There’s something about this team. Even when they’re not very good (the last few weeks) they can still manage to outplay other teams seemingly at will. Few of us would believe that the Hawks are playing at their highest level right now and we’ve got plenty to complain about.. and even if we don’t, we’ll at least make some shit up.. but they still have somehow won 8 out of 10 possible points so far on the road trip with only a single game remaining before the break.
For long stretches of the game last night, the Ducks were probably the better team. Or at least it seems that way when they’ve got pretty much a constant power play. It’s not often we’ll see the Hawks get outshot, even rarer when it’s by such a large margin like the first period which ended 15-9 in the Ducks favor, and that’s only thanks to a late period rush from the Hawks. They easily could have ended the period with only 5-6 shots. The Hawks were able to turn in a brilliant defensive performance when they needed it though. It’s late and I need to get to work so lets go straight to the bullets.
- It’s great to see the Hawks PK become rock solid again, especially when Shaw turns up his pest antics to 11. A kneeing penalty? When was the last time you saw one of those? The Hawks are slowly climbing up the rankings but thanks to the early season struggles, they’re still only 22nd best in the league. We’ve said it before, but a solid PK is almost more important than the power play in the spring. This team rarely struggles with finding goals so making sure they can keep the puck out of their own net becomes more important when the games matter more. Things are perfect but they’re getting closer.
- Sometimes you forget just how good Marian Hossa is. Last night was another example of him simply being a monster. He can skip all the damn morning skates he wants if he keeps having games like that.
- Just so no one accuses us of not pointing it out – Seabrook had a very nice game last night and has strung together quite a few solid performances. With Oduya out, it was important that everyone else on the blue line stepped up and we saw it. Leddy also had a brilliant game as he was a treat on both sides of the ice.
- Shaw was a mess but Versteeg also had a very Versteegy start to the game. It’s also just a bit of a slap in the face that in a game where the Hawks had a conga line to the penalty box, including a good chunk of 5on3 and a solid 4:00, that Versteeg doesn’t get a single second of shorthanded ice time. Did we totally make up that he’s pretty good on the kill? That was a thing, right?
- Speaking of ice time – As BlackhawksJen pointed out Brandon Bollig, who has improved… but not that much, had more ice time than Kruger, Saad, Steeger, Smith, Bickell and Shaw. Jesus christ… The only thing that shows up on Bollig’s stat sheet is two hits. Q can say he always wants “more” out of someone like Bickell but what the fuck does that even mean anymore?
- The outside of the Honda Center looks like a cheap casino.
- Toews was above 50% on the dot tonight but only barely. This is only the third time in seven games that he’s won more than he’s lost. Where’s Yanic Perreault when you need him? Something must be nagging Toews because there’s no way he suddenly forgot he’s quite good at this.
- In order to get ready for the Phoenix game, Crawford did his best Mike Smith impression after getting bumped by Matt Beleskey.
- One more game before the break. Get after it.