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Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Hockey Stats

On a day that started with possibly the first ever combination of the words “NHL” and “Temple University,” the Hawks got a glimpse of the results their play has deserved lately but Crawford has kept from happening. That’s not to say Scott Darling was bad, he was far from it. But it’s an example of the other-worldly play Crow has had to put forth at time to get the Hawks two points consistently. When you go from other-worldly to just pretty good, the chances these Hawks surrender right now make for less than two points.

And it’s not even as the Hawks were 60 minutes bad. For long stretches they were better, though those came after they were down two goals and could be partially attributed to score effects and having to throw more and more caution to the wind. Given the lineup though, even when the Hawks have the upper hand there are some shifts where they are running around their own end like a kids birthday party where someone gave them all soda. Or they make a mistake at the other line or neutral zone to cause odd-man rushes. Crow’s expected absence for a couple weeks will be an excellent chance to shore this shit up.

Let’s clean it up:

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Hawk Wrestler vs. Chief_Blue_Meanie

PUCK DROP: 6pm Central

TV: CSN

THE HOCKEY BLOG: Jackets Cannon

Projected Lineups

blackhawks-lineup-card

blue-jackets-lineup-card\

SCORE ADJUSTED POSSESSION: Hawks – 50.3 CF% (11th)  Jackets – 48.2 CF% (20th)

POWER PLAY: Hawks – 35.7% (3rd)  Jackets – 40% (2nd)

PENALTY KILL: Hawks – 47.1% (Dead ass last)  Jackets – 85.7% (12th)

Trends: Cam Atkinson only has three goals and seven points in 10 games agains the Hawks. It only feels like has 27 and 43. 

The Hawks take it out on the road again tonight, to face a certainly well-rested if oddly-cobbled Blue Jackets squad in the Ohio capital. It’ll start a three-in-four stretch for the Hawks, who return home tomorrow for the Leafs Saturday and Flames Monday. What they’ll find in Columbus is a team built to play a game that no longer wins in the NHL, and one under that that could be a useful NHL team if they let it.

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Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

When you play two first place teams in a row, and you lose by a combined score of 10-2, that’s not exactly encouraging. If you chalk it up to the normal nonchalance of the Hawks at this time of year, that’s pretty extreme nonchalance even from them. While this one looks bad, I’m not sure it’s quite as bad as the scoreline would indicate. Although, when they don’t get a power play goal, this has kind of been what it has looked like.

But to the point, in the first two periods when the game was still either tied, within one, or within two, the Hawks got some prime looks from down low. They hit the post twice, they missed the net twice, and had one or two others saved or deflected that on another night would have turned the game in a vastly different direction. Falling behind the Kings is never a good idea because they can just sit around their net and dare you to get shots through from the point, which is what they did basically after Lecavalier scored. But early in the game, the Hawks could have put themselves right there.

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It may seem like the Hawks are going to have a quiet free agency, just like they had a quiet draft. Of course, if they don’t get Saad and Kruger locked up by Wednesday, it could get pretty interesting in a hurry. It’s already started a bit, as David Rundblad was signed to a two year extension today at a $1M cap hit. It may seem strange, and we didn’t see him in the picture, but as we’ve said before Stan is absolutely loathe to lose any asset for free if he doesn’t absolutely has to. We saw this with Scott and Bollig and others. Especially assets he had to give up other assets to get. He’s probably praying day and night that Rundblad can show just enough to be some throw-in in a deadline deal. Rundblad could also be sent down and only 75K would count against the cap, but just for shits and giggles that puts five d-men for sure on next year’s roster in Keith, Seabrook, Hammer, Johns, TVR, and Rundblad. If Paliotta or Pokka or Svedberg or unforeseen underdog can wow in camp, that probably puts Rundblad in Rockford.

Everything Else

Ok, so it’s time to get detailed. I’m not sure any of this will be anything you don’t already know, but we have to get through it anyway. So let’s do this. For this exercise, I’m going to assume the cap is at $71 million as that’s the number I keep hearing and even though the players have made serious noise about not using their escalator, I would be surprised if they didn’t help out their free agent brethren by bumping it a little, as well as the owners having the option of doing so as well and these guys want to sign their own and other players as well because they do want to win for the most part (and at this point, it feels like Rocky should say he wants it at $71 million and everyone else will fall in. Certainly Bettman should listen to the owner of his league’s signature franchise at the moment. This is all half in jest).

Ok, so let’s do it.