Hockey

Um, yeah, so this game was a thing that happened.

Box Score

–This was never really going to be a game, and indeed it wasn’t. With the Hawks in Europe right now the Rockford Ice Hogs took the ice against the Bruins this afternoon. And it wasn’t a bunch of AHL’ers for Boston—by and large it was the Bruins actual lineup. So essentially we learned that our minor league team is not as good as last season’s Stanley Cup finalists. You’re shocked, right?

–That said, it was still an utter beat down by Boston. Obviously the score tells you that. The fact that there were two hat tricks tells you that (DeBrusk and Pastrnak). The Bruins dominated possession to the tune of 80 CF% in the first, 62 CF% in the second and a measly 48 CF% in the third but by then no one cared and it really didn’t matter. The Bruins just took the puck from the “Hawks” at will. Boston pushed them off the puck in open ice, at either blue line, on the boards, wherever and whenever they wanted it. The Hawks passing was pretty dismal too, which didn’t help, so when Boston wasn’t manhandling them, they were able to intercept bad passes and get possession that way.

–I want to be Adam Boqvist’s #1 fan, but he was practically invisible today. He can get the puck out of his own zone, that much I know. But he got dispossessed or turned it over once he got anywhere near the offensive blue line. This isn’t to say he sucks or even that he’s overrated, but it shows there’s a huge difference between how he looked playing against children earlier in the preseason versus how he looks playing against top-flight teams.

–Philipp Kurashev had a nice goal. The Bruins were clearly not giving a shit by the time they got to the mid-way point of the second, and Kurashev jumped on a puck that dribbled away from the D-men as they were entering the Hawks’ zone. He took it all the way down and had a nice shot bank off Tuukka Rask. So there was that.

Brad Marchand is still a piece of shit, in case you were wondering. He basically laid on top of Matthew Highmore in the third period and pinned him like a bully doing the “stop hitting yourself” routine. Fuck this guy.

–Oh, and Kris Versteeg still sucks. So we’ll definitely be seeing him with the top club shortly.

Hockey

I’m a firm believer that preseasons in basically any sport are not worth getting stressed out about. They’re an extended audition for those on the fringes of the team, ostensibly they shake off some rust (debatable), and you’re just happy if the important players don’t get hurt.

With all that being the case, don’t take anything I say too seriously (like I normally demand serious consideration around here), because the Hawks looked pretty shitty tonight but I am not—I repeat NOT—letting it get to me, and neither should you.

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Robin Lehner looked less than comfortable tonight. He played half the game, gave up two goals and finished with an .882 SV%, which again shouldn’t give anyone ulcers but my bigger problem was that he was all over the place, and not in a good way. He was flopping around and losing his net; the second goal was a direct result of him using the crease as a slip-and-slide and the puck dribbled away from him and into the net. I get athleticism and all that, but flailing shouldn’t be the result.

–Kevin Lankinen did just fine, on the other hand, and the goals he gave up weren’t really on him—the defense got mesmerized (shocking, right?) on the first one, and the second was off Dahlstrom’s leg on a PK that looked characteristically chaotic. He finished with a .905.

–None of the core looked particularly impressive. Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome were quiet, Andrew Shaw whiffed on at least three or four shots and was pretty useless, Brendan Perlini did nothing, Slater Koekkoek was Slater Koekkoek, etc. Great seats still available.

–So Connor Murphy and Carl Dahlstrom are going to be our shutdown pairing, huh? At one point in the second period they had, respectively, 11 and 10 CF%. You did not mis-read that. But I know, I know, it’s a dumb preseason game, who cares. They ended with a 45 and 40 CF% so whatever, and Dahlstrom did get an assist, so yay?

–Who the hell is Philip Holm? I swear I was paying attention this offseason and during training camp, and I’m telling you I’ve never heard of this guy. But he scored a goal, he had a great keep on the power play that resulted in the third goal (he got the assist), and at 44.4 CF% he was behind only Murphy in possession for d-men. Sign him to a 7-year deal right now.

–The organ-I-zation is REALLY excited about Andrew Shaw being back and they want you to know it. During both intermissions they played an interview with him (hello, mute lounge), and I know my personal animosity towards him is clouding my judgement but I am already exhausted with this dummy. He nearly dropped the gloves in the third period—this is a PRESEASON game, lest you forgot. But there was plenty of stupidity to go around. De la Rose and some other oafs went after noted tough guy Alex DeBrincat late in the third after the Wings had re-taken the lead. So that shows you the level of play we’re dealing with here.

Two games, two losses, not freaking out yet. Onward and upward.