Hockey is just weird sometimes. You can’t really ask the Hawks to do much more than they did tonight. From the opening bell, the Avs were pretty much rolled up in a rug and dumped in the snowy woods. But like the occasional Russian gangster who claims to wash his balls in ice water, even though he’s been shot in the head he escapes the mobsters (layered reference!). The Hawks don’t even have packs of mustard to keep them sane.
Sure, they could have cashed in on a power play. But it’s not as if the PP was totally helpless. It created enough chances, it just didn’t cash in. Sure, they’ll tell you they could have gotten more traffic in front of Semyon Varlamov, but that would just be covering up. The Hawks were there plenty of times, it just felt like the rebounds kept bouncing away from Hawks’ sticks aside from Shaw’s goal. Yeah, the penalty kill could have come up better than leaving Ryan O’Reilly enough space in front he would have died of exposure. But in OT, Hjalmarsson’s rushed clear could have taken any bounce off the glass. It just went to Matt Duchene.
The Hawks did everything but win tonight, and that happens from time to time during the season. Hockey is a cruel enough mistress to torture you by having luck play a role, and a big one. It just didn’t go the Hawks way tonight. Move on, and know that more efforts like that will result in pairs of points far more often than they’ll result in a solitary, lonely one.
-I don’t know how many bullets there are to point out, but I’ll try. Hammer had more time to clear the puck in OT than he realized after Keith made a nice play to strip the puck. But on a 4-on-3 I’m sure you always feel rushed. Not a huge deal.
-Even the OT penalty was bad luck. Toews was scrambling for a puck he lost and in that his stick just happened to get caught up. It wasn’t as if he was out of position or beaten (like say Seabrook was on MacKinnon that he bailed himself out of with a diving lunge that on another night he would have missed the puck and be called for tripping). It was the right call, just buzzard’s luck.
-Extra Skater is down at the moment, but I’m sure the Corsis are just gross.
-Here’s a complaint. Bryan Bickell played only six minutes. And I didn’t think he was that bad, and certainly has earned a bigger leash after being one of the Hawks’ best forwards the past few games. It feels like Bicks is now being unfairly blamed by Q, and I don’t know what the expectations are exactly. If he’s saying that Bicks isn’t being a physical enough presence, than what’s Bollig doing on the ice at all?
-Handzus only got eight minutes, which seems to be an admittance that he simply can’t keep up.
-Patrick Sharp had nine shots, and yet all I can remember are the ones he turned down. The top line is having a nasty habit of getting Arsenal-esque (or what Arsenal used to be), in that they basically want to walk the puck in every time. They could pull the trigger even more often, as silly as that might sound.
-It felt like there were an inordinate amount of times that the Hawks did make the right pass in the offensive zone and had time and the puck simply bounced over a stick or away. More luck.
-Did Erik Johnson get hurt? I didn’t see anything on Twitter but I’m assuming he did with only 12 minutes.
-Nick Leddy was all over the place tonight, and I can’t help but feel that constantly having a new partner is really taking effect. It felt like he was trying to do everything because he’s tired of constantly adjusting his game to whoever he’s skating with that night. He was better when it was even just Brookbank and Rozsival. Can we just stick with that?
-He didn’t score, but Brandon Saad still FUCKS.
That’s all for now I think. Just one of those nights.