This didn’t quite feel like a “Grind My Gears, ” so much as a more general musing. I guess these are things I think I think.
-I find it hilarious that in a week where most everyone was lampooning Hawk Harrelson for his “TWTW” southern-fried bullshit, some people still think it’s perfectly acceptable to then turn around and say a team lost a hockey game due to effort and want. And without any sense of how paradoxical that may be. But then again, it gives me material.
Granted, hockey unlike baseball is a game that can be changed by a team trying harder and pressing, in either direction. You can’t grunt and grimace and sweat your way through an at-bat (unless you’re Kevin Youklis), but you can through a shift and make a difference. So I’ll admit that.
But that’s not really what yesterday boiled down to.
I think the oasis a lot of coverage of the Hawks runs to is to call them “flat” or “lacking energy” when in fact they are just sloppy. For the first 10 minutes yesterday, the Hawks almost effortlessly broke out of their zone under a more of a suggestion of a Wild forecheck. They started to have problems when the Wild sent two guys in deep and hard (Susannah Collins says the Hawks like to go deep and hard too! OH I’M SO GONNA GET FIRED BY ROCKY NOW!) and the Hawks weren’t hitting tape with their breakout passes or simply hesitating for too long and being forced into either turnovers or just simply getting it out of the zone to no one in particular.
So did the Hawks stop caring from the 10 minute mark of the 1st to the 10-minute mark of the 3rd? Did they start trying less? Of course they didn’t. They just didn’t adjust well or quick enough to Minnesota wanting to play below the goal line more than they had, and a few forwards didn’t adjust to coming down lower in the defensive zone than they’ve had to before in this series.
Believe me, you would know if the Hawks weren’t trying hard enough, because any NHL team can blow you out of the building if you don’t care.
-Not that I like writing this, but Jonathan Toews has three goals in now his last 27 playoff games. Maybe he’s saving it for the bigger battles that we like to think are coming. But we love to put Toews is Sid’s company. Well, where is it? I would absolutely love to have this shoved up my ass Tuesday, believe me. But Hossa has a goal and an assist, Kane is making things happen even though he barely has had the puck in Games 1 or 3. Even Sharp and Saad are piling up the shots. How many games does this streak have to go before some hard questions are asked? And if he’s not going to score against the Wild, why am I supposed to believe he’ll score against the Kings or Bruins or Ducks or whoever?
-Getting off the Hawks (Susannah Collins says lots of people do that! OH I’M SO BAD! THE BEST THING YOU EVER HAD! YOU CAN’T TOUCH ME, CSN!), last night a couple of teams pretty much embarrassed the entire sport.
I’ve never understood the whole “send a message” thing when you’re getting smoked in a playoff game. You know what it looks like to me? Losing without any class. And that’s it. Not that I’m shocked such antics came from Vancouver, because that’s the foundation to their quickly crumbling castle in the sand. And I know Montreal has a snippy rep these days, but that was simply shameful what went on in Ottawa.
I know some meatballs ate it up and revel in this whole “Don’t take it lying down” horse crap that pervades the sport. Fuck that noise.
Take your beating on the chin, hold your hand up and admit you weren’t good enough on the night, and send your message by being that much better the following game. What’s the point of all this? To make teams afraid to beat your brains in? Please. It’s petulant, classless, childish, and makes everyone in the league look like an utter idiot.
But whatever, neither of those teams are going to be with us for very much longer, are they?