“Some guys look at this glass and say it’s half full. Some guys would say it’s half empty. I’m bettin’ you’re one of the half-empty guys.”
“Well what would you, if every day was exactly the same, and nothing you did mattered?”
“That about sums it up for me.”
The last bit of life ennui is brought to you by Guy Boucher, who in high school was voted most likely to take lemons and make it a Chekhov play. Some coaches would look at a roster of 12, fast, and at least decently skilled forwards and think, “Hey, I can make some things happen offensively here!” Guy Boucher looks at a roster of 12 fast, decently skilled forwards and thinks, “Hey, I can use this speed to make sure they all get back to the neutral zone to trap in plenty of time and make every fan question the meaning of existence!”
Honestly, I’ve never understood the fascination with Boucher is. His Lightning teams only went anywhere when Dwayne Roloson went playoff nuclear for the second time and both Malkin and Crosby missed the playoffs through injury. This Senators team doesn’t really do anything particularly well, but conceivably could, and is getting bailed out by Craig Anderson most of the time (and Mike Condon some of the time).
It shouldn’t have been a surprise that this game was utter dross for most of it, especially the first half or three quarters of the first period when the Hawks were coming to grips with the oh-so-ingenious trap Boucher’s teams run with four guys in a deprivation tank in the neutral zone. The Hawks weren’t giving up too much either, though more than they were probably comfortable with.
The game was always going to need to be opened up by a dumb goal, which the Hawks got after Keith’s blast was saved by Condon right onto Pyatt’s skate and into the net. The Sens would get it back on the power play, and the Hawks would catch a break when two separate slashes broke Hawks sticks giving them overlapping power plays. Wiener Anxiety took the gift.
So the past three games, the Hawks have played teams that either are or were in first place in their divisions, or right there. They’ve won all three in regulation, which is pretty heartening. On the other side, their average Corsi in these three games is 38.5%, which is not. Granted, some of that is score-effects. They were up early on the Wild, and the Habs, and the Sens didn’t really pile on until the 3rd when they trailed. And these are teams you can cede a fair amount of possession to, because the lack of true, premier finishing. On the three, how many genuine, frontline scorers are there? Pacioretty, maybe Granlund? Not much more.
I don’t think this is a trend for the Hawks, and we’d all better hope it isn’t. You can do that against most teams with both goalies playing this well and the Hawks not needing as many chances to score as most teams. Pull this act against San Jose or Pittsburgh or Washington in a couple months, you’re probably going to be left with your dick in your hand.
Anyway, let’s clean it up:
The Two Obs
-In a year where the Hawks have brought through Chicken Fat (Schmaltz), Hartmania, have seen Kero and Hinostroza at least show flashes, I don’t know why the broadcast felt the need to once again pump up a Hawks rookie to the point where we’re all rolling our eyes. John Hayden was fine. He could like, stand up on skates most of the time. He did not make me redefine what it means to be a man.
And why was Foley so quick to like, shit on the kid’s studies? You’d think the Hawks would be relieved to have at least one player who isn’t rock stupid/stoned/both. Whatever. He’ll enjoy being a Black Ace.
-For most of the year, Seabrook has played well. Tonight, he was woeful. I counted at least four turnovers that were simply lazy or boneheaded. That’s enough of that.
-Johnny Oduya’s first three games have seen a 27%, 30%, and and 40% CF%. Yikes.
-I’m excited to see what Schmaltz can do at center for a long stretch, and remain fairly convinced that’s where his long-term value is. And faceoffs are not usually something that concerns me. But, when centering for The Good Time Boys, they take on added significance because neither have been exceptional defensive players. It’s not that Dimebag and Scumbag need to dominate possession to score. But they give up prime chances when they don’t have the puck, and with Schmaltz even worse at the dot than Anisimov, this will take some watching. Not that it’ll matter when Game 1 arrives, as Arty The One Man Party will be back.
-Keith looked sluggish all night, but then he probably was just a victim of the sleeper hold that is the Senators.