It wasn't exactly the text book blow out and it wasn't the prettiest but it was two points the Hawks needed to have and it was two points they got. Though the Hawks controlled the play in the first, they were once again in danger of being stood up by a hot goalie... and as McClure mentioned goalies that catch right handed always drives the Hawks and the rest of us crazy. While the ice tilted in the Hawks favor, you could just as easily seeing it shift the other way if the Panthers were the first to find a way to score.
Luckily for us - the Panthers had a slow and steady march to the box to feel shame in the second. It took the Hawks three chances but Brent Seabrook was finally able to break the scoreless streak with his now patented fall down slapper as he pinched in from the point. The Hawks exploded in the third for three more goals all off some pretty passing all around the ice... and one kinda biffed shot from Kaner that beat Vokoun only by how terrible it ended up being. The Hawks survived the late push from the Hawks and march up the standings... at least for a few more days til they drop back to 7th because of not playing for a few days anyway.
- Welcome to the top line Viktor Stalberg - stick around long enough and things like that will end up happening for you. Keep that stick on the ice, sir.
- Yet another scary moment as Marian Hossa lost an edge, or something, and ended up taking a knee or skate to the head, or something. He looked shook up on the play and left for the dressing room causing a minor ulcer in everyone else to go along with Q's. He barely missed a shift though and based on his passing later on... he's alright.
- Yes, it was a solid night for Crawford as he came up with some big saves but the Hawks also did a fantastic job of limiting chances for the Panthers. Only 5 shots in the second? Yeah, that'll do. However, Crawford looked absolutely awful handling the puck tonight. On multiple occasions he held on to it far too long behind the net and nearly allowed the Cats to steal it for an easy wrap around.
Tomas Vokoun is just now getting back to his crease after sliding nearly 10 zip codes away on Kopecky's goal. The Hawks ran him early and fairly often and it seemed to achieve the desired effect later in the game. He was a little shaky and could not have been more out of place on the final goal of the night... or "a three-way slovaky passing beauty" if you're nasty.
- Brian Campbell had an uneventful return which is a good thing I suppose. His skating looked a little forced though so he's clearly no where near 100%. With every point worth it's weight in gold though, anything we can do to keep John Scott from skating only 5 minutes a night is worth it. Campbell actually had over 20 minutes tonight with Nick Leddy bringing up the rear for D-men with just over 14.
- Oh, and speaking of/to Leddy... feel free to shoot that puck next time.
- Frolik was over 60% at the dot... this I like. Toews took nearly half the draws though... no wonder he leads the league in wins.
- Dallas was 6 seconds away from winning a game in regulation over Anaheim. They blew it. I hate Dallas... not just because I'm a Redskins fan. The game on Saturday gets even bigger
- Not quite a DLR game.. close though.
- Marcus Krüger... for all those who thought Nick Leddy didn't quite look young enough. And yes, we're going to be using the umlaut as much as possible until the NHL puts it on his jersey. If he won't wear #13... we demand an umlaut on the sweater.
Player of the Game:
Seabrook seems to be the popular choice among most people tonight - and he was the first star of the night. But I'm going with Toews who continues to force this team to win. His two points tonight matched and then beat his career high for assists. Keep it up.