The Dizzying Highs
Brendan Perlini – Get on with your bad self, son. Perlini posted his first career hat-trick, then added tallies in Toronto and Montreal. Perls still has a little work to do to top last year’s 17 goals in Arizona, so before we go all gaga we should understand he’s done this kind of thing before. Up until the last three games, Perlini and his linemates were putting up some seriously impressive metrics as well. But they’ve crashed to Earth with the rest of the team in Canada, and weren’t particularly impressive last night against a trap that no one on the team seemed to recognize or deal with. But hey, five goals is five goals. Hopefully he closes strong and gives us a good, “HE’S ON THE TEAM FOR NEXT YEAR!” feeling.
The Terrifying Lows
Gustav Forsling – In what was a pretty decent week for the Hawks, at least results-wise, it’s hard to find anyone to pick on. So I’ll go with my usual target, and really weep that I’m in a world where I have to justify hating Forsling getting in the lineup over Carl Dahlstrom. Seeing as neither should be on the team next year anyway. Whatever, Forsling got himself clocked by both the Leafs and Habs, and the Coyotes in a six-goal win as well. If I watch him lose another race or bail out of it altogether I’m basically gonna plotz. No, Slater Koekkoek isn’t any better, but at least he stood up Brock Boeser last night to draw a penalty, which is one more defensive contribution than Forsling has made all season.
The Creamy Middles
Corey Crawford – That seems harsh, as his last five appearances he’s carrying a .960 SV%. That should put him in the first column, but the thing is we kind of just take Crow’s brilliance as the norm. We shouldn’t, and after his injury odyssey of he past year-plus, we really should treasure any kind of spirited displays we get from him. We don’t know how long they’ll last. But we knew before the season, and we knew during the season, that Crow remains the Hawks most important player. Look, he’s playing well for the most part since he came back. He’s made eight appearances, and the Hawks are 6-1-1 in those. This is not a coincidence. He’s going to get every start save one half of the back-to-back against Colorado at the weekend until the season stops mattering. And if he continues to do this, it might matter all the way to the end.