By: Tristan Angulo
Where do I even begin?
Well, for starters, the Chicago Blackhawks won 6-2 over the Winnipeg Jets, in a game that doesn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things.
Now that we took care of that…
The over-arching theme of the night was obviously Brent Seabrook’s 1000th game. But the story of the night is supposed to be the NHL debut of highly-touted prospect Dylan Sikura.
Then, Anton Forsberg got injured a few hours before the game. Collin Delia, 23, fresh from his call up from Rockford yesterday, now has to start the game.
Now we have two rookies making their NHL debuts.
Sikura recorded his very first NHL points tonight, notching two assists. His first one was on a pass to Alex DeBrincat, who sprung Erik Gustafsson on a breakaway to score the fifth goal of the night for the Blackhawks. His second one was the primary assist on DeBrincat’s 27th of the year.
DeBrincat’s goal, the sixth of the night for Chicago, tied him with Patrick Kane for the team lead in goals. Kane scored his 27th four minutes into the first. Brandon Saad and Tomas Jurco scored the other three goals of the night for the Blackhawks.
Delia, for his part, was also having a stellar debut. He was solid through two periods of play.
Then the third period happened.
Delia, already making 27 saves out of the 29 he has faced, went down 5:59 into the third frame.
Enter Scott Forster. 36 years old, an accountant from Oak Park, Illinois who signed the ATO for emergency basis hours before the game began, Foster made his NHL debut with a flourish, making seven out of seven saves against the highest scoring team in the Western Conference.
Foster, who is originally from Sarnia, Ontario, plays in a beer league at Johnny’s IceHouse. His last major game was 15 years ago, when he played for Western Michigan University. He was actually the emergency goalie for both teams tonight.
To paraphrase Stefon from Saturday Night Live, this game had EVERYTHING!
Delia, who actually got the win tonight, combined with Foster to make 34 saves out of 36 shots.
Victor Ejdsell, playing the second game of his young NHL career, made his first NHL point tonight as well, earning the secondary apple in DeBrincat’s goal.
The line of Sikura, Ejdsell and DeBrincat combined for one goal, four assists and eight shots on goal.
This was the first multi-goal game of Tomas Jurco’s career.
The pairing of Connor Murphy and Eric Gustafsson was excellent tonight. Gustafsson, who had a goal and assist tonight, showed why the Blackhawks are high on him. When he’s good, he is good. Murphy’s defensive responsibilty complements Gustafsson’s offensive prowess. I think this pairing deserves to be looked at for the last four games of the season.
With Scott Foster’s debut, the Blackhawks tie the record for most goalies used in a year (Corey Crawford, Forsberg, JF Berube, Jeff Glass, Delia, Foster), something they also did in the 2003-2004 season.
The Blackhawks are back at it tomorrow night, travelling to the Pepsi Center for a tilt with the Colorado Avalanche. Delia, who went down with the cramps per Pat Boyle, should be good to go for tomorrow.