We’ve grown accustomed to seeing the Blackhawks come out and roll over opponents from the start. Usually, when we see the third line work over opponents like they’re playing a bunch of peewees and the Hawks come out of the opening twenty up two, we start eyeballing DLR in the bullpen.
And sometimes that comes right back to bite us in the ass.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad game but it was certainly a frustrating one. As mentioned above, the Hawks came out of the first with a bit of a swagger after Handzus flipped a nice pass to spring Sharp from the neutral zone for a breakaway for his 200th. Then a few minutes later at the tail-end of a power play, Shaw had a textbook lift of Brett Bellemore’s stick to negate a clearing attempt. This allowed Hossa to pick up the loose puck and backhand it past Ward for the two goal lead.
Now, there’s probably going to be a good amount of grumbling about the Hawks inability to close out a game and there’s a good part of it that’s justified. The Hawks had the chance to finish off an opponent early but once again failed. I don’t necessarily buy this as a game that wasn’t closed out though. The Lightning and Blues games, sure. But that’s just two games. And for those keeping score at home, those happen to be the only loses on the season thus far. This wasn’t just the Hawks blowing the game at the end. They were outplayed for most if not all of the last two frames. Just because they dominated the opening twenty doesn’t necessarily make them the better team in the game. The goals were in the third but the play was there for 40 whole minutes. I don’t know if this means the Hawks need more focus when they’re up on obviously weaker teams or if it’s just a bit of early season kinks to work out but it doesn’t have me concerned. Just something to work on.
- Hey, did you guys hear the Sharp’s had another baby?
- I’m not totally jaded – I thought the glove kiss and point was pretty cute. Though I’m sure Mrs. Sharp would rather have some help changing diapers.
- Yes, Handzus is still horribly slow but there was a part of me that really thought he was having a pretty great game when it came to getting the puck away quickly and setting up his linemates with some nifty passing. Of course, as soon as I finished thinking that thought, he left Alexander Semin beat him cleanly across the front of the net for an untroubled shot to net the Canes first goal. Oops.
- I know he got credit for an assist but man… Eric Staal was just a turd out there. Even with the assist he was still a -1 on the night. His first penalty of the game screamed of a frustration penalty too, coming just after the Hawks scored the opening goal where he was a little too enthusiastic about pinning/punching Oduya on the boards.
- As we’ve mentioned, Toews has been a strong force early going in the season, dispelling notions that he’s a slow starter. But man. He got hosed at the dot today. 6 out of 21 giving him a 28.6% for the night. Anyone know how to look up those percentages for a season? That’s got to be at or near an all-time low, right?
- Kane led the team in SOG but failed to convert on anything. He looked pretty frustrated several times on the bench. I want to say I expect him to have a really solid year… but I really have no justified reason in thinking it. Just a hunch.
- Is Bickell feeling the weight of that contract? Or is he just returning to the player we all kinda knew he really was?
- The Hawks only had 4 penalties called against them but it seemed like a hell of a lot more, didn’t it? I guess having one called in OT just makes it feel that much worse. The PK is definitely showing signs of coming back to life but lets not test it out too much, deal?
- Not bad Crawford. Not bad at all.