Look, going to overtime five straight times as the Hawks have to start this season, an NHL record, isn’t necessarily a good thing. There have been blown leads in the last three games, and in the opener they trailed to a team they really shouldn’t have. But given where the expectations were to start this season, taking 8 of the first 10 points available will be accepted in whatever form it comes in. And tonight was as solid an endeavor as this team is likely to put forward, particularly when it comes at the expense of the Blues. So now onward to what everyone is really waiting for; it’s time to shit on Brandon Manning some more and heap praise upon Alex DeBrincat.
- Right off the bat, let it not be said that the Fels Motherfuck isn’t a real thing. After stating a very real case this afternoon about why Jake Allen sucks, Sam managed to propel him to a 46 save performance where he had to be everywhere at all times when his own dudes weren’t tackling him in the crease and giving Garbage Dick about 8 seconds to dilly dally in the crease and pick a corner.
- At the other end of the ice, while the Perron goal was a boner all around (more on that in a moment), Cam Ward was about as solid as he needed to be tonight, including stopping a couple prime chances in overtime. Even still, if Thursday is in fact the day that’s being targeted for Crawford’s return, it’s quite welcome, and if this is the version of Cam Ward that gets the backup’s minutes, that’s quite alright.
- Let it never be said that a dead horse will go unbeaten around these parts. And with that in mind, the sequence to start the third period where Brandon Manning got five holed by a reverse pass behind his own net that led to a yawning cage for Perron, followed on the next shift by he and Rutta getting burned by Brayden Schenn resulting in a Rutta hold, which then resulted in Manning somehow getting PK time and finding himself in a scrum up at the blue line when the puck hadn’t cleared was truly, truly special. Ward isn’t the most nimble or surehanded goalie when out of his crease, but still, Manning has to have that. And this pairing, HOPEFULLY out of a dearth of options, managed to not miss a shift for the remainder of the game, and Manning got some 3v3 burn. It never ceases to amaze.
- Last year we couldn’t throw enough bouquets at Alex DeBrincat in a toilet season, donning our hairshirts to getting him some top 6 minutes. And it’s the damnedest thing that in exclusively getting top 6 burn this year, he has 6 goals in five games. The game tying goal in particular was an absolute thing of beauty on a transition 3 on 2, catching the puck while striding toward the middle and throwing the puck at the near side top corner before anyone has a chance to react. The kid’s instincts are absolutely off the charts, and while it’s not in his job description, he almost certainly has endeared himself to the coaching staff by busting ass on his back check and at least trying to take away passing lanes.
- Alexandre Fortin din’t look out of place with the Schmaltz line, but he’s got a little bit of the ol’ Troy Brouwer “ohmygodohmygodohmygodohSHIT” in him for right now. It’s still early, and he’s still young and it’s worth a look.
- That being said, Brandon Saad got a team low 5:58 of 5v5 tonight, but got far and away the most run on the PK at 2:43. Not exactly the way to kick start someone’s scoring, but he did enough with it at a 75 share with what he had. And truthfully, a line of Saad, Kruger, and Kampf could be a nifty shutdown unit if the Hawks could afford to lose whatever it is that they think Saad is supposed to bring to the top 6 at the moment.
- Brayden Schenn was acquired for Jori Lehtera, so let it never be said that Ron Hextall truly knows what he’s doing.
- Having Patrick Sharp come out to present Duncan Keith with the traditional Silver Stick for his 1000th game was truly some tawdry soap opera shit, wasn’t it?