The Ducks aren’t a good team, the Hawks aren’t a good team, and there was plenty of dumb bullshit to go around. But, if the Hawks want to at least have a semblance of dignity (and are willing to not worry about the draft pick ramifications), they need to beat these teams that are even worse than they are. And that’s what happened so we’ll go with it:
–In the spirit of not burying the lede, Adam Boqvist and Dylan Strome both had a very good night. Let’s start with Boqvist: his pass to set up Caligula’s goal in the first was spot on and was an identical repeat of a play he had against the Panthers. So yes, let’s have this pass for a tap-in become a habit of his. He also had the secondary assist on Strome’s first goal, and at the other side of the ice, it was his defensive play that set up Nylander’s goal in the second. That may sound like yeah, a good defensive play, that’s your job description, but that goal was the point where the game broke open, so that particular stop carries some weight. As for Dylan Strome, he’s been in a weird limbo since coming back from his ankle injury, and being marooned as a winger wasn’t really working. Tonight he was back at center and having Patrick Kane on the wing will always make you look good. But Strome took full advantage of the situation and had a three-point period in the second (2 goals, 1 assist).
–Corey Crawford was outstanding again and then fucking Ryan Getzlaf had to go jumping up to knee him in the head in the third. This shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point, but Crow finished the night with a .949 SV%, and at key moments before the Hawks piled up a bunch of goals, he was keeping them in the game. To wit, the first period was mostly a dull back-and-forth until Crawford had to make a flurry of saves in the last 5 minutes, and he withstood a 5-on-3 in the second. Danton Heinen‘s goal in the second was your typical defensive breakdown and can’t be chalked up to a mistake on Crawford’s part. Carter Rowney‘s was a bit soft but also seemed to be a redirect. Getzlaf’s stupid ass could have avoided leaping into him, but he clearly couldn’t be bothered to avoid kneeing the opposing goalie in the head. What a piece of shit. But, the other part of this is whether Coach Pete should have just kept Crow out the rest of the game. The Hawks were up 5-1 with almost half the third period over…was it really necessary to send him back out there? I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Either way, let it be known that Corey Crawford is the hero we need but don’t deserve.
–Also, for the record, I’d like to see what Malcolm Subban can really do and if he can be a decent/reliable backup or 1B. I just don’t want to see it because Crawford took a head injury from a stupid asshole play, obviously. But this may have been the moment to just leave Subban out there to close out a game that was damn close to blow-out status
–Oh Alex Nylander…don’t for a minute think he’s anything other than a bust. He had a couple good plays (I for one was surprised he scored on his goal and wanted him to pass instead, so that shows what I know). So we’ll have to keep watching them try to make Fetch happen.
–In general though, I didn’t hate the lines tonight. The Nylander-Strome-Kane line obviously was a scoring juggernaut, but overall I was glad to see Toews, Strome and Dach as the first three centers. Kubalik-Toews-Saad is also just a sensible top line (finally). They didn’t score but still managed six shots and had a 66 CF% at evens.
–If you need more evidence that Ryan Getzlaf sucks, he let Matthew Highmore steal the puck and get past him for a short-handed opportunity in the third. Luckily for him Highmore sucks too and didn’t convert, but he would later have a nice pass to David Kampf for the sixth goal, thanks to Getzlaf’s lazy-ass effort. Ya hate to see it.
Tonight was a win they had to have, and historically they’ve blown those opportunities. So we’ll take what we can get and just be glad they didn’t cough up a hairball against this half-assed excuse for a team on their home ice. Onward and upward…