For those of you that didn't hop aboard the bandwagon until last spring (and if you did welcome aboard, happy to have you. Make yourself comfortable, some of our more intrepid readers make cupcakes, have one, settle in), this used to be a regular occurrence during last regular season. The Hawks would show up in an opponent's building, simply outclass them, swat them aside with an ease that only Keith Richards can understand, and return home with two points in the bag. For those of you that have been around awhile, you may have forgotten what that looks like. Happy to be reminded.
Strangely, I expected the Jackets to come out flying, this being their first game in five days and the home opener and all that. Well they did, and by that I mean they were flying toward their own goal to repel Hawks rushes. They let the Men of Four Feathers pile up 19 shots in the opening frame. Toews, Hossa, and Tomo Kop spent what seemed like the entirety of their shifts against the Columbus end boards. Stalberg and Skille were flying once again. Troy Brouwer, restored to a top line due to Kane's sickness, was actually making things happen. And it paid off when Skille sent Stalberg streaking down the center of the ice where he completely dusted Fydor Tyutin and Jakub Voracek (who isn't exactly slow) before chipping past Mason.
The lead was doulbed a minute later when Tazer and the Slovaks worked more magic and eventually Hossa was able to pounce on a rebound. It was essentially game over then, or at least until there was another dumbass Duncan Keith turnover leading to a shortie from Umberger, which Turco found a way to let it. And he really had to try to find a way.
But our fears were lessened when Sharp returned the favor, and big ups to Jake Dowell for knowing he was going to do fuck all with open ice and getting it to the guy who piled up 13 shots!!!! 13!!! That's insane.
It was officially taco night for Sharp on the next shift when he profited from Troy Brouwer intentionally passing the puck off Mason's pads to Sharp in the slot, or at least that's what it looked like to me. Tomo Kop got what his hard work has deserved (more on that later) 15 seconds into the 3rd, and despite a late consolation, that was it.
Observations and Rants
-I make jokes about Kopecky on the top line, and I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around it. But the dude works hard, gets to the net, and has 6 points in five games. The whole line has 17 in 5. With production like that, why should things change? I withdraw my complaint.
-After 18 minutes in the first two, Keith and Seabrook got 5 and 6 in the third. This we like.
-CORSI. It's not as dominant as you might think, but I bet it's affected by the 3rd period when the Hawks were definitely in "We're gonna have to hit and fight tomorrow so fuck this" mode.
-Still looking for Dave Bolland
-I think Fernano Pisani is making his way to the pressbox. Other than being effective on the kill, where Skille or Stalberg in this form could handle, he hasn't done anything. In fact, during the 3rd I began dreaming of Morin with the Patricks and a bottom six of Bickell-Bolland-Brouwer, and Stalberg-Doweel-Skille.
-That said, Skille and Stalberg had one ugly shift in their own zone with some missed clearances that ended in a penalty. Not all the way there yet.
-Turco was fine, though the guy makes more saves facing the wrong way than any goalie I've ever seen in a Hawks sweater.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
You pile up 13 shots and two goals, you get it. The Sharp Shooter.