In our never ending attempt to keep your finger firmly on the pulse of the Men Of Four Feathers, as well as our undying need to provide gimmicky content, it is my honor to present to you our first installment of what we're hoping is a weekly feature - Atop The Sugar Pile.
In this segment, we hope to give you, the pantsless, parents-basment-dwelling blog reader a brief synopsis of who (or what) on the Hawks is trending and in which direction.
So without further ado...
The Terrifying Lows
The Hawks' Special Teams - Aside from the shutout against the Oil on planet Hoth, the Hawk PK surrendered a goal on the man advantage in every game on the Circus Trip. While the lone tally in the Canuck game came in garbage time, the Kings marker was a late, desperate 5-on-3, and Ryan Sexton's tally for the Ducks was a deflection, it flat out has to improve. Currently the Hawks sit at 78.7 percent, good for 26th in the league. Simply not good enough.
The other side of the ledger has been no better, as the Hawks only managed 2 power play goals the entire trip, and dipped to 21.6 percent. To call the second unit fucking clown shoes is an insult to clown shoes at this point. What started out productive in having Sharp and Seabrook man points on the first unit has dried up fast, and is just as counterintuitive as having Keith and Campbell both on the point on the second. While the rule of thumb is you want your percentages to total 100% to be breaking generally even on special teams, and the Hawks are barely above that mark, true contenders far exceed it. There's still time to correct this.
- Tomas Kopecky - In spite of his hot start, and every subsequent opportunity he's been given in the top 6 this season, often riding shotgun with countryman/power top Marian Hossa as he prefers, TomoKop has only had 2 points in the last 12 games. He's seen his +/- plummet to a team worst -9, and has been committing some atrocious penalties while flat footed and reaching, particularly late in games. He realistically should have already watched a game in civvies, but that hour draws ever closer with each successive shitty effort.
The Dizzying Highs
Patrick Sharp - Sharpie is back up to his old tricks again, with goals in 4 straight games, and points in 7 of his last 8. Sharp's always been a streak scorer, and usually peaks right around this time of the year, only to fall off the map after January first. Though these aren't hollow points; he's now got a league-leading 4 game winners to his credit. Most of these have come with him back at the center position as well, and he's managed to dig himself up from a -11 to a -5. Damning with faint praise, I know, but it's gotta come from somewhere.
- Brian Campbell - Amidst all of the recent knob-slobbering over Dustin Byfuglien, flying somewhat under the radar is the fact that Brian Campbell is already a +10 in his 13 games back, while averaging 21 minutes a night. His return has restored stability to the defensive pairings, particularly for Hammer. His ability to key the transition and maintain possession offensively have also helped the Hawks lower their shots against down to under 30 at 29.8 when they were hovering around the 35-36 mark just weeks ago. Oh yeah, he's added penalty killing to his repertoire as well, though mostly out of necessity due to Nick Boynton's general uselessness.
The Creamy Middles
Patrick Kane - If Patrick Kane continues to score at a point per game rate (9G - 15A - 24P in 25 games) and no one notices, does it still cause a scene when he drunkenly takes his dick out in public?