By Chris Block
If there ever was a game that could exemplify the current era Chicago Blackhawks, Monday’s 5-2 victory over the visiting New Jersey Devils is just it.
The Hawks patented style of suffocating much of the opposition’s attempts at advancing the puck through the neutral zone was in full force. And even when the Blackhawks let up temporarily and give an opponent a glimmer of hope, the Hawks are much too talented, and their opponent knows the fatal gut-punch is always potentially just around the next corner.
With the three-day Christmas break looming, the Chicago Blackhawks took to the United Center ice on Monday night to face off with a New Jersey Devils team that entered the contest with a .500 record (15-15-7).
Antti Raanta made his seventh consecutive start in the Hawks net since Corey Crawford suffered his injury during the first period of the December 8th game against the Florida Panthers. Raanta made 10 saves against a grand total of 12 New Jersey shots on Monday in improving his overall NHL record to 8-1-2 (2.20 GAA, 91.6 sv%) and 5-1-1 as Chicago’s interim number one goalie.