Everything Else

Moving back into our Hawks’ centric season preview, we go to Dennis Kiley who asked what the 4th line will look like this time around.

For most teams this isn’t that important a question. But it is for the Hawks for a couple reasons. One, it’s likely that the Hawks will once again use their 4th line differently than most if not all teams. Second, not all teams are staring down the Kings again and their total depth, which may have been the difference between winning and losing last year and could be again this one (not to mention the Blues, Sharks, and Ducks are going to be pretty deep at forward themselves).

Everything Else

Moving back into our Hawks’ centric season preview, we go to Dennis Kiley who asked what the 4th line will look like this time around.

For most teams this isn’t that important a question. But it is for the Hawks for a couple reasons. One, it’s likely that the Hawks will once again use their 4th line differently than most if not all teams. Second, not all teams are staring down the Kings again and their total depth, which may have been the difference between winning and losing last year and could be again this one (not to mention the Blues, Sharks, and Ducks are going to be pretty deep at forward themselves).

Everything Else

Sometimes it’s difficult to find beauty after 18 games of not losing in regulation.  Against a Columbus team that is still struggling to figure out how to score more goals than the opposition, the Hawks scored the minimum amount required to net two points.  If there was a silver lining in tonight’s playbook, it was that the Hawks got a performance from their goalie that we’ve been begging for for a couple years.

No, Corey Crawford didn’t stand on his head or make a plethora of highlight reel saves.  All he did was make the saves that should be expected of him.  The Blue Jackets had a couple of good chances to find twine but they didn’t and Crawford didn’t give them any breaks by giving up any soft goals.  It wasn’t a goalie win.  It was a team win.  Take it and move on.

–For a team playing its third game in four nights, the Blue Jackets played a pretty solid game.  They had a strong compete level and looked way more engaged than they have the last couple seasons.  The combination of a new young wave of high draft picks combined with a new coach and the loss of Rick Nash gives the Jackets a new dynamic.  If it keeps going this way, it’s only a matter of time until they start winning games like tonight.

The one guy who impresses me the most is Cam Atkinson.  For whatever reason, I’ve watched more Blue Jackets hockey than ever before and each game Atkinson has impressed me more and more.  That little bastard is a handful.

–Another impressive performance out of Niklas Hjalmarsson.  He had as much to do with preserving the shutout as Corey Crawford did.  Late in the first, Hjalmarsson saved a sure goal by sacrificing his body in front.  In the second, he cleared a loose puck with Crawford swimming in his crease during a scramble in front.  He has been the Hawks most consistent defensemen this year.  It’s almost humorous to recall his performances from the past couple seasons at this point; like he had some alien pod infesting his body during that time because the difference in his play is that drastic.

–As a fourth line player and top penalty killer, Michael Frolik is a lot of fun to watch.  When you forget about the fact that he’s the Hawks 6th highest paid forward and was originally thought to be a key contributor to their secondary scoring, it makes it a lot easier to stomach.

–Maybe it’s the lack of sleep but I think I like Dan Carcillo on that fourth line.  Certainly better than him on either of the top two lines.

–Did we really need a spear to the nuts to be reminded that James Wisniewski is a dirty player?  This is the same guy who sent one of his groomsmen to the 12th century with a vicious forearm to the mouth.  And if you think that Andrew Shaw is going to forgive and forget, you would be sorely mistaken.

–Michael Rozsival is a prototypical 3rd pair defensemen.  That doesn’t mean he should be excused for letting not one, but two guys slip behind him for breakaways.  Crawford bailed him out one time and the post the second time.  Both times, Rozsival was caught napping and let guys slip behind him.  Yeah, one guy came off the bench on a change but Rozsival was on the other side of the red line during a penalty kill.  That probably shouldn’t happen.

Everything Else

You watched the game. You saw what happened.  Let’s get to it.

–The theme of this win comes down to the Hawks fourth line so that seems as good of a place to start.

Marcus Kruger is continuing to impress.  Kruger has definitely added lower body strength this season.  While he was getting pushed off the puck in the corners and along the wall his first couple seasons, it’s just not happening as much this season.  And the result is added time for him to make his patented nifty passes to open linemates.

Everything Else

Well, as we know this has gotten all jumbled a bit, but we’re still going to hold strong with what we see the lineup shaking out as. As long as we get to everyone, we should be ok. Anyway, we’ll do this one and then later today the extra/rookie forwards who might pop up during the season. Then off to the defense and goaltending and such. Who’s excited?!

To it, then:

Everything Else

Well, as we know this has gotten all jumbled a bit, but we’re still going to hold strong with what we see the lineup shaking out as. As long as we get to everyone, we should be ok. Anyway, we’ll do this one and then later today the extra/rookie forwards who might pop up during the season. Then off to the defense and goaltending and such. Who’s excited?!

To it, then: