Another year of wild crowds and wild hockey games began this evening at the United Center. Chicago will probably lead the NHL in attendance once again this season, and the home season started with 20,655 fans inside the UC on Saturday.
As for the game, well, there may not have been a better way to begin the home schedule. Was it the best game the Hawks will play this year? Well, I hope not. Are there issues that need to be worked out? Yes.
Yet, in the end, Andrew Ladd's goal in the NINTH round of a shootout gave the home team a 4-3 win over Colorado. It was the longest shootout in franchise history, and this back and forth contest gave the big crowd plenty to cheer about and kept them on the edge of their seats.
Cristobal Huet may not be the best goaltender, but he stepped up in the shootout. There is still some concern, though, in how Huet will perform throughout the season. Any goaltending would be nice considering how many goals the offense should score this year. And how about their defensemen? Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook and company have scored or assisted on 11 of the 12 goals the Hawks have scored in regulation this year.
There is speed, timing, and a lot of flash in the Hawks offensive attack. The Avalanche saw that tonight and so did 20,000-plus at the United Center. The season's opening month is filled with home games as Chicago plays on the road just two times in the rest of October. The other seven games will have more wild Hawks fans cheering on a very exciting team.