The next time the Hawks dominate play but get stonewalled by a goalie and someone openly complains about how that’s what always happens you can use this game as evidence to the contrary. The Hawks controlled the puck for a good majority of the game, didn’t really let up and poured it in against one of the league’s best goalies.
On to the bullets:
–The Saad-Toews-Shaw line is drawing the majority of the attention post-game and rightfully so. Saad and Toews were demons from hell tonight. They absolutely dominated against an inferior Columbus defensive corps.
With the ability to dictate play from behind the net and the corners as the Blue Jackets defense was either too slow to close down passing lanes (see Johnson, Jack) or too busy running around out of position (see Wisniewski, James), Toews, Saad and Shaw were opening up shooting lanes all around the Columbus net. It was a recipe for bad things to happen and Sergei Bobrovsky can attest that it did.
–Early in the second period Kris Versteeg came down the right wing and blasted a slap shot from about 50 feet out that Bobrovsky blockered away. Bobrovsky did little to cushion the shot and kicked out a juicy rebound but with the Hawks on a change, there was no one there to tap it in.
Cue the exact same play about five minutes later except this time, there were two Hawks closing in on Bobrovsky with Versteeg. This time Versteeg took a significanlty slower shot that Bob controlled just as poorly and Bryan Bickell was there to bang it in the net.
Just a small little detail you may have forgotten about but certainly a “go to school” moment that Edzo loves to talk about.
–Call me a child of the 90’s but I much prefer Crawford’s black pads to the standard white pads everyone seems to be using these days. It seems like ages ago that we were blessed to live in a world with Felix Potvin, Trevor Kidd and Olaf Kolzig donning beautifully designed kickers.
–If it weren’t for a couple of boneheaded plays by Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford would have a nice little shutout streak working. After Seabrook scored on his own net in Solider Field, Keith nonchalantly went for a line change as the Blue Jackets came down on a 2-on-0 against Crawford. I understand Keith’s line of thinking (just get off and let your teammate deal with it) but I think the execution and urgency could have been a little better.
–As far as systems go, the Hawks seem to be playing a lot more of a modified umbrella even while playing 5-on-5 whether it’s being set up behind the net or at the blue line. The Jackets aren’t nearly disciplined enough to collapse in their crease to eliminate the shooting lanes that can be created. So the result was the shooting gallery you saw tonight and the subsequent beating that followed.
The Hawks were able to generate the same type of offense against the Avalanche on Tuesday; the only difference was that Varlamov was significantly better than Bobrovsky.
This is definitely something to watch as the playoffs draw closer. I would think against the Blues and Kings, the Hawks could struggle as those teams are mobile and big enough defensively that open shooting lanes could be a little trickier to find. But it’s also why I’m not too worried about a team like the Avalanche who the Hawks can chew up in the offensive zone.
–Off topic but I see something like this and while it is impressive, it makes me wonder a)what does this person do for a living that they have the time to create this and b) what purpose does life hold for them after the finale of True Detective?
Also, it’s difficult for me to trust someone’s opinion who puts so much stock into the theory that either detective is somehow behind all of it. It’s like what Marty says in one of the shows first scenes, “Be careful of developing a narrative. You start to disregard actual facts and only pay attention to what fits your narrative. Also Jay Cutler is a crybaby and Corey Crawford isn’t an elite goalie,” or something like that.
Edit: John forgot a little something. -Sam