Bit of a mini-wrap today for last night’s exhibition, and one of us will do the same for tonight’s tilt in DC (speaking of which, the Hawks aren’t doing the White House visit today, but you know that McDonough isn’t going to miss the chance to do so. The Hawks aren’t back in Washington until April, which is going to look awfully stupid when the playoffs are days away. If you can’t get to the White House within months of winning, don’t go at all).
So my thoughts:
-On to the main question of camp, and I’m obviously biased but I didn’t see anything that makes me think this Saad-at-center experiment makes any more sense than I thought it did to begin with. He had one nice set up to Kane on the power play, which came from the wing. He got drilled on faceoffs, but as we know the Hawks don’t really care about that. But other than that, I didn’t really notice anything. Which tells you something, because last year hardly a game, or a shift, went by where you didn’t notice The General.
-That said, his competition didn’t stand out either. Drew LeBlahhhh had the steal and assist for Sharp’s opener. But other than that I didn’t see him much. He also got drilled at the dot, which I thought might be his one advantage in this competition. He clearly has instincts at the position, leading to him finding Sharp without looking and one or two other passes, but I’m not sure his skating is going to get him there at this level. At least yet.
-Hawks I did notice? Agent Smith (are we going to have an Agent and a General on our nicknames this year? Maybe). I find it weird that some are saying Smith is competing for a spot, because I can’t see how he doesn’t make it. He doesn’t have Frolik’s wheels but he does have his motor and he’s got a brain. Look forward to him on the 4th line this year.
-I’m sure on some level his teammates appreciate his insatiable desire to pass, but it’s ok to shoot sometimes, Mr. Clendening.
-I know that everyone says Kane and Sharp look great in these, but seeing as how they’re playing against and with half-AHL talent, they probably should.
-Khabibulin’s stick-handling at times is going to get the stomach acids pitching with a bit of stress.
-TiVo Targaryn (Teuvo Teravainen, and whichever of you wonderful people thought of that know that I’m stealing it), is obviously NHL-skilled already. Next year, he should be NHL-sized. However, his habit of trying to dance through everyone at any opportunity is going to get him killed one day. Even Kane knows when the simple play is needed, and I’m sure Teuvo will learn. But watching him, this #2 center debate just kind of looks like a one-year thing, huh? In fact, depending on when Jokerit’s season ends this year…..don’t rule it out.
-Ok, it’s Friday. And I’m still in a post-punk kind of mood after Riot Fest last weekend, and it’s overcast outside, leading me to call it a Nirvana weekend:
Two once-in-a-generation musicians….and Kris Novoselic. That’s still funny. Watching this, it’s still a wonder how we as country didn’t just make it illegal for Dave Grohl to ever get out from behind a drum set.