It’s weird that a first ballot Hall of Famer would make such a difference, huh. Regardless of the opponent, Duncan Keith being in the lineup makes everything look much better. From the defensive pairs to zone exits, the Hawks were efficient tonight in ways they have only been for small spurts this season.
Now if only that Jonathan Toews could get going, maybe this season is salvageable yet. I kid.
David Jones scored his 103rd career goal against the Hawks to kick off the scoring and then the Anisimov-Kane-Panarin line did what they’ve been doing in a quick burst and that was all the Hawks were going to need.
The Flames, despite generating more offense and puck possession this season, are still mostly dependent on Johnny Gaudreau creating magic with the puck and finding passing lanes that only a few can see. Otherwise, it’s a whole lot of duck and chuck. With LOCAL GUY Scott Darling on his game and the Hawks getting a goal from a line other than the aforementioned, the two points were theirs to lose. And they didn’t.
–Sort of surprised a bigger deal wasn’t made on Calgary’s first goal. Trevor Daley won the race back to the puck and touched it easily and for some reason, the linesmen waved off the icing. The Flames gathered possession because Daley anticipated the icing and just tried chipping it with one hand.
There was no icing; Tanner Kero ended up breaking his stick and then the puck ended up behind Darling. You could see Daley barking after the goal but that was it, really; not even a quick shot of Quenneville holding up the ensuing face-off so he could get a point across.
–The Flames are clearly coached to try and lift the stick out of their opponent’s hand if they have one hand on the stick. There were more sticks flying up in the air than you’ll probably see the rest of the season. I’m not sure this type of strategy does anything but hey, what else would you expect from a Hartley/Burke outfit.
–Marko Dano may have to change his last name to Stalberg if he continues to be unable to capitalize on such golden opportunities. The old adage is that “as long as you’re getting the chances, that’s what matters.” But that adage also pertains to veteran players who have proven themselves capable of scoring in the past when you’re applying to guys playing under Joel Quenneville.
Dano is doing a lot of the right things. He’s just not scoring. He’s also doing a couple things that may give his coach an itchy trigger finger. Primarily, being pretty casual with the puck in the neutral zone or making a reckless pass here and there.
One thing that Dano is excellent at, though, is the puck in his feet. He made two kick passes that were top notch.
–Artem Anisimov, among other things, is really good at finding the seam between two defensemen and finding it at the perfect time to spring himself on a breakaway. By my count, that’s the third time I’ve seen him do that this season. That’s definitely not a fluke or luck.
–Three of the Hawks four lines looked dangerous tonight. It could’ve been the opponent and also it could’ve been Shaw, Kruger and Teravainen seemed to click. Teuvo was slightly underwater in the fancy stats department but on the eye test, I thought he looked more aggressive and didn’t defer when he was carrying the puck.
The only play he looked tentative was his first opportunity of the game when he had a wide open lane and waited too long to shoot and took himself out of the play. Other than that, I thought he rebounded well enough and was making plays at both ends of the ice.
–The law firm of Kero, Mashinter and Garbutt needs to be disbarred. Tanner Kero seems to have earned a spot and that’s fine. I’m sure the backcheck he made in the third period that the broadcast booth made a huge stink over will keep him in the lineup for at least another three games.
Garbutt is fine as well, whatever.
It’s the third tenor, Mashinter, that is an offense to hockey sensibilities everywhere. I guess the Hawks want to give him a taste because he’s been a good organizational soldier the last couple seasons. But, there is absolutely zero upside to him being on this roster. And that’s all I have to say about that.
–Brandon Bollig, 11 minutes, 0 shots, 1 hit, -9 Corsi. Pretty much what the doctor ordered.
–Jonathan Toews was the Hawks Corsi leader tonight. I believe that is the first time that’s happened this season.
–After pissing away at least one point against New Jersey on Thursday, the Hawks rebounded nicely to take all 4 points against Western Conference opponents. It’s still way too early to check their place in the standings daily but as has been said quite a bit, you don’t want to put yourself in a big hole that requires extended point streaks just to give the team a chance.