Just cleaning up after a series sweep, before we all adjourn for the weekend and reconvene… sometime. We don’t know when, really.
-McClure and I were talking about this today, and he was wondering if despite the adulation he does get, if Patrick Kane’s playoff performances are truly appreciated. Kane’s PPG is fourth among active players, behind Crosby, Malkin, and Giroux. And that’s over 103 games, so sample size is not a problem. All time for the Hawks, he’s behind Hull and Savard in points per game. But if you were to weigh it to compensate for how much tougher it is to score now than it was when Hull and Savard played, Kane’s PPG would probably come close to blowing them out of the water. Quite simply, Patrick Kane, right now, is the greatest postseason performer in Hawks history. I’m not even sure it’s close.
-I saw some of it being asked last night and that’s what happens now that Michal Rozsival’s ankle was left behind in St. Paul. None of the answers are terribly pleasing.
Whether Q chooses Rundblad or Cumiskey, the main issue is that neither has played in a month. That’s a fair amount of rust to knock off at a time of year where you don’t get time to knock off rust. The easy answer is Rundblad, as he’s right-handed and has played with Keith a lot during the season. Not only has Cumiskey not played in a month, he hasn’t played at an NHL pace since February. That’s a problem, and he’s left-handed and is more of a rush-type d-man which the Hawks didn’t lose last night.
Then again, Rundblad isn’t really a free safety either. It’s also going to depend on opponent, I think. If it’s Calgary, while they have some hellacious forecheckers they’re probably not going to opt to go up and down with the Hawks, and hence might back up a bit to give Rundblad more time. The Ducks only know one way so they would be chasing his Swedish ass down for the word go. Either one is not going to play much.
The real question is can the Hawks get 12-15 minutes from Timonen, which is really all they were getting out of Rozsival at this point. On the plus side, when in the offensive zone Timonen was more active than Rozsival and his pinches have all been timely and effective. An issue is that Kimmo is not going to get the safety net of Keith which Rozsival did, even when teams were focused on entering only on his side of the ice. I doubt they’d ask Timonen to flip to the right side at this point in the year. We’ll know more when they start practicing again.
-While watching the rest of the Pacific what-have-ya, you’ll probably be pulling for Calgary because that’s obviously the easier matchup. The Ducks do provide some problems, and if it’s them we’ll delve deeper into those of course. On the surface, they come with the star power on their first two lines the Wild and Predators just didn’t have, or at least not enough of. They have a power play that can at times be lethal, though at times can be awful with no in-between. Kesler has been a hinderance to Toews before. They’re big and can grind at the Hawks, especially if the Hawks can only sport four d-men.
But the Ducks blue line is nothing short of a joke, their coach has all the stability of an air-raid siren, and they tend to be dumb. Getzlaf usually curdles when in sight of Toews. This is still the same Ducks team that the Hawks clocked twice in Anaheim this season, and I recognize they also shut out the Hawks here in October. Whatever. You shouldn’t hold any fear.