Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pepé Le Pew

As the season begins to draw to a close, the games we all thought were going to be blowoffs are the complete opposite. Each game is very important to the Hawks chances, which is really a disappointment. If anyone told you that the Hawks would be fighting for the 8th spot with 4 games remaining, you might have been smacked in the face, yet, here they sit. I can't say they really deserve to be in the playoffs, with the way they've played. Then again, I predicted a 45-28-9 record, which would be good for 99 points, and if the Hawks win out, that will be their record. Who would have thought the rest of the conference would have virtually the same record, through?

The Hawks didn't exactly look like they energized in the first period. The were badly out shot in the first three quarters of the frame, but managed to make up some of the deficit and finish with 9, to Montreal's 12, and no scoring either way. The second period was much more in the Hawks favor, as they out shot the Habs 13-12, and each team scored one goal. Twenty four shots is still too many shots against through two periods. The third period was ALL Hawks, but they couldn't solve Price. They out shot the Habs 20-9, but the game still went to OT. A failed OT penalty kill did the Hawks in, and they walked away with an OT loss.

The Good
  • The Hawks first powerplay of the game was a direct result of a Pik-to-Click Vik pesky forecheck on PK Subban. Subban coughed it up and eventually had to interfere with El Capitan. Stalberg gets overlooked for his hustle far too often.
  • Gee! Kane gets some space in the middle of the ice about 20 feet out, and what happens? HE SCORES! Go figure. I wasn't screaming all night about that or anything.
  • Soupie's second period shot off the post was DEAFENINGLY loud. My ears were ringing for minutes after that one.
  • The Hawks powerplay, late in the Third, resulted in 7 shots on net, but no goals. It's amazing that as below average as the powerplay has been, they are still second in the league.
  • Seven shots on net for One Trick Bick and I can't recall any of them.
  • Corey Crawford is the only reason the game wasn't out of hand early. He made huge saves all game long, and deserved a better fate.

The Bad
  • In the first ten minutes of the game, there was a furious pace back and forth, but the Hawks were still out shot 8-3. The new lines of Stalberg-Toews-Hossa, Kane-Kruger-Brouwer, Kopecky-Frolik-Johnson, and Pisani-Dowell-Bickell showed a slight bit of flash, but not much. The new second line was definitely the best of the four. By the third period the lines were completely different. Go Figure.
  • I'm getting VERY tired of Kane skating himself nicely into the zone and then completely out of the play. In games where you're not getting shots on net, you HAVE to take open shots, between the dots, from 15 feet. Or just skate it harmlessly away and turn it over. Just to make sure he keeps making questionable plays, he skated the puck around the net TWICE and failed to get a shot off within 3 feet of the cage. It might not be a perfect angle, but as Gretzky once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take". Of course right after I jot all this down, he does exactly what I've been screaming at the TV about all night.
  • Good choice on first intermission interviews, the guy that played the least. "So, Ryan, how were those 2 minutes and 19 seconds you played? Was the view from the bench as good as it seems? Did you actually break a sweat? Is your ass sore from sitting so long?" Brilliant.
  • Cammalleri banked a shot off Seabrook from about 20 feet out, while no one on the ice notice that he was WIDE open. Mr. Kruger? That was your man. Just thought I'd point that out for you. Maybe that had something to do with why he only played about seven minutes.
  • Toews, Johnson and Kopecky all did well in the faceoff circles. Dowell, and Frolik, not so much.

The Ugly
  • Say goodbye to Troy Brouwer. That was a separated shoulder at the very least. We won't see him the rest of the season.
  • Late game, offensive zone penalty, Tomas Kopecky. Shocking, I know.
  • You can only let PK Subban fire at your goalie so many times before he finally hits the net, and he did. The guy has a howitzer for a shot, and that wasn't Crow's fault at all. Game over.

Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

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