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Game #76 – With the Apple in My Mouth, the Food That Celebrates Your End – Hawks 0, Coyotes 1

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Money Puck

That’ll about do it for any playoff hopes the Hawks had. In another BIG GAME, the Hawks let out the biggest and densest of farts, failing to scratch against a team straight ahead of them in the standings and more than happy to play a wet blanket trap. Now too bad for the playoffs and too good for a top draft pick (probably), the Hawks get to end the year against a running buzz saw of teams entrenched in the playoffs and the Kings. What a fucking treat.

– Let’s start positive. Corey Crawford looked outstanding yet again. At the beginning of the broadcast, Foley mentioned that Crow was pitching a .940 SV% through the last nine games. In his last five, including tonight, Crow tossed a .924 SV% and managed to get saddled with a 1–3–1 record. He had another stellar game ruined by a bad penalty and his team’s complete Beavis when it mattered most.

Still, it’s always going to be comforting to watch Crawford dominate like he did tonight, especially when his team is giving up 12 high-danger chances for throughout the game, including seven in the third. Crow looks like the Crow of old, and that’s at least a small respite from this skidmark of a season.

– Another thing Foley and Konroyd spent far too much time doing early in the broadcast was pushing the “Keith has really grown” narrative. Konroyd’s Keith fluffing was especially egregious early in the first, during which he waxed poetic about how Keith had really evolved under Colliton’s man zone system as shown by his +20 plus-minus rating or some such shit. Anyone with standard definition television can see that Keith has gone kicking and screaming like Ned Flanders into this fucking asylum of a system, and no meaningless plus-minus or OT goal in a game they needed in regulation is going to change that. Having Keith take the lazy tripping penalty on Crouse late in the third was just the icing on the cake.

I won’t ever hate Duncan Keith, but some of the pissbaby penalties and plays are starting to wear thin.

– It’s good that the next six games don’t matter, because Patrick Kane is completely out of gas. Tonight saw him displaying flat passing and skating and more stripped turnovers than I can remember in a while. And yet, Colliton kept double shifting him, because that’s apparently his counter-clockwise fucking swirl. Except when Kane can’t keep up with the plays he can normally make, the swirl looks more like a knuckle.

– It’s a bit concerning that in the last five games—five games that in theory mattered—the Hawks managed to score just seven goals, and that was with the “nuclear option” flying out there regularly. That’s something that’s on Colliton. He boxed his team in by tossing out one line with all the scoring threats and no one to retrieve the puck, and then Nathan For You’d the rest of the lineup.

It wasn’t until the third of this game that he tried throwing Sikura up with DeBrincat and Toews, leaving a tired Kane to try to manufacture everything else by himself. It’s frustrating when you’ve got teams directly above you in the standings simply trapping and stuffing the middle because they know the top line won’t be able to retrieve the puck off a perimeter shot. It’s especially frustrating when your third line dominates in the oZ but doesn’t have a true scorer to finish the job. Colliton either couldn’t or wouldn’t make the adjustment. I’m not sure which would be worse.

David Kampf is a fine player. Maybe even good. But if you needed to be reminded about why he’s not ever going to be a Top 6 guy, tonight was the night. His line was the only forward line underwater in possession, and they were way, way under. He doesn’t complement Perlini or Strome well at all, and that Colliton thought that the way to fix that line was to put a defensive stalwart with very little offensive upside in the middle of it doesn’t inspire confidence.

– Forsling–Seabrook continues to insult. Along with the Kampf line, they were buried in possession (26+ and 30+ CF%, respectively). Seabrook’s desperation tripping penalty led to the Coyotes’s only goal, and Forsling had no fewer than four unforced turnovers, at least three of which came in the defensive zone on long pass attempts. It’s a never-ending nightmare whenever these two are on the ice. Given how bad they are, everyone should be fired if Boqvist and Harju aren’t up and playing with this team next year. There’s simply no way those two can be any worse than Forsling–Seabrook.

– On the Yotes’s goal, Connor Murphy went out too far to cover Keller, who easily slipped a pass by him and to the waiting stick of humongous puddle of wet dogshit Nick Cousins. If Murphy sags a bit, it closes that lane off and makes that pass more difficult at least. It didn’t help that Kruger couldn’t clear the ice immediately prior, but Murphy’s positioning was the main culprit.

Brendan Perlini’s got a hell of a release. If he can ever get it under control, he could be fun. I do not like how many ifs I have to attach to him at all.

Alex DeBrincat has had a rough go of it over the past few games. Now that the Hawks are dead, Colliton would be wise to slot him with Perlini and Strome again and try to get that line back on track.

Unless you think the Hawks can beat the Sharks, Kings, Jets, Blues, Stars, and Preds all in a row and in regulation, then tonight’s loss was the final nail in the coffin. The best they can do now is try to get the Perlini–Strome–DeBrincat line back on track, get Sikura his first goal, and maybe give Garbage Dick some time off.

We’re at the funeral, so we’ll sing the requiem.

Booze du Jour: Two Hearted

Line of the Night: “FUCK” –Corey Crawford

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