Like most Cubs fans, I’m incredibly excited for baseball this year. Not that I think that Cubs are winning the series or even their own division. It’s just that they should at least be pretty damn fun to watch this year. I suppose it’s not too uncommon. I get excited about baseball every year even when the Cubs are going to be terrible. I only bring this up because this game had a “pitcher’s duel” feel to it the whole way through. It’s the type of game that early in the season, hockey or baseball, really kind of bums me out. I can appreciate strong performances on the mound. But early in the season isn’t it more fun to see someone sock a few dingers?
Hockey is obviously a little different. In an ultra high quality pitchers duel, the offense really never gets to do anything exciting. At least in hockey there’s always the chance for tons of speed and back and forth play going on. Watching a goalie make an incredible save has a little more flair and showmanship than a perfectly executed cutter. As the season progresses though, I find I appreciate the quieter games a bit more and more. So maybe if the Hawks had played this game in October I’d feel a little cheated but now when the season is winding down there’s a bit more to it. We’ve seen the Hawks slowly start to chip away at the leads in front of them. The games are becoming more important by the day. To see the Hawks play a tight almost perfectly executed road game against a top tier team (two days in a row really) starts to make you look beyond just the regular season. There’s a lot of time between now and then but it makes you enjoy the tight games a little more, no?
- Still, for as well executed as this game was, it came within a razor’s edge of going the opposite way, didn’t it? In the first, the Hawks were the beneficiaries of an unseen puck and the play was stopped dead a second before it found it’s way into the net. Then in the third Brad Richards’ goal was scored on the play generated by Boyle ringing one off the pipe behind Darling. This was a good win but it was a lucky win.
- Talbot had a pretty spectacular game but he really has to want that goal back from Richards.. and he’s gotta be questioning what the hell it was that his skaters were doing on the play. The Hawks had tried the wraparound attempts all game long to no avail. Richards looked to be doing the same but noticed the space in front of the net and took it out with him. No Blueshirt picked him up (I believe he should have been Boyle’s man) and he was able to wait and look Talbot off the post just enough to find some space. Pretty nifty veteran like play from the old man.
- I feel like we need a workplace counting board “This team has gone ‘1’ game without an OSHA recordable Shaw fuckup”.
- The Rangers are the top team in the league and they’re still waiting to get one of the best goalies around back on the ice. They’re trouble. I’m just really glad someone stepped up to take away focus on my fear that Detroit would run away with the East.
- I mentioned it above but the Hawks ability to slow the game down and limit the chances for the Rags is really wonderful to watch. I think the Rangers went a full 5 minutes in the third without registering a shot on goal.
- After one of his better games as a Hawk last night, Teravainen was fairly quiet tonight. No shots on goal, no headshakingly good passes.. but he did record a hit and a blocked shot. See! There’s hope for him yet in the Chicago Tough market!
- After taking on some of the best in the East, the Hawks have 4 games against teams not likely to make the playoffs this year. If they want to keep this final push going, this is a perfect opportunity.