I can’t remember the last time I was left with such a feeling of “meh” after a game. I guess it’s good the Hawks showed some gumption and fight to tie it late, and keep their braindead playoff hopes alive. If that’s what they were playing for. But I mean, the Jets really couldn’t be bothered, other than their fourth line. So it doesn’t really mean much. I can’t get emotional either way about overtime results. They’re a coin-flip. I was surprised to find out a 12th extra-time loss for the Hawks doesn’t lead the league. They’ve also won nine in overtime, so basically they’re getting to 50-50 that you would think is par for the course. I guess it means they aren’t good enough to win games in regulation but aren’t bad enough to get beat in regulation in those close games. But again, the overwhelming feeling is, “whatever.”
Anyway, let’s run through it.
The Two Obs
-Dylan Strome’s three-point game will take the headlines, which is good. It doesn’t mean he’s automatic, but he’s got sense you can’t teach and his second goal showed that, the ability to ghost into space and find just enough time to get a good shot off. And he’s got one. 54 points is more than Schmaltz ever put up. That’s nice. That said, Stome’s line was sporting a sub-30% Corsi for the night, which is U-G-L-Y. That’s what’s going to have to change starting next year, because he can’t start every shift in the offensive zone. At this rate he’ll have to.
-You can easily see the problem with the Jets. When you get into their zone they either can’t be bothered, their defense is slow in transition, and you never know when Byfuglien and Myers are going to get caught up the ice and leave someone exposed. They have the forward depth to cover it for a while, but the warts they and the Preds are showing means it will not be a surprise if the Stars or Blues find their way out of the division come May.
-Brent Seabrook, 14 minutes. The third straight game he’s been at 15 minutes or below. They see what we see.
-The only line above water for the night in possession was the Saad-Anisimov-Sikura line, which seems to be the case most nights.
-Every goddamn broadcast when John Hayden belches his way into the lineup contains some segment about how he hasn’t really gotten a chance or he should get a chance. He’s gotten his chance, and he sucks. The only shift he was noticeable was just because he delivered three hits that were all at least three seconds late and mattered not a jot. He can’t do anything, and his physical presence doesn’t do anyone any good because it doesn’t disrupt anything. It’s all for show, just to demonstrate to a coach how hard he’s playing. I hope he enjoys his time with Minnesota’s AHL team in Iowa next year. Or Europe.
-One of my big complaints about Jeremy Colliton is the lack of adjustment to his “system.” They keep telling us that he needs a training camp to really install it, which is a bunch of ripe shite but fine, but that means what you’re playing now should be tweaked to at least look more like what they used to do. Scheifele’s non-goal was an example, as the Hawks have to chase their man all over the zone, but they can’t keep up, and by the time Scheifele deposits the puck in the net Seabrook is out beyond the circles, Toews is nowhere, and everyone’s scrambling. They don’t have the speed to chase and harass. The Hawks should have been playing softer and leaving things to the outside to the outside months ago. When they get in serious trouble is when they’re trying to pressure outside or out high and get beat, and they will because they just don’t have enough speed. Now people don’t know whether to switch/commit and who to take when someone does. If they’d just sink into the middle of their zone and try and block shots, “Torts it” if you will, they probably would have surrendered less. Instead were stuck with this happy horseshit. And we will be next year too.
-They didn’t give up a power play goal. That’s something.