Man, did that feel like last Sunday's game. Home team rolls visitor for opening period, probably should have put the game away but didn't. Second period acts as the lever as game teeter totters to the visitors, who then proceed to strangle the third period. Only this time, the road team couldn't find the OT goal. In fact, the road team couldn't find the attacking zone in OT.
So this midseason trilogy between the Auld Central rivals is in the books. Both teams gathered four points in them. While I think a lot of us were hoping for an opening up of the division lead during this stretch, the bare minimum was to not lose ground in them, and the Hawks did that (though they lost ground in their other losses, which we didn't see coming). They remain atop the Central, depending on what the Blues do to Minnehaha tonight -- which is of course win because that's kind of what St. Louis does at home these days.
-Please read this carefully, because I don't want to get torn to shreds in the comments by people who miss the larger point here. Corey Crawford had a good game, maybe even a very good game. But part of that opening onslaught, repeat: part, was due to still some less than stellar rebound control from Crow. It wasn't, as it has been, resulting in goalmouth scrambles where he has to make two or three saves to keep the puck out. But it did result in only clearances to the corner or chips out of the zone that just had the Wings coming back again. What you'd really like is Crawford to suck some of those shots up, get whistles, break the play up and maybe halt momentum. Then again, the Hawks probably would have lost that ensuing draw anyway. The bottom line, however, is that Crow kept the Hawks in the game just enough for them to get back into it. At this point in the season, that is more than enough. It's a step in the right direction, but there's still a lot to correct.
-Hey Eddie and Pierre, it's pretty damn hard to get a forecheck going when all your dump ins are just to get a change after spending a shift in your zone. Fix the first problem before worrying about the next.
-While I've scoffed and gotten upset about the anti-Kane talk, I can't escape that the past two games Kane has been hiding a bit. That's unlike him. There was a 3-on-2 in the second period where Kane tried for all the world to do anything but shoot, until he was left with no choice. Pierre pointed out some lackluster forechecking, which seemed only partially true due to the play. However, I disagree with Mike Milbury, shocking I know, that it has to do with switching positions a couple times. Kane's been back at wing for a stretch now, and it's just his confidence isn't there. It will be again.
-Funny though, Kane sucks when he's not scoring because he doesn't backcheck or forecheck hard, but Frolik does both of those furiously while not scoring, but he sucks too. I can't keep up with all the reasons players suck.
-Thanks to the Ombudsman, I hereby announce that Andrew Shaw will now be dubbed: Chicken Hawk. Chicken Hawks got him a chicken today, on a play by Howard that is what lazy looks like.
-While Kane's drawing a lot of the ire with Sharp out, Marian Hossa hasn't been a world better either. He's been chipping in assists here and there, and got the goal that tied the game after a couple bounces. But for most of the game he was erratic and turnover happy. The fact that the Hawks have gone 2-0-1 without Sharp without much from Hossa, Kane, and honestly Toews (on the scorehseet at least) has to be categorized as encouraging.
-I saw a lot on Twitter bemoaning the power play, but at least it provided some dangerous looks today. And it's mostly coming from the second unit, maybe because they are happy to keep things simple: work from the goal line out, get shots from the point with traffic in front. Learn, first unit.
-These have been Andrew Brunette's best two games as a Hawk, i wish he had more than an assist to show for it.
So it's all in the books, and we don't deal with these guys for another month. From reading some Wings' fans tweets, they aren't all that encouraged either. After these three games, I'm as if not more convinced that the Hawks will take the division this year, because there are other teams who can expose the Wings lack of speed in defense as the Hawks have done for a majority of the 9+ periods these past two weeks. Scum are still more than capable of playingg five-a-side with your skull for a stretch, but not for 60 like it used to be. Add to that a fade from their aged legs as the season goes on, along with the Blues having to come back to this planet at some point, and that's my conclusion. I will now be prepared to be slayed by Wings fans in the comments...