After spending my evening watching the Cardinals win the World Series, and immediately following that up with the DVR'd Hawks-Canes mess, you'll understand if I'm too depressed to recap the lowlights in great detail. Let's get right to the bullet points, and then we can all get our Wiz-Wear cleaned, pressed, and ready for tomorrow's game.
- It's never fun to watch a Toews beast mode game go to waste, but that's exactly what happened tonight. He may have ended up a minus 2 on the night, but for a large portion of the first 50 minutes, the Captain was arguably the only offensive player who had a pulse.
- Andrew Brunette is slow, we know this, but even I'm surprised at how much he's killing the first line's forecheck. That being said, the Hawks as a whole didn't accomplish much of anything on the forecheck this evening. We know that the Men of Four Feathers are capable of making things happen in transition, but when you're skating on ice that makes the UC look like Rexall Place, it might be a good idea to play the dump and chase game.....even if it's not the panty-dropping style of hockey you're used to.
- Here's another dead horse that I'm going to insist on beating: Viktor Stalberg is a waste of ice time right now. If Ben Smith is playing even semi-useful hockey in Rockford, Bowman needs to find a way to get him on the fourth line.
- In each of the last two games, the Hawks have racked up 12 minutes worth of minor penalties. I suppose that after staying out of the box for the first couple weeks of the season, the team was due for a few minors, but I'd prefer that they don't make a habit out of it. While we're on the subject, high sticking a player who's tied up in the faceoff circle is as bad as it gets; it's not like Carbomb can claim that he didn't know an opposing player was there.
- Bolland played with zero offensive flare tonight, and his one-stride-in-and-let-it-rip routine may have been part of the reason that Michael Frolik had his most uneventful game of the season.
- If O'Donnell's shift on the third goal doesn't get him a night off, nothing short of a Viagra overdose will. I understand that he's trying to make things happen by working his way down low as Kane cycled out high, but someone needs to tell him that he's of little use to this team when camped out in the slot, and his lack of effort coming back on the 2 on 1 is something that I don't expect out of a 16 year veteran.
- Foley's "Trees" and unnecessary alliteration (Cane capper?) are annoying enough during a win, but at the end of a whitewash? I think it's safe to say that I did not enjoy the broadcast, in spite of the outcome.
- If the Clown Shoe doesn't fit, make it even bigger and more cumbersome? Q and crew are trying to mix things up on the man advantage, but I can't say that I'm a big fan of seeing multiple powerplay formations in a single game. We knew that Sharp was going to get a look back at forward, which he did as he was floating around the high slot looking for one-timer opportunites, but later in the game we saw an Umbrella formation with Dunc at the middle point and Sharp & Hossa at the top of each circle. I don't what the best option is here, but it'd be nice if they would settle on something in practice and stick with it during the game.
- Cam Ward starting in net against the Hawks at the RBC Center......Why did we even bother watching again?