First and foremost - lets hope Keith is OK. I didn't see it at the time, but that was a nasty elbow from Stafford on the replays I'm seeing now. It was great to see Eager go straight from the box right at Stafford though. You could tell he was dying to get out there and retaliate... Stafford's a punk for not standing up for himself.
The resulting 6 minute penalty is the second biggest joke of the night. The first was whatever it was that the Sabres called a power play. When Adam Burish gets the best scoring chance you know you have a problem.
I find it oddly funny that the commentators over at Die By The Blade were talking about how they didn't realize the Hawks were such a dirty team. What? Stafford threw an elbow from behind after a shot straight to the head of one of our star players. I'm proud of Eager for going after that coward. The crowd went nuts after Stafford was called out.. and even crazier after the Sabres played like absolute shit for the next 6. Eager was on edge for the rest of the game and wasn't afraid to throw a few punches, which is a welcome sight.
The big story of this game? The kill. The Hawks took 7 penalties in this game and the Sabres converted on none of them - including the 6 straight minutes of power play after Eager did what he had to do. It was too bad Burish somehow hit the post on the wide open net because a short handed goal there would have been the ultimate payback.
Toews missed a chance on a wrap around earlier in the game as well. It looked like he was once again trying to play the role of captain too hard and trying to hit the puck out to someone (Campbell?) who was charging towards the net. If he had gotten around that puck earlier he could have had another easy goal.
Lalime started off playing decent, and made some big saves, but ultimately he looked lost out there. Both of the first period goals were weak. Lalime got pieces of both of them but they both ended up in the net. The second goal especially was bizarre. I sit on the other side of the rink so everyone on our side had no idea it somehow got in til well after the Hawks started to celebrate. I didn't believe it was in for a few minutes after...
Havlat's goal in the second was sick. He held it just long enough to get Lalime to start worrying about Campbell streaking down the other side then Havlat's quick release sailed right over Lalime's shoulder. It didn't look like poor Patrick even saw it.
The goal to start the third period off a bomb by Wiz was a great way to put the game out of reach. After that the Sabres never seemed to get much going for themselves. The Hawks opened the game strong - gave up a weak goal after Sharp didn't seem to notice the puck coming at him and then shut down the Sabres for the remainder.
One thing you have to give the Sabres credit for though, they travel well. Or rather, there was a shit-load of them up in the 300 level. Unlike a few years ago, the "Lets go Buff-a-lo" chants were easily and loudly shouted down by "Lets go Hawks" or the always useful "Buffalo Sucks".
You could give them credit for "travelling" well.. but then you realize that everyone wants to get the hell out of that town. Their entire economy is supported by chicken wings and Sabres gear at this point.. maybe Goo Goo Dolls albums too. I certainly would want to live in Chicago too. You have to admire how loyal they are though... poor bastards.
Two things that I loved:
The douchebag in an old-school Sabres sweater.. but with an 88 and Kane written on the back? The fuck? I really wish I had a picture of this guy. He was sitting in a very vocal section of Sabres fan that got deathly silent about halfway through the second.
The second is the fight that seemed to break out after the game while I was waiting in line to piss. By the time I got out of the bathroom it was just a very intoxicated girl in Sabres blue screaming "know where he's frome.. that's all.. just know where he's from" - I guess she was talking about Kane? Guess where he's playing now? I also love that I heard a guy tell her to fuck off.. then realized it was a friend of mine I hadn't seen in a few weeks.
Great game from the Hawks - loved seeing them step up the physical play and it was obviously nice to see them get some soft goals after getting stuffed on some great chances in the past few games..