It seems like a recurring dream, where the Hawks fling rubber like monkey feces at an opposing goalie for 60 straight minutes, and yet can’t seem to make any twine ripple. Yet this one feels like the first time a goalie really had to channel Houdini to get out of some of the jams the Hawks put him in, as John Gibson was excellent. Throw in a couple posts rang as well, and you get yet another frustrating night. Still, there’s hardly much to complain about, as the Hawks were just a shade better than the Ducks everywhere but in goal (and they weren’t much worse there either).
The Ducks took something of a page from the Blues book, in that they weren’t as go-go as you’ll see them against other teams. They kept their third forward high, guarding against odd-man rushes the other way until it was obvious he could come down low in the Hawks’ zone without consequence. But the thing is, this is a Boudreau team and they’re not as good at it as the Blues are, and the Ducks defense is a little easier to grind out against than the Blues’ one. That’s why the Hawks were able to create more this time. They still turned down some shots for passes that weren’t there, and missed some golden chances. But yeah, nothing to get hung about.
Let’s do it.
The Two Obs
-Let’s get this out of the way. I know everyone expected me to go nuts on Seabrook for the goal, and I hear Jen spent a fair amount of time defending the poor sod. Really, I think it comes down to bad luck and shitty UC ice. Yeah, he could have completely bailed out on it with Richards already deep. But it was a simple bounce right to him, and he did the right thing by trying to get his hands on it first. How it squirted through him I don’t know, and falling down… well, that’s just going to happen. I really don’t think it was that bad of a play, considering if he just starts backing up there Smith-Pelly is still going to put him under a lot of pressure in the neutral zone on a bouncing puck, and then Seabrook wouldn’t have had time to try and settle it.
-The Hawks tried to get Toews’s line out against Lindholm and Beauchemin, which seems a little odd because that’s the pairing that Boudreau has been using as a shutdown pair. And Lindholm was really everywhere last night. His game has really jumped from last year. Still not sure Beauchemin can hold up over a whole year.
-Speaking of odd matchup choices, Q threw Andrew Shaw and Patrick Kane at Ryan Kesler’s line all night, and watched as Kesler basically nullified the whole line. Kesler didn’t create that much more offensively either, but the case for Shaw as Kane’s center gets flimsier and flimsier every time he sees a real center across from him. Really should have been Kruger’s job to get a softer landing for that line. Please hurry, Teuvo. We’ve had just about enough of this.
-TVR and Rozsival were your possession leaders. I wonder how much van Riemsdyk has to show offensively, and whether he’s being encouraged to push more or they’re happy with this so far. I think there’s more, but am fine with him taking his time. I’d also be more fine with making Klas Dahlbeck his permanent partner, but one thing at a time here.
-Jeremy Morin finally topped ten minutes, had the most shots on goal for the Hawks, and continues to make things happen. He’s really firing from everywhere, and while that can be annoying as my companion at last night’s game Fifth Feather pointed out, you have to have the puck to do that. If that’s something the Hawks didn’t want him doing, I’m sure they’d tell him. He’s going to have a two goal game here somewhere soon, and I’m going to laugh really hard.
-After being a nuisance for so long, I think the Hawks d-men have become allergic to Andrew Cogliano. On three straight of his shifts, a different Hawks d-man just coughed up the puck when he was even near.
-Oh, Dany Heatley played last night? Did you notice?
I know that 5-3-1 isn’t the most glittering record, but the Hawks are going to have some week or two here where they hang five or six on everyone they see. They’re currently third bottom in team shooting-percentage, at 6.1. They’ve consistently been between 9-10% the past few years, and the market correction is going to be violent. Someone’s going to pay.