After seeing it in person tonight, I’m more convinced than I was before that the Hawks are going through nothing more than a midseason malaise, combined with some injuries to key players. While the Hawks can pay lip service to saying that they thought this was an important game because they hadn’t beaten the Ducks, upon evidence on the ice I’m not buying it.
Tonight, it wasn’t so much anything the Ducks did. The Hawks for the first 40 were missing passes by feet instead of inches, they were bobbling whatever passes did actually land on tape, and just generally looked like they’d been at The Houndstooth a little too late last night. It seemed like the Ducks were even more conservative in this one than they had been in the previous two games. Usually, it was only one Duck forward in on the forecheck, which the the Hawks made harder than they had to too often.