They aren’t all going to be works of art.
The Hawks played a pretty good first period, clung to the ropes for the first half of the second, biffed a couple 5-on-3s (they determine the winner of the game according to Q, y’know), and then once again covered up and used the ropes in the 3rd to see it out. They’ll call it a good road game. We’ll call it getting some bounces and posts to go their way, correcting the ones that didn’t in the season’s first five weeks or so.
While the Bruins are clearly beat up (I don’t think I’d heard of at least 2/3rds of their bottom six or bottom three d-men), they are still a force at home and were returning after a long trip. Not the easiest building to get a win in. On this streak the Hawks have won in regulation in Anaheim, L.A., Nashville, and Boston. That ain’t bad.
Let’s get to it:
The Two Obs
-We won’t bury the lede, because no win is going to feel that good if Jonathan Toews is missing for any length of time. The Hawks aren’t every going to call it a brain injury, or a concussion, but let’s not fool ourselves. Given Toews’s history it’s a bit worrying, but all we can do is wait. The Hawks have to be careful here and not give him the bag on the ice treatment that they have with others (or basically calling them a weakling in the cases of Bolland and Morin, maybe others). While the Preds and Blues are still right there with the Hawks, these games just aren’t important enough to risk not having Captain Marvel in the spring.
As for roster moves, with the three goalies and Sharp off of LTIR their hands are kind of tied here. They can’t really call anyone else up. Morin is already on the cap, so at least through the weekend look for Ben Smith to play center and Morin to actually get a look. Or they’ll throw Rundblad at wing, which would then be a justifiable homicide when Morin shoots Q with a bazooka. Once Crawford is healthy and the Hawks can send one of the goalies down they’ll have more options if they need them.
-It’s weird that in a game against New Jersey, Duncan Keith plays over half an hour. Tonight only at 26, and that’s with Oduya missing the last few minutes of the 2nd.
Of course, Keith wouldn’t have to ever log so many minutes if Q had a third pairing d-man he trusted at all. Dahlbeck didn’t crack 10 minutes, and every time Rozsival was on the ice it was akin to the kid with social problems having a canister of gasoline and a lighter. He was simply awful, and at some point Q is going to have to find some kid he trusts or this is going to have to be addressed. Rozie was horsed in the corner for both Bruins goals, one by Bergeron (who didn’t even have a stick) and the other Lucic.
-Scott Darling stopped 30 of 32 shots, so I guess I’m supposed to say he had a great game. He definitely made some big saves, but caused some of his own problems with wonky rebound control. If Q was looking for an authoritative performance to turn the backup job over to CHICAGO NATIVE full-time, I don’t think this was it.
-I hope for the Bruins’ sake that was rust Zdeno Chara was knocking off in his first game in seven weeks, and not actually a representation of what he is now. Because they’re not going very far if it is. And I think it might be.
-This is why Ben Smith is so valuable as a swiss-army knife. He sets up or scores the first two goals through pure strength and want, and then can shift into center when the team needs it and do a job there.
-Lucic just watching Patrick Kane line up an exposed net is the height of comedic writing. If only I could approach such a level.
-Ok, these 5-0n-3s. I don’t know where the idea sprang from to have Hossa on a point. He’s got a nice shot, but you wouldn’t call it some doomsday gun. Off the top of my head, Sharp and Seabrook have bigger shots. As for lefties, he’s probably it but that doesn’t mean that’s where he should be. Richards might have a bigger shot. You want Hossa on the move and closer in. For that entire sequence Sharp never moved from the goal line, and you’re not going to take advantage of a two-man advantage if you’re not having anyone move. If anything, get the puck to Sharp on the goal line and have Toews pop out to the high slot. They kept trying to force that back door pass that only everyone on Earth and some on Mars know is coming. At least attempt to open that up with Toews popping up. It’s amazing how a team this talented, with a coach who really prioritizes these situations, really have no clue how to go about it. In fact, the power play in general has looked terrible since they shoved Sharp back onto the first unit.
-I really wanted to see Torey Krug dive in the deep end with Versteeg, because we know the haymakers Steeger throws. I bet Krug doesn’t.
-Seabrook,, Keith, and Smith were the only positive Corsi players for the Hawks.
Keep on keepin’ on and that. Eight is better than seven.