Banging One's Head Against A Brick Wall - Rangers 3, Hawks 2

Brian Campbell demonstrates some of the Brazilian jujitsu he learned during his stint on IR.

I know it's only November 1st, and that the Hawks are still missing some key contributors (if Dave Bolland can even be considered as much at this point), but for all the positives that could be taken from this game, this seemed inordinately irritating. Perhaps it was all the blocked shots, which we knew the Rangers would do going into the game (especially with Drury, Prospal, and Gabby sitting), or Henrik Lundqvist's impeccable positioning and even more impeccable teeth, but I found myself throwing things in the living room once the final horn sounded. But now, looking back on it, it was a game the Hawks deserved to lose, as they committed all the cardinal sins in the game. They gave up a goal with 20 seconds left in the first to allow the Rangers to tie it after the Hawks clearly controlled the play. They took a lazy penalty in the last minute of the second, and the Rangers converted at the outset of the third. And lastly, they followed a big game-tying goal with a sub-par shift that ended with the puck in the back of the net. None of these things are acceptable, and they'll lead to defeat, which is what happened tonight, despite the Hawks outplaying New York for prolonged stretches. 

Observations

  • While he's clearly not on top of his game yet, it was good to see Brian Campbell back in the lineup, and it certainly helped in the retrieval-transition aspect of the Hawks game, and kept the Rangers to only 23 shots in the game, though they were missing three of their bigger offensive contributors in Chris Drury, Vinny Prospal, and Marian Gaborik.
  • Patrick Sharp, Tomas Kopecky, and Viktor Stalberg were all an ugly -2 this evening. Stalberg in particular was guilty of not pursuing the puck that popped up on the breakout attempt that led to Erik Christensen's winner. The line got hemmed in and looked out of sorts for the majority of the night, despite the power play opener from Kopecky, assisted by Sharp.
  • The second goal has two people at fault. First, Patrick Kane made a real half-assed pass as he exited the zone to the near side that got intercepted as the 2nd period ended, which forced Duncan Keith to hook fuckstick Sean Avery, giving the Rangers the power play. When the third period opened with Keith in the box, Hammer got outmanned at the far post while Seabrook was just looking at the whole thing transpire from behind the goal line, and the puck came to an unimpeded Brandon Dubinsky. Edzo put the onus for that goal on Hammer, but it was Seabrook who should have been in the crease to take away that pass and Dubinsky's space.
  • That said, Seabrook and Duncan Keith were a cartoonish +25 and +24 in Corsi.
  • Good night for the "fourth" line as well - Dowell at a +15 in Corsi.
  • King Henrik was on top of things tonight. Everyone knows he's big and quick, and he got a lot of help from the skaters in front of him, getting pelted by shots. With that said, Kane's goal was a softie, and they had to make it stand up if they were going to win. 28 seconds later, the Rangers took the lead again, so we know how well THAT worked out.
  • There were still too many passed up shots for my liking, especially with the lineup that was in place and the way the opposing goalie was playing. To Jonathan Toews, Viktor Stalberg, Tomas Kopecky, etc, if you take a step to the middle of the ice on your forehand between the hashmarks - take. the. fucking. shot.
  • Toews was a monster below the goal line tonight.
  • Raise your hand if you knew Patrick Sharp was going to get stopped on his breakaway as soon as he started gliding in from the top of the circle? 
  • Other than a couple key pooch-screwings that led to goals, the defense HAS looked better as a whole. Baby steps, I suppose.
  • After an off day, the Hawks are back at home to face The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald that's currently comprising the New Jersey Devils. Let's hope Fatso doesn't channel any of King Henrik's performance from tonight,
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