For All The Cows - Flames 5, Hawks 2

Bryan Bickell drops the ice after slamming into the invisible force field within the opponent's faceoff ring, totally justifying his aversion to getting any closer to the crease.

After thoroughly dominating the Flames in their own building for what felt like eons, the Hawks are now 0-3 in their last 3 trips to Cowtown. At least this one wasn't marred by a non-existent effort, only by general ineptitude. I suppose a letdown is to be expected after Wednesday night, but it's still frustrating watching them get pecker slapped up and down the ice by a team that has had its own gamut of issues to this point in the season. Sam warned in the preview that the Hawks would need to clean things up in the defensive zone tonight, but that didn't happen, and tonight they got burned because Corey Crawford couldn't duplicate his superb effort from B.C. In any event, it's one game in November, with the opportunity 24 hours from now to at least split the Alberta swing. You want bullets? We've got 'em.

 

Observations

  • After sounding the trumpets on Wednesday for the return of Norris-caliber Duncan Keith, 10-11 Keith reared his head again tonight with an ugly -4, and -4 in Corsi. The constant jumble of partners isn't helping things, but it didn't seem to have much of an effect on Wednesday. In any event, we see once again that as Keith goes, so go the Hawks.
  • Any time Patricks Kane and Sharp feel like helping out Toews and Hossa on the scoresheet would be just dandy. Pull your weight.
  • The hope is that Viktor Stalberg will eventually stop catching shit from fan outlets, but the fact remains he's producing, even if a blindfolded glass of orange juice could grab a plus or two with Toews and Hossa out there together. But Vik continues to go hard to the net, as stone handed and out of control as it might be some times, which is a lot more than can be said for the big toothless lump of crap floating around in the #29 sweater at the moment.
  • Ben Smith, difference maker. Right Jesse?
  • Corey Crawford is fighting it right now, no two ways about it. After a fantastic start, he's come back to earth pretty hard in the past couple weeks, the Vancouver game notwithstanding. While more starts for Ray Emery isn't the answer, he'll likely start tomorrow and Friday in Orange County, while everyone hopes that Crow cures his yips, or at least gets his hallmark consistency back.
  • So now that they've lost, it's alright to sit the immoble, but somehow pinch-happy John Scott, right? RIGHT? PLEASE?!
  • While the game was already out of reach when the Hawks got their 5-on-3, it's still infuriating to watch $16 million worth of blue liners in Keith and Hossa play catch back and forth 12 feet apart and refuse to criss-cross to set up a one-timer. On a 2 man advantage, with most defending teams playing a compact triangle in the slot, the key is to get the lone forward to over-commit laterally to open up shooting lanes, and standing still and making passes makes that man's job very, very easy.
  • It's been said a zillion times already, but god damn are those Flames throwbacks fucking nice. They would be well-served to follow the lead of their Alberta neighbors and bring those back full-time next season. Hi-def just makes those things sear through the screen in the best possible way. 
  • The Hawks are 1-3-1 on Fridays so far this year. Maybe they just can't focus because they're preoccupied with wondering what Urkel and Cody on Step By Step got themselves into this week.
  • At least the PK didn't allow anything tonight.
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