Atop The Sugar Pile - 1/18

The strong must protect the sweet.

Yes Yes.. it's time once again for your favorite weekly feature that references that episode of the Simpsons where Homer finds a bunch of sugar... you know, as opposed to all our other weekly features.  It's been a good week for the Hawks with 5 out of a possible 6 points since Sam last wrote this piece.. So lets get right to it

The Terrifying Lows

  • Third Period Woes - As good as the last week has been, it ain't all been gravy.  The Third Period in Nashville may go down as one of the stupidest of the year.  Up two goals against a division rival you're chasing in the playoff picture?  That's the time to lock it down and finish them off.  Which the Hawks did... for five minutes.  The Hawks have no longer lead the league in the most third period goals allowed (Thanks Atlanta - good luck on that Norris, Buff) but they still need to get their shit together.
  • Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead and now it's the PK that sucks - As inexplicably good as the Power Play is (top of the pops) the Penalty Kill remains pretty damn awful.  Over the first two games the past week it seemed like things were looking up.. There was the shutout against the Avs and the Preds didn't use their anemic power play to come back on Saturday but that wasn't the story Sunday night.  It doesn't help that the Hawks seemed more than willing to give the other team as many chances as they'd like.  The Hawks have fallen to 27th overall on the kill after ending last year 4th best.  You can live and die by special teams in the Playoffs.  Fix this now.
  • Has anyone seen the stars? - Toews got his goal last night in garbage time... but it's been all quiet on the Western Madison for the guys with the big names.  Anytime they want to start dropping points again is ok by me.. and I'm sure by you too

The Dizzying Highs

  • 3-6 Mafia - If our top lines don't want to be the top lines, Dave Bolland, Fernando Pisani and Bryan Bickell seem more than willing to step up.  Over the past three games, these boys have 11 combined points.  Dave Bolland in particular is on quite a tear - 6 points in his 4 game point streak.  It was the ability to get production out of four lines that helped the Hawks on their way to lifting the Cup last summer.  Dave Bolland may be paid like the second line center we wish we had but if he keeps this up on the third line you won't hear many complaints.  And absolutely anything you get from Pisani or Bickell is pure icing.

The Creamy Middles

  • Marlboro 72 - I'm not totally sold on where these two are going for this year but just like Rhode Island, as goes Keith so goes the team.  When they're at their best, the Hawks have a defensive crew that's the envy of many, especially with Campbell playing out of his skull lately.  When Keith and Seabrook are lost at sea, the Hawks can't seem to even get going.  It seems like Keith has grown bored with the sound of pucks hitting shin guards so only good can come from that.  They both spent time in the box last night though.  They're stepping up but we're not out of the woods yet. 
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