Just so we're all clear here - this is how Bolland celebrated his first goal.
Well that was certainly more like it. Right off the opening gun (hockey should use starters pistols by the way), the Hawks were the better team and found the way to finish their chances or at least get lucky on a few of them. It's late and I don't feel we need to do much on this end so lets get right into the bullets...
- Bryan Bickell was credited with a secondary assist on Bolland's empty netter but it was really his two solid hits to start the game that made the most impact. Great way to set the pace early for the Hawks.
- I get that the Stars are playing 3 games in 4 days but it's the beginning of the season... Gulutzan shouldn't feel he needs to rest his netminders just yet. Kari Lehtonen may not have been the only reason the Stars won last night but he was certainly a major factor and could have easily worked his way into the Hawks heads if he had grabbed a couple quick saves. Still, the Stars went with Raycroft and for this we thank them.
- While the line juggling wasn't nearly as frantic tonight - Q did show us a couple of his little quirks tonight.
-The first is obviously dressing colossal human being and even bigger waste of a roster spot, John Scott. Scott skated exactly 3 minutes and I don't remember a single second of them being after the first period. There were plenty of chippy moments in the game where Scott could theoretically could have been used (such as Ott laying out Brandon Saad) yet he wasn't employed for any of them. His involvement with this team has gone beyond annoying and has merely become baffling for me... I cannot figure out why he's here.
-This also brings us to what I fear may become Q's newest little experiment/fetish.. the 7th defenseman. It obviously branches off his simple love of playing a D-man as a winger but it could morph into its own beast entirely. Montador, Scott, O'Donnell and Lepisto were brought on to add toughness and depth to the blue line.. but more than one of them should be sitting in the press box at any given time. Instead we get the 7th D-man actually playing D sometimes rather than stuck in his normal forward role. What the fuck is going on here? It reminds me of when LaRussa used to bat the pitcher 8th.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson was only credited with one hit tonight - but at least he made it count. We're going to need to see some more of those as he was remarkably timid last year after his suspension. Anyone hoping for a major offensive year from him is going to be majorly disappointed. Although I still predict a career high 4 goals for him this year.
- Duncan Keith didn't exactly have a return to form but he is at least heading in the right direction. However, he still had a few turnovers and more importantly seems to just be lacking confidence with the puck... this is a bad thing for our supposed starting point for the rush.
- We are all quite familiar with Burish's game so running players late in the game or just constantly yapping wasn't a surprise but I still miss his ability to occasionally do something great with the puck like his give and go with Fiddler to set up the first Stars goal. I'm hoping Carcillo can do something close to that but I'm not holding my breath.
- Thank god Dave Bolland found a way to channel his energy into hockey because I think he may have ended up a serial killer if he was just in public normally. The smirk remains his most elaborate goal celebration. His first goal was punctuated with a facewash on Robidas.
- Still - this team plays entirely different with him in the line up. If Bolland can stay healthy (which is a big IF) it will go a long way to helping them win the division.
- Kane and Hossa haven't found the back of the net yet but the league should be on alert when they do. They're both all over the ice and the points could end up rolling in if they get lucky. Hossa in particular is looking great playing a defensive game but don't dismiss Kane too soon... the little rascal actually tried to level someone behind the net at one point tonight. It didn't work of course but I at least appreciate the effort.
- Random bar question of the night - How much does a normal appendix weigh? Just before Sharp's goal I commented that he's been looking good and it must be on account of losing all that dead weight. Fels later came to our rescue as the only person with cell phone reception at the whirlaway but I thought I'd let you all take your guesses too..