I didn't check the comments or reactions much when I got home last night as it was far too late. I can't imagine there was too much ranting and raving and all the rest, at least from those not associated with the 300 Level. While losing three in a row just plain sucks, and getting shut out at the Tank isn't much better, I don't know what it is I'm supposed to complain about here. Far and away the best defensive effort of the season, with the only blemish coming on a bad bounce of a draw lost by Jonathan Toews. These aren't occurrences that we should worry about happening with any regularity. Disciplined, determined, and dogged (just needed another d-word there), the Hawks nullified a Western Conference Power that had been pouring in goals of late. I can't recall a big save Corey Crawford had to make.
And yet, it goes down as a loss. But the Hawks aren't going to have trouble scoring that often, I don't think. On another night, Hossa buries his two prime chances and Dave Bolland doesn't miss an open net. Games between teams this high up the food chain will always be tight. If the Hawks replicate that defensive urgency and discipline on a majority of nights, they'll be raising sticks in the air at the final horn far more often than they'll watch someone else do it.
-If there's one complaint to be made, it's that of his 34 saves Antti Niemi didn't have to work all that hard for them. Once again net presence was a problem for the Hawks. If only there was someone on this roster who's made a living for over a decade being around the net who could be put on one of the Hawks top two lines...
-Michael Frolik returned and looked active, but his "Smash TV" method of shot selection is getting old. While Eddie O likes to bleat on about it never being a bad play to put the puck on net, that's simply not true. While nothing can go terribly wrong with a shot, it can also end your offensive pressure in a hurry, say when you fire one from below the circles and against the boards (unless you've got someone crashing the crease and can cause a rebound, but I'm not convinced Fro calculates these things before launching).
-Noticed Bolland during a game. That hasn't happened recently. Sadly, when everyone noticed him it was for the wrong reasons.
-The Hawks 4th line is still struggling. We've been over how Bruno is an odd fit down there. And while I haven't hesitated to sing Marcus Kruger's praises this year, I think he's been very good, the Hawks have to decide what he's going to do on that line. Part of that unit's struggles is Kruger still being capable of being overpowered physically. So if he can't hang on a physical shift, and he's not scoring (which he really isn't, though that can be chalked up to linemates I suppose) what do they want out of this line?
-Oh right, the power play can still be a clusterfuck. Was that Montador as a forward and Bolland at a point on the second unit? I'm beginning to think the running of this power play is a high concept album on par with Tarkus and I'll just never understand it.
-Kane had seven shots as opposed to three in all of Alberta. More, please.
1-3 looks ugly. But the Ducks are just a mess right now, and the Kings haven't exactly lit the Staples Center on fire, with most of their wins coming on the road. We would have taken 3-3 before it started. Play like that twice more and they'll have it.