Apologies for waiting two days to get a wrap up here, but all things considered, this was a relatively uneventful week with only two games, and only minimal off-ice unpleasantness. Even on top of that, the Hawks actually won both of those games, and even one in regulation- it truly us a wonderous new frontier around here.
11/9 – Hawks 2, Penguins 2 (Hawks Win “Best Hog” At The Hog Shit Snarfing Contest)
Last Tuesday Marc-Andre Fleury was given another chance to face his former mates, after a disastrous turn of affairs a couple weeks ago in Pittsburgh wherein he was yanked in the first period and melted down in the tunnel. Even if Sid and Geno still weren’t playing the Penguins threw everything they had at the Hawks in the third period after falling behind 2-0 in the second on the first goals with the team from both Jhujar Khaira on a vintage Toews power move around the net, and Amy’s oldest son Seth nicely picking a corner through traffic at the top of the right circle. Derek King tried to get this group to collapse and sit on a lead in the third, and he was probably quickly shown that this team is not constructed to do that from a personnel standpoint at forward, even if the likes of Jones, Jake McCabe, and Calvin deHaan have been asked to trap at previous stops in their career. All it led to was the Penguins out-attempting the Hawks THIRTY THREE TO SIX in the final period before escaping with a point and getting things to the skills competition. If nothing else though, this looks like it would be a fun rollercoaster:
11/12 – Hawks 2, Coyotes 1
Look, the less said about this one, the better off the hockey world at large is going to be. This game was banished to an online-only audience, and it lived up to every bit of that billing between a team that is still playing like it’s half-concussed and its foot fell asleep from sitting on the toilet too long and another that is basically the restaurant that Ray Liotta convinces Paulie to buy and then hollow out and burn down in the beginning of Goodfellas. And the actual in game production was right in line with the quality of play. It’s clear ESPN doesn’t give a fuck about hockey (and why would they), because they’re just transposing all of their usual production methods and it’s not working. First off, the mix of the sound is unbearable. It’s been like this for Sunday night baseball for a while too, which is why the Ohtani bomb in April against the Sox on SNB sounded like a firecracker – things are way too tinny and hollow sounding, nothing sounds like it has any weight to it as far as ambient hockey sounds are concerned. Secondly, the brightness and contrast on their cameras is cranked way the fuck up, presumably because they’re used to filming things on primarily green and brown surfaces. But on a solid white backdrop, all it does is blind people and completely wash out many of the lines on the rink, especially the tops of the circles. They were also employing a camera “method” where when they went to a secondary camera behind the end boards for something like a defenseman wheeling around to make a breakout pass, when they went BACK to the main sideline camera, it was seemingly back in time a half-second to where the viewer saw the pass occur again from the side view. It’s a very tweak-inducing feeling, particularly when you’re watching these two bags of wet dirt collide into one another (and knock Kirby Dach’s teeth out) for an hour. Given that it’s ESPN and they don’t have to change anything to keep cashing checks, don’t expect any of these things to change any time soon. But at least Dylan Strome scored.
Up next is Pacific Northwest swing on this year’s version of the Circus Trip even though there’s no circus anymore. The Hawks will have winnable games in Seattle and Vancouver sandwiched around an inevitable torching by McJesus and Leon in Edmonton in the Duncan Keith Revenge Game (or something). Enjoy staying up late.