The recent six-game road trip was a mess until Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Jeff Glass arrived in game four. His play and much-improved play of captain Jonathan Toews have given the Blackhawks what was sorely needed. A team that is more focused on their game, and some much-needed points.
Chicago Blackhawks Goaltender Jeff Glass Saves Six-Game Road Trip
Glass Breaks Out
All over the internet, there are many articles about Jeff Glass. Glass is the 32-year-old “rookie” goalie who stepped in the net last Friday against the Edmonton Oilers. The Blackhawks were mired in a three-game losing streak, playing the fourth game of a six-game road trip. The Blackhawks called on Glass to start the second of back-to-back games. However, few expected anything out of the 32-year-old.
Glass started the game and faced 19 shots in the 1st period, giving up only one goal. Glass was experiencing what every Blackhawk goaltender had all year. The team in front of him was playing poorly, turning the puck over, leaving people uncovered in the slot, making terrible passes, tanking on the power play, and failing to create much offence. I’m sure Glass was still ecstatic to be in goal that night. How could he not?
As the game went on, the Blackhawks found their legs and offence. They won the game in overtime 4-3 with yet another sick stickhandling move and goal by Patrick Kane. After the goal, Kane immediately pointed to Jeff Glass as if to say “way to go kid”. Jeff Glass had arrived.
The Glass Story
Glass was drafted in 2004 by the Ottawa Senators. He then won the 2005 World Junior Championship, minding the net for the most stacked line-up in World Junior History. He spent the rest of his career in the minors or Russia in the KHL. Glass became the second oldest goaltender to win his first game. For more on the Jeff Glass journey, check out this from Scott Billick of NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk:
“There were a few bleak moments where I didn’t believe it could happen,” Glass told Sportsnet after Friday’s game in Edmonton, just a few hours north of his childhood home in Calgary.
He once played in Siberia, where he told Sportsnet it snowed for 45 days straight. He toiled in the AHL, the ECHL, and the KHL for years since being drafted 89th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2005. He was most recently with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, and after an injury to Corey Crawford, was recalled on Wednesday after Crawford was put on injured reserve.
Glass’ journey is a tale of hard work, sticking to it, and waiting for his time to come — all cliches we often take for granted in the sports world. Glass is living proof and a testament that dreams are never dead, just sometimes delayed.”
Oh Captain, My Captain
In conjunction with the inspiring play of Glass, it appears that Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews is getting back into his usual top game form. Toews has been struggling with consistency all season, as have the Blackhawks. The last two games against the Calgary Flames and New York Rangers Toews scored a goal and assist in both games. Toews play has picked up and it’s noticeable. He has been much stronger on the puck and relentless in the offensive zone. His team needs him to play at his very best to be successful. As Toews goes, so go the Blackhawks. Enjoy this from Dan Rosen of NHL.com describing what Toews means to his team.
“The Blackhawks are 13-3-3 when Toews scores at least one point; they’re 6-11-3 when he doesn’t.
It’s easy to focus on his 20 games without a point, and it’s relevant considering the Blackhawks are sixth in the Central Division, albeit two points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff position. If he were more consistent, they’d probably be in a better place in the standings.”
New Year, New Team?
Glass is truly a great story in the NHL this season. His record of 2-0-1 is an inspiration for an uninspired team. If he wins again this week, I expect Glass to garner NHL Player of the week honours. How could the NHL not celebrate his story?
Corey Crawford is still out with an upper-body injury. Jeff Glass and Anton Forsberg will be defending the Hawks goal until he returns. To be sure, the Blackhawk fans will greet Glass well the next time he plays at home. They love goalies who battle in net. Glass and also Captain Jonathan Toews have both given them a reason to be happy again. It’s time for the Blackhawks go on a run. The team is seeing the Glass half-full right now.
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