In the interest of full disclosure, I did not see the vast majority of the third period of last night's game. Between the second and third I made a break for it to meet friends out at an establishment, and once there, it became an asshole hassle to get the game on the TV, which the proprietors weren't able to do until 5 minutes left in the contest, and it was already its final score of 4-2. I have still yet to see the deciding and insurance goals, so apologies are in order. But, if you'll have them, here are some thoughts regarding the 45 or so minutes I saw.
- The new top line of Sharp/Toews/Hossa looked downright hellacious for a stretch last night. However, if Quenneville's objective for moving Versteeg to center was to make Patrick Kane invisible, then mission fucking accomplished.
- Enough of Brent Sopel on the top pair with Duncan Keith. Seabrook and Hammer are fine, but Sopel is simply playing too many minutes.
- Because the defense is getting taxed, and the forwards know it, they're cheating low in the defensive zone, which is leaving the opposition's point men uncontested when they hold in clearing attempts and attempt shots. This is becoming a vicious cycle, and the only thing that really will rectify it is steadier play from the d-men. Easier said than done these days, though.
- Kopecky and Fraser sat last night, but if Ben Eager isn't going to play the pinball style that made the fourth line so effective last year and just take dumb shit penalties and get in completely staged fights, then I'm all for sitting him in favor of someone who actually brings some kind of hockey sense to the rink.
- That being said, at least he's not Cam Janssen. What a bag of dicks that guy is.
So the new-new lines didn't result in 2 points. What's next in Coach Q's bag o' tricks? We'll find out tonight after a short turnaround and a trip back up to St. Paul, where this whole nonsense began with a third period collapse against the Wild. Winning tonight in convincing fashion would provide a nice bit of closure to all this wouldn't it? Sam or Kills or someone will be swinging through later on with your preview and thread.