As the Hawks continue life without Patrick Kane for the immediate future, games will start to develop a certain rhythm. Mainly being, if the Hawks don’t score the first goal or fall behind by more than one goal, chances are they’re going to struggle to scratch out any points.
They also can’t take more than three penalties a game. How’d that work out for them tonight?
Kris Versteeg and Duncan Keith led the parade of undisciplined Hawks. Each player took multiple penalties that were pretty careless. The Hawks didn’t capitalize on early power plays of their own. After Steven Stamkos tipped in Jason Garrison’s point shot, this one was effectively over.
And that’s how it’s going to be moving forward. The Hawks cannot let opportunities to score early slip away. They also cannot lead a congo line to the penalty box. It’s not going to be harbinger of success if they try to play the way they did tonight.
With Kane, you can occasionally get away with playing that type of game. Without him, you’re boned.
So did their so-called leaders learn the lesson then and take accountability for not playing the disciplined game required?
Keith said on his HS penalty, his stick was lifted by a TB player. Had no idea what happened on the second penalty, even after seeing replay
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 28, 2015
Well, maybe not.
–Of course, the most important news from the game was the Hawks acquiring Kimmo Timonen. I’m sure Sam is planning on giving you some big picture stuff tomorrow. My two cents is that as long as he’s healthy, it’s fine.
The other thing I’m really looking forward to is in a month looking back on this game and remembering the Hawks dressed three guys on their blue line who no longer play for them. With Timonen, Oduya and whichever 2 of these 3 make it (TVR/Rozsival/Cumiskey), that should solidify the Hawks back-end for the first time since the preseason when Leddy was still part of the team.
–Kyle Cumiskey on the penalty kill is probably not something anyone needs to witness again. On Tampa Bay’s 3rd goal, they worked the puck around towards Cumiskey’s side where he got caught in between and was unable to take away the passing lane.
The result was an easy tap-in goal for Ryan Callahan. There’s no one to blame for Cumiskey being out there. Between him, Rundblad and Erixon, he’s clearly the best choice. That goes to show you how thin the Hawks are on the blue line right now.
With Timonen, and eventually Oduya when he gets back, it’s going to be weird for the Hawks coaches to realize they have 4-5 guys they can lean on defensively per night. As opposed to the hoping and wishing that’s been going on with Rundblad, Rozsival and even Oduya to an extent this year.
–Speaking of Oduya, I will be interested to see what he looks like when he gets back. I have nothing to quantify this, but part of me feels like his struggles have been more on the mental side. His skills should not have fallen off a cliff this quickly.
With an expiring contract, it seems like he was pressing quite a bit. Having some time away from the rink and not in the day-to-day grind of the regular season may be the boost he needs.
If not, then we can all agree he’s probably not long for the NHL.
–Here’s why you should basically ignore all prospect rankings for hockey. A mere 5 years ago, Tim Erixon and David Rundblad were considered the top 20 best young hockey players in the world. Top 20.
Now, they’re not even the best 20 players in their organization.
I say this because as the trade deadline draws near, please, please, please, please don’t lose your mind if the Hawks trade away someone who was recently rated in some internet loon’s top 30 prospect list.