Since Sam was getting his face melted at Them Crooked Vultures last night and missed the first period, it's now my responsibility to be your sherpa through the day-after thoughts.
- Pierre Lebrun thinks Marian Hossa is underachieving. Pierre Lebrun clearly did not see last night's "I'm Marian Hossa And You're Not" moment where he promptly relieved Niclas Wallin of the puck and fed Hammer for a shot that Troy Brouwer would deflect in. No, the goals aren't there (yet), but the guy has been playing with ferocity over all 200 feet of the ice, and is noticeable on nearly every shift. Can the same be said of this year's goal scoring dynamos Mike Cammalleri and Danny Briere when they're not scoring?
- Steve Rosenbloom astutely noticed that last night's first goal was caused, for both good and bad reasons by Kris Versteeg. I told Killion as soon as the goal was scored that that goal was VERSTEEG!'s. While he did get too cute at the blue line, he busted his ass to recover from it to prevent a chance the other way, which eventually ended up with Ladd scoring. VERSTEEG!'s (he gets his exclamation point back) decision making has been pounded harder than Hannah Hilton during a personal training session, but when he's kept it simple as he has most of this playoff year, he's been skating his ass off and playing much larger than his stature, which as a result has led to a multitude of scoring opportunities.
- Credit where it's due - Patrick Marleau's first goal last night on the power play was pretty fucking gorgeous. Niemi even got there in time, but Marleau's fade away wrister was just too perfectly placed.
- The Sharks will continue to have the pace dictated too them for as long as they continue to employ that passive of a forecheck without trapping outright- not that I'm complaining, mind you. Hawk defensemen were allowed all the time and space they needed to survey the ice while taking a stride or two and then make a crisp pass. Some of those were even home run attempts, as what happened on Sharp's bid in the first.
- As was the case in game 1, Duncan Keith is showing why he's a Norris Trophy finalist. In just over 30 minutes of ice time, Keith had two assists, and was everywhere in the defensive zone closing in on loose pucks and transitioning the Hawks offense with the aforementioned time and space he was given.
- Of the four teams that had previously won 7 in a row on the road, all but one have gone on to hoist the chalice. Just sayin'.
- As the series now shifts to the UC for the weekend, the odds of advancing are now greatly in the Hawks favor. But, we've seen this team get the yips on home ice for whatever reason earlier in this post season, and the Sharks in theory should come out flying at full throttle on Friday night. But if they employ the same tactics of playing the game that is in front of them as they have on the road, rather than trying to force THEIR game upon the opponent when it isn't there, this weekend could be a pleasant one. Also, the forecast calls for 87 on Sunday, so the ice will likely be even shittier than it usually is, so that's something to be mindful of.