Round 1 To Gondor: Scum 2 - Hawks 3

I know dude! I couldn't believe he didn't know you were going five-hole either!

Or I guess it's Round 1 to Eddie Furlong, or whatever. Fuck it, I can't keep up with McClure's level of dorkdom. Whichever one fits after that preview.

In a thoroughly enthralling game, the Hawks came out on top and passed one of these marker games with flying colors. While it won't be enough for us to fully buy in with this club just yet, it sure does feel good. And it's also a great way to close out the calendar.

Both teams traded periods of momentum, dominance, and chances. Both displayed great defensive discipline at times. Both got physical when they needed to. All in all, it was just a wonderful advertisement for the sport. But the Hawks spells seemed just a little more sharp, their physicality a little more snarly, their chances just a little more cutting. In the end, it was by those small margins that the Hawks walked out with two points.

Bullets:

-Right off the top, the defensive effort in the 3rd period was simply the most dominant of the season. Maybe I'm reading the play by play wrong, but it appears as though the Hawks held the Wings to just two shots on goal after they took the lead. I certainly can't remember a huge save Corey Crawford had to make with the lead. This was seeing one out professionally in every sense of the word, and that's what special teams are made of. Should I mention that they completely defensively dong-whipped a team with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom, and the rest?

-Speaking of Lidstrom, I think the film of his 1st period against Jonathan Toews should be kept on file for when anyone considers giving him another Norris he doesn't deserve.

-In fact, the one advantage that was clear the Hawks had was that the Wings defense just doesn't move all that well. And that's anyone. This will of course change when they trade for Ryan Suter in February, but for now we'll enjoy the gap. The Hawks plan was clearly to beat their D around the outside, and for the most part they did so. On the other side, the Hawks can move from their backline, at least for the most part.

-Jimmy Hayes had a great first shift in the NHL, and....he had a great first shift in the NHL.

-I think Steve Montador will look a lot better when he gets a partner who he can trust and doesn't make him scramble. Then he'll get more than 11 minutes. I still think that guy could easily be Sami Lepisto.

-I have no complaints with Car Bomb when he's actually initiating contact when it matters.

-Hey, dat Horsa guy! He might could play a lil' bit.

-Did Johan Franzen dress tonight? Oh right, he took a penalty.

-I love it when Todd Bertuzzi proves to be pretty much a joke before the playoffs.

-Dave Bolland and whoever is skating with him continue to get pinned far too often in their zone. Part of the success that built this "rat" character that Bolland has embraced -- possibly to the detriment of his game slightly -- is that he could make the top scoring threats of other teams play defense for spells. They can't now. Maybe that's his linemates, maybe it's still that foot, maybe it's something else. But it's got to be sorted.

That's now a five point gap on Scum. Chances to make it bigger. But enjoy it for now. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable NYE tomorrow night. Don't drive, try and stay in one place surrounded by those you care about.

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