- As we all know, the big issue for the Hawks has been keeping the puck out of their own net. Due to Ray Emery's solid play and better overall team defense of late, wins like the one tonight feel a bit more complete than some others we've seen this season.
- I can't talk too much about team defense without wondering how long the Hawks will be without their most consistent defensive player. It'd be a fairly safe assumption to say that we're probably dealing with yet another concussion for Seabs. This makes three concussions in just over a year and a half for Seabrook, and if you weren't concerned about the duration of Seabs' NHL career, you should be now. The worst part about this is that all three hits that led to each of these "upper body injuries" were of the dirty variety, and that's a tough pill to swallow for Seabs, the Hawks organization, and Hawks fans in general.
- In keeping with the D theme, we can come away with many positives from tonight's affair. Nik Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith were outstanding, and this may have even been Hammer's best game this season. We all know that when Hammer is on, he's blocking quality chances and displaying solid stick work and positioning, but he's always been capable of chipping-in in the offensive zone. Perhaps the most underrated element to Nik's game is his shot; He doesn't need much of a wind-up to get a good, hard, low shot on net, and occasionaly he sneaks one through. I should write more about Dunc here, but we've seen this movie before; Dunc kills Calgary on UC ice and it is good.
- Another element in my interpretation of the complete win is bottom six production. When the fourth line and 3rd D pairing are on the ice for goals, especially the opening tally, you're going to win your fair share of games. The Montador goal was the result of, in my estimation, the most impressive fourth line shift of the year for the Men of Four Feathers. The great shot by Monty got the Hawks going in the right direction in the first frame.
- Not much of a season debut for Mo-Scorin; no shots on goal and 1 hit for the kid in ten minutes of ice time, most of which was spent with DDN. As silly as this sounds, I'm not sure Q really put Morin in the best place to succeed in his first game up. Playing with Kane and Toews sounds easy, but it would certainly make many young players either more nervous, or more likely to over think one's game, and maybe both. I would've liked to see Vik skate with DDN, while Morin does his thing on the fourth line, for at least this game.
- DDN+Morin weren't very good defensively at certain points of the game, and there were 2 or 3 long, pinned in shifts in which the bulk of their time was spent chasing the puck around the defensive zone.
- I've already used the word "solid" a couple times in this wrap, but is there a more apt description of Ray Emery's game during this nice little run he's putting together? Outside of the Jokinen goal, when Emery was a bit off on his angle, he made all the saves he needed to make and then some. Lateral movement is always a concern for Razor, but he snuffed out a couple of one-timers that I didn't expect him to get to with such ease. Perhaps the most enjoyable element to Emery's game right now is the rebound control; there just aren't many getting coughed up into the slot over the last handful of games.
- If Dave Bolland is operating at a 62% clip, your (opposing) team probably sucks at the dot.
- It's like October 2010 all year with Marian Hossa, and he's now the team's leading scorer with 36 points in 32 games played.
- Big Ups (seriously, who says "big ups"?) to CNS, Verstig, and mightymikeD for their recent work in the fanpost section. It's been a while since we've seen this kind of effort put into fanposts, and it's an important and much appreciated part of the SCH community. Go sink your brain into statistical stylings of CNS and Verstig, and then veg out to the delightfully witty and whimsical content that mightymikeD is throwing down. Thanks again guys, and if you have the time and means, keep it coming.
Player of the Game
Q leaned on Hammer when he needed someone to help replace what was lost in Seabrook's valuable minutes, and Ham Sandwich didn't disappoint. Another 3 blocked shots to add to his league leading total, plus a goal and exceptional work in his own zone at even strength. If you don't have your Holiday cards mailed out for the season, you could always just cut this picture out and send it to loved ones, it's the gift that keeps on giving.