Sunday, April 10, 2011

Minnesota Dreaming

This is the day. 81 games done with, and the Hawks have left their fate in their hands. The Hawks need at least a point, and a Dallas loss (preferably in regulation) later, to ensure that they will take the 8th spot. Based on this game, the Hawks could face, Anaheim, San Jose, or Vancouver. They can thank the schedule makes for give Dallas softy games, at the end of the season. How bad do the Hawks want it, and can they go 5-1 against the Evil Empire this year? Maybe Ty Conklin is right and the league will tell them to roll over and play dead. Somehow I doubt that.

The first period was entertaining and exciting, with each team getting a solid chance, but the shots were 10-10 and the score was 0-0. A storybook ending is in order. The second period was a bit of a different story. The Hawks went up and it seemed like they would roll, but an unfortunate missed pass led to a Detroit goal and was followed up by another one on a personnel mismatch. As a result, the Hawks went into the 3rd period down 2-1. At least they didn't have a lead to blow. The third period turned into a shootout. Each team scored 2 goals, and the Hawks failed to cash in on a late powerplay. Looks like their fate rests in the hands of Minny. Lets hope Madden, Havlat, and Barker still like their former teammates.

The Good
  • For the first time all year, we saw the Hawks defenders actually knock someone on their ass for whacking away at Crawford. Deuce, Seabs, AND El Capitan put Tomas Holmstrom on his wallet, which sent a message of urgency. Only took 81 games, guys.
  • Michael Frolik opened up the Hawks scoring after a great forecheck by Kaner, who stole the puck from Brad Stuart, and fed it to Frodo, who ripped it past Opie Howard's glove. The part that should not be overlooked, is Ben Smith causing havoc in front of Howard.
  • Pierre McGuires lover, Pavel Datsyuk, was caught out of position on the Hawks second goal of the game. Seabs snuck in and took a pass across the Wings zone, and unleashed a cannon on net. TomoKop provided the screen, and it was 3-2.
  • Deuce pulled his head out of his ass long enough to pick up a loose puck in front of the Wings net and backhand it in. The first line once again came up big. Hossa was huge controlling the puck off the faceoff, and it ended up in the net.
  • Faceoffs weren't an issue with everyone but Frodo (44%) going over 50%.
  • The Hawks had no penalties against, so they have that going for them.

The Bad
  • Pick-to-Click Vik had a beautiful assist on a goal, just too bad it was a Detroit goal. He could have done ANYTHING but what he actually did, but he fed Holmstrom who skated straight up the ice and beat Crow. All he had to do, is eat it, in the corner. Momentum shift activate.
  • Couple of minutes later, Pavel Datsyuk victimized Stromboli and Leddy, who were floundering in their own zone. Cleary out muscled the Hawks defenders, and kept the puck moving. Bad matchup, bad goal, bad coaching.
  • The Hawks were the lucky recipients of some pretty lax officiating in the second. There at least two instances that the Hawks should have gotten penalties, and didn't. The high stick on Keith, and an interference call later. That could have put the Hawks in an even deeper hole.
  • Detroit took a 3-1 lead on a sloppy play, 2 minutes into the 3rd period. Crawford was caught well out of position and the puck was poked into the crease. Drew Miller rushed the crease and pushed it into the net. Leddy, Stromboli, and Dog Pisani were all in bad position on the play. WHY is that group of people out there together? 4th line and 3rd "D" pair. What would you expect?
  • The fourth goal, by Former Hawk Dan Cleary was also a result of bad personnel. Bickell-Dowell-Pisani-Hammer? WHY? That line shouldn't have seen a SHIFT in the 3rd. Deuce was the only competent person on the ice, and it showed. The Hawks did their best to give this one away, and Detroit was taking. Did I mention that the Dowell line was collectively -9 on the afternoon?
  • The Hawks had the game in their hands, with a LATE failed powerplay. You absolutely have to score at that point, and they spend a majority of it chasing the puck in their own zone.
  • Todd Bertuzzi, plus 2, 2 assists, and NO poetic justice.

The Ugly
  • Have I mentioned my hatred for Pierre McGuire? "Are we going to chase some cats, Spike? Are we? Are we? Are we?"
  • Someone needs to explain to me why Ben Smith was sit on the bench in favor of Stalberg late in the 3rd. Smith did nothing to deserve shifts off, and Stalberg did EVERYTHING to.
  • What a better way to finish the season, than Deuce with the puck in front of the net with 4 seconds, and doesn't even get a shot off. That was a brief encapsulation of the entire season, in one quick moment.

Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive