Well it’s over now. But I can breathe somehow.
I think those are important words to remember. I don’t get the impression anyone is really anyone is losing their shit right now, but just in case. Nothing of any real importance was lost tonight. 45 out of 50 points would be telescopically ahead of “acceptable.” What happens in June will still define what’s gone on so far as special or trivia.
Moreover, if this is what makes the Avs season, let them have it. We have bigger fish to fry. There was a time when they used to. It’s obvious they don’t know. The laugh at the end will be more satisfying. And though I’m no mathematician, I’m pretty sure if the Hawks win 21 of every 25 games in regulation from here on out, we’ll have smiles on our face.
Also, we didn’t learn anything tonight we didn’t already know. Or see anything we hadn’t seen. Or get something we didn’t suspect might be coming.
So let’s take them all, not necessarily in order.
-It was obvious to all that Corey Crawford was not going to be a sub 2.00 GAA goalie all year, no matter how abbreviated. That doesn’t mean Crow is now all of the sudden unreliable. He had a bad night. A night where he wasn’t square a whole lot, got out from the crease, whatever. Anyone out there calling for a controversy are just above what’s fed to livestock. We know where the road ends with Ray Emery, you’ve seen what the Jackets and Avs were able to do to him the past two games. Crawford has now had his first rough night. If Q knows what we know, he’ll see how he responds Sunday. I’m guessing it’s pretty well.
-Another factor noticed all season is that Seabrook and Keith have simply not been that good. It’s been ok because the other two pairs have been just that good. But how long were the Hawks going to survive without their world class pairing not being anything close to world class? The clock was ticking. The stats might not bare it out, but Marlboro 72 tonight were awful, and for the first time Swedish Ebony and Ivory couldn’t make it matter. At some point, Keith and Seabrook have to be Keith and Seabrook. At some point, you can safely bet they will be.
-Ok, now we get to some meaty stuff. With Sharp out, the Hawks have won guy who can win a draw. When he doesn’t (Toews 10-for-22 tonight), the Hawks don’t have the puck a lot. Against a team like the Avs who have speed and skill, that can be a real problem. When it’s more talented teams? You wonder. Mayers really should have dressed to win some draws with Sharp out. Ben Smith should be here, because he wins draws. For a puck possession team, puck possession at all times really does matter. It will again. Don’t fool yourself.
-Here’s another line of bullshit they’ve been selling you. Q has prided this team’s success on the ability to roll everyone. And yet, here’s Brandon Bollig at less than 10 minutes. Who’s next? Carcillo at 11 minutes. If it really is about rolling 12 forwards, then make it so. Sure, some blame goes to Stan Bowman for recalling Bollig and even giving Q the option. But let’s just say Smith was here and Mayers dressed. Mayers could take Kruger’s draws, Smith could skate anywhere and take Shaw’s draws. Now you have three guys able to win a faceoff and 12 forwards capable of going over 12 minutes a night. Is that really what this team is about?
-But maybe in the end, it was just one of those nights. The Hawks passing was off by a foot here and there, a step slow here and there, just not there. It all could have been fatigue. This is the sixth game in nine days. They went with only 8 forwards in the 3rd the last game. The Avs have the things that give them problems.
And yet we seem alive somehow.