I’ve provided the usual stat pages, but this one doesn’t need much analyzing. I feel it would be somewhat callous to blame the Hawks simply not being at the races in the 1st period on everything they’ve been through the past few days, but I don’t think it’s incorrect either. Considering there’s a three day break after this one, and teams rarely get three days off during an NHL season–the All-Star break is pretty much it–combined with the emotional roller coaster of the past four days, the Hawks can be forgiven for just coughing up a hairball tonight. Especially when you have their record over the past month, which is 13-3-1. That’ll do.
You came for bullets? We got ’em.
The Two Obs
-It feels like nitpicking about anything on the Hawks these days is a desperate grab for material, but there’s one thing that I think is pretty serious, and it’s Johnny Oduya. His play has been masked by just how good Hjalmarsson has been (and he’s been out of this world), but when the spring arrives if Oduya can’t handle the tough assignments it’s an issue. His gap on Perreault for the first goal wasn’t very good. He was completely oblivious to Little on the second, who never should have been allowed to get a shot off. It’s been happening all year. It’s got to get better, but I’ll excuse tonight.
-The third goal, which pretty much decided things, was not anything the third pairing is going to put on a reel. It all started when Rozsival was easily beaten in the neutral zone, as happens. Rundblad didn’t show much interest in a battle in the corner, and there you go. This is another issue that needs to be solved. All of it has me dreaming about an offer for Keith Yandle to play on the second pair.
-In the Indian (program edition) we said the Hawks cannot get in a wrestling match with the Jets along the boards all night. Well, that’s basically what they did. Getting down early doesn’t help, because the Jets can just sink into that trap. The Hawks got easily frustrated and impatient and tried to force their way through, without wanting to do the grinding things that you have to do against a team like this. The Jets are so much bigger than the Hawks, they’re always going to provide a challenge. The Hawks kept cycling back when what they really needed to do was to hit passes up the ice quickly to hit the line with speed. Once you bend back the Jets have four across the line. There’s no way. They’ll figure it out when it matters.
-The Hawks haven’t lost by multiple goals in a month. That’s kind of impressive.
-Hawks were outscored 5-1 after Carcillo’s “fight.” MOMENTUM.
There’s not much else to add to this one. Every now and then there’s going to be a clunker. Move on.
We’re going to take the next few days off with them. From everyone here at The CI, have a very Merry Christmas.