I don’t think that this streak will last much longer, but we can expect more of them just like it.

Originally posted at tipsforhockey.com

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