Odds and ends this Monday:
Yes, we all would like to believe that Buff is just in a slump, but I don't think that's the case. I don't think there's ever going to be a time when he doesn't blow his chances, because he doesn't have the hands or reaction to bury good passes to him. And I don't think most Hawks fans complain about his missed chances, though that's part of it. What bothers us most is the lazy play, the lack of being in front of the net, and his lack of physicality. Sure, Buff will throw one big hit per game, but never consistently enough to announce his presence with authritah. These are not the symptoms of a slump, just of a subpar player.
-I didn't believe this when I saw it, but Adam Burish has quietly become the Hawks best penalty killer. His Goals-against per 60 minutes on the kill is at 5.12, which leads the team. There's been much debate on this site over Burish's usefulness, but with this and his knack for scoring some important goals, that debate seems to be getting more and more mute.
-I think the jury is still out on Versteeg at center, and should be given some more time to find a chemistry with Kane. But not forever, as we've seen a little too many defensive lapses and continued pinning in our own zone. At the same time, VerStud does have 4 points in the 4 games at the pivot.
-Rumblings on TheFourthPeriod has Nathan Horton available again. Yes, please.