Once again, because it's been long enough since the conclusion of the game, if you wanted a narrative recap of what happened, there are plenty of places you could have found that by now. But you know better than that.
As was noted last night, this game was more difficult than it needed to be, in spite of the score looking how it was supposed to when all was said and done. A lethargic start gave way to what rapidly turned into a one-sided affair in the final frame, even with all the disallowed goals. Hawks 5, Jackets 2, and all was well on a Saturday night.
- Once again, the Hawks had trouble navigating the neutral zone through the first 40 minutes of play, to the point that Mike Kitchen even pointed it out during his pre-3rd period interview from the bench. Well Kitch, there's a real easy way to solve that problem- split up Keith and Leddy. We've been over it a zillion and a half times, but getting trap-busting, shot-gunning D-men on more than one pair will double the amount of time of the game that there's someone capable of providing exactly what the even the coaches are stating that they need. Yes, Leddy is improving, but that doesn't mean the pair works. I'll keep saying it until it actually happens- Split. Them. Up.
- While we're on the subject of things that we've been over a zillion times, even the Hawks beat contingent, specifically Tim Sassone and Adam Jahns were bemoaning the absence of Optimus Grind, Ben Smith, and how he would look good on Toews' wing. Once again, for those of you who have just discovered Q-Tips: If Ben Smith is in your top six, your team sucks. There's a reason Ben Smith is in Rockford, behind John Scott and Rusty Olesz.
With that said, color me quite pleased when the Hawk's prettiest whipping boy Viktor Stalberg went out in the third and stuffed it up everyone's ass by potting 2, and nearly turning the trick on a breakaway. On Stalberg's first goal, we finally got a chance to see what that speed can do when it's under control. He closed on that loose puck, cut to the middle, and fired a wrister past Allan York in the span of about a quarter of a second.
- Ray Emery looked very sharp at times, though Vinny Prospal's goal in the first wasn't one of them. If Razor's two appearances right now are indicative of what he'll provide all season in spelling Crow, then the Hawks should be in decent shape in the cage.
- While the Hawks power play will show another big 0-fer in the box score, and the three goals were disallowed for good reason, hopefully the remixed units gain a little bit of momentum from the chances they were able to create, albeit against an absolutely wretched Jackets PK.
- Glad to see the PK is once again back on the plus side of the ledger.
- Other than the one instance in the second where he needlessly vacated his position in front of the net to chase the puck carrier in behind, Sami Lepisto looked fine for having not played in three weeks. His partner, Steve Montador, looked fine as well, but he still sucks, right? EARN YOUR MONEY.
- John Scott had 1:44 of ice time. If that's what you'd rather have than Rusty Olesz out there, it's incredibly irresponsible of Stan Bowman to keep Olesz on the pro roster. While it more than likely is a matter of Rocky Wirtz not wanting to pay even more money for personnel not even on the roster, every day that Rusty is here and is scratched has a multiplicative effect on the additions the Hawks can make down the line from a salary cap standpoint. He's doing more harm than good sitting in the press box to the Hawks' long-term goals.
- Raise your hand if you noticed $5 million dollar man James Wisniewski other than when he was flopping and diving in his own end when receiving minimal contact in an effort to draw calls. A pretty impressive feat for someone who played more than half the game (30:09 TOI)
- With the Preds, their neckless coach, and their snazzy new threads coming to town tomorrow, it's going to to take a lot better effort than in the previous two games to grab those two points.