Friday night, the Chicago Blackhawks continued their season-kickoff road trip in Newark, taking on the New Jersey Devils, looking to gather a W to get on the board in the young season. Coming off a season opening loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, the Hawks looked to bounce back against a young New Jersey squad who had yet to take the ice in the regular season.
The night began with a wonderful tribute to the late Jimmy Hayes, who the hockey world was shocked and heartbroken to have lost this summer. The Blackhawks and Devils both took the ice for warmups wearing jerseys in tribute to Hayes, with Hayes’ Devils jersey hanging in the Devils bench.
Kevin Lankinen drew the start in Newark, seeing incredibly early pressure as the Devils’ Dougie Hamilton found the back of the Blackhawks net only 17 seconds into the matchup, indicating to the overreaction center of my brain that the Blackhawks might need to serious address their slow starts. Spotting opponents goals is fine for sportsbooks, not so great for hockey teams trying to win a game. That said, the Devils’ social rep nailed this tweet, despite how much I hated it.
The Blackhawks would fare better early on than they did in Denver, keeping the puck moving and rolling into the 2nd frame only down one, where they’d kick off the period on the man advantage. In the Devils’ end, Patrick Kane showed why he’s never to be disregarded as a top player in the league, showing world class vision and patience as he found DeBrincat waiting for a crispy one-timer opportunity to knot the game up at 1-1.
We’re going to fast forward through this game a bit, because I started this article with a SUPER clickbaity title and I wanna get to it. The Devils would break the tie and follow up with another goal to make it 3-1, before the Blackhawks were able to respond with two of their own to force the extra frame, where we finally arrive at our destination.
Jack Hughes is 20 years old. He was born in 2001. There’s numerous dudes in the NHL that got drafted before he was born. For him to casually stroll into overtime and do what he did is not only disrespectful to the game, but to the concept of the passage of time itself.
Early in the frame, Patrick Kane took an attempt on night missing short-side right, giving Hughes the puck moving the other way. Hughes entered the zone with another player (honestly it didn’t matter who, you’ll understand why in a second).
Hughes looked off his passing option, and patiently, and I mean PATIENTLY, waited out every single player on the ice, including Hawks tender Lankinen, before casually moving the puck to his backhand and gently depositing it into the back of the cage and calling game. Not only was this amount of poise and skill from a toddler disrespectful, it was an outright disgrace. You haven’t earned the right to manipulate gravity and the movement of time yet. Not only that, but to celebrate by launching your stick into the stands, most likely making some lucky fan’s night, who do you think you are bringing that much joy to your home fans?
Now, being forthright and honest, Jack Hughes is nasty at hockey, and that celly is ALL-TIME. I’m only mad cause he doesn’t do nonsense like this for MY team.
The Blackhawks finish their early season roady in Steel TAHN Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Fleury will face off against his old squad and an aging, depressing Sidney Crosby, hunting for their first win.