At this point in this era of the Hawks, there are no statement games. Ownership on down has given an organizational mandate on the standard to which this team is to be held, and that’s silver and parades. That being said. with this being the third game in four nights after playing a back and forth affair in West East St. Louis last night, it could have been very easy for the Hawks to kind of pack it in tonight without their 2nd line center, but that didn’t happen.
In the early going, it seemed like the Hawks were the much quicker team despite having played last night, and an early power play helped tilt the shot totals in their favor at the break, which has been something of a rarity to this point in the season. Early in the second, a Brent Burns shot from the right point had eyes and found Joe Pavelski’s blade in front, deflecting past Scott Darling.
The Sharks would continue to press as it was clear the Hawks tried to make their punch early before fatigue set in, but Duncan Keith would answer with a seeing eye slap shot of his own after an excellent hold in by Artemi Panarin. About midway through the third Ryan Hartman snagged a loose puck from a faceoff scramble and threw it high blocker past Jones, which would be the decider. As the Sharks would continue to attack in search of an equalizer, Vince Hinostroza found himself on a 2 on 1 with Marian Hossa where he elected to shoot, and found the five hole through Jones. An empty netter with about a minute to go, and this one is on ice, both in the building and outside. Bullet Time.
- While the shot and attempt boards look a bit lopsided, the Hawks were actually leading the possession ledger going into the third, and about halfway through it until the Sharks started throwing the kitchen sink at the offensive zone.
- Toews, Panarin, Garbage Dick, Keith and Hjalmarsson shook out as the possession leaders for the Hawks, with all of them well above 50%. They were the only ones however, as without Anisimov in the lineup, things predictably got a bit top-heavy.
- While the Toews line spent a minimum of time against Thornton, they did see M-E Vlasic all night long and still managed to take what was there for them, so it’s baby steps even if Toews himself does not look 100% yet.
- It was Marcus Kruger who spent the bulk of the time against Jumbo and played him to a draw, with 9 attempts for and 9 attempts against in almost 9 minutes head to head while dragging around Dr. Rasmussen and Wiener Anxiety. But Marcus Kruger is overpaid.
- Martin Jones would like all three of the goals he allowed back.
- The shift immediately following the Hartman goal featured vintage Marian Hossa things, where he picked the pocket of blog favorite David SCHLEMKO and made a quick turn to keep the puck in and generate a shot on net for himself. It’s that kind of stuff that makes Hossa such a pleasure to watch, and it’s also the type of thing that coaches totally honk off to.
- Tyler Motte had at least 2 opportunities to get Brian Campbell his stick during an extended period of Sharks pressure in the third and failed to do so. The Hawks were very lucky to not give up the equalizer during that sequence.
- Next up: Ottawa on Tuesday in a battle of LOCAL GUY goaltenders.