In spite of the Hawks jumping out in front of the Sharks with three goals from defensemen in rapid succession, there ended up being some tense moments from the second period on through the middle stages of the third.
While this latest iteration of Joel Quenneville’s lines “worked” inasmuch as the Hawks won, there still are mismatched parts up and down the lineup and these games end up looking far less than smooth while still piling up shots and chances. That the Hawks are still putting up the sheer quantity of shots and quality of chances (soft chances be damned) speaks to the talent that is present on the roster. Fortunately the Sharks are also kind of a mess, particularly on the blue line, and the Hawks were able to exploit that along with a very average Antti Niemi tonight, piercing them for 4 goals at evens and an empty netter. Take the two points and be thankful.
- It’s a horse that’s already now in a bottle of Elmer’s glue somewhere in a kindergarten classroom in CPS, but that bottle of glue needs to be thrown out the window into oncoming traffic and run over by a semi or two. Andrew Shaw continues to do things that are unforgiveably stupid at the #2 center position, yet he remains above reproach in the form of ice time. The first Sharks goal was as a result of Shaw not thinking (as is his wont) and icing the puck a stride short of center at the end of a shift. This allowed the Sharks to get the Thornton line out for the O-zone draw, which Shaw predictably lost. The second was another lost draw with this stick ending upside Thornton’s admittedly homely face resulting in a four minute double minor on which the Sharks converted once. Just stop it.
- The pairing of Mirco Mueller and Brent Burns was -3 and underwater in possession. But keep thinking toughness is the problem, Doug.
- Corey Crawford continues to be better than anyone will ever admit or wants to notice, but keep pining for Antti Raanta. Crawford is sporting a .938 at evens and a .900 shorthanded, both of which are better than the year he won the Jennings.
- Brent Seabrook only played 17 minutes tonight, far and away his season low. He also was sporting a 42% at evens, while his primary partner Rundblad was dead even at 9 for and 9 against.
- It was also a rough night for Morin, Richards, and Regin, all of whom were 40% and below. Fortunately Quenneville didn’t have to lean on the top of the roster too hard, with no forward playing over 20 minutes.
- With that goal, meatball nation will surely have their forks and knives out for Bryan Bickell, opining why he can’t do that all the time. Earn your money, indeed.
- Congratulations on that first NHL goal Trevor Van Riemsdyk. Even if your coach feels he needs to shit on it.