It feels like I should have some exciting takeaway or some great insight for you from this match-up of two perennial Stanley Cup contenders…but I don’t. It was an entertaining game to be sure, but it was also a midseason game (well, one-quarter-season to be exact), and it was a workaday performance turned in by the Hawks. Remember when they kicked the shit out of the Penguins to open the season? This game was not that, by any stretch of the imagination. To the bullets!
– Corey Crawford is a more worthwhile human than you or me. You probably already knew that—I know I did—but it bears repeating. He got domed by Evgeni Malkin in the first period, who was being the piece of shit that he is, then he went off for the quickest concussion protocol ever, and proceeded to give up just one goal and hold a .972 SV%. Yes, this got helped out by the second goal for the Pens getting called back for interference, which it was, but Crow battled through a lot of bullshit tonight including a bunch of shots at the end. The Hawks wouldn’t have won without his performance tonight, not like that is any kind of surprise. (And kudos to Anton Forsberg for covering those three minutes competently…not even being sarcastic, I mean it).
– Gustav Forsling scored on the power play. Did you ever think you would read such a ridiculous sentence? Yeah, I didn’t think I would ever write it either. Ready for another one? Both Hawks goals came on the power play. Wait, wait, I got another one: Artem Anisimov has 10 goals. Can you believe all this? After how terrible the power play has been I’m downright delighted to see this shit. Forsling finished with a 56.8 CF% tonight, so fine, whatever, if Kempny is going to get marooned in the press box forever you better fucking do something, asshole. And Anisimov with double-digit goals? Fine as well…if Toews is going to continue to fail at finishing, we need some center to do something. Have at it, pal.
– Nick Schmaltz continued his general awesomeness. He had speed all over the ice, some great breakaways in the first period, and somehow someway this second line is working. Schmaltz’s possession numbers with Anisimov and Kane at evens was over 50%. And the assholes on the Penguins were targeting him right up until the end of the game, when it was clear they weren’t going to do anything other than inflict pain and fuck him up, so that has to tell you something about this guy’s effectiveness.
– Look, I know in my rational mind that Phil Kessel is a very talented hockey player, but can we all just agree on something: this guy looks like he’s an insurance adjuster from Scranton and he’s playing men’s league on a Tuesday night just for fun. Seriously, this guy does NOT look like he should be in the NHL. I just, I just can’t get past it…I’ve never been able to get past it. Wherever he goes, I’m just flummoxed by this doughy dipshit-looking guy, who fortunately couldn’t get anything past Crawford tonight.
– Adam Burish can talk on TV? Who knew? I’ve actively tuned him out when he’s on the intermission desk-in-the-midst-of-obnoxious-assholes. So I never bothered to listen, but in the isolation of a studio I noticed he put rational thoughts together with the camera right on him…well done.
When it’s all said and done, the Hawks needed this win as they need every point they can get right now. And two PP goals? Love it. Their next game is against the fucking Lightning so I honestly expect an embarrassment…at least they’re walking away with this win. Onward and upward…