Well, I hope the barbecue was worth the trip for Fels and Killion, because the hockey certainly wasn't. I'll hit some of the highlights and lowlights in the bullets, so let's just get to it.
- Perhaps the biggest lowlight is the injury to Jonathan Toews, who left midway through the second frame. I'm guessing this has something to do with the wrist/hand injury that he sustained last night, but there's no way to say for sure. We all know how important Toews is to this team, so I won't spend too much time reiterating it, but if the injury is even the slightest bit serious, I'd suggest that the Hawks go the Derrick Rose route by sitting Captain Serious from Tuesday through the All-Star break. With the way the Hawks are playing on the road right now (4 game road losing streak, bringing them to an underwhelming 10-9-2 on the season), I can't bear the thought of not having Johnny for any portion of the 9-game Ice Capades trip.
- Nashville didn't dominate this game as the score indicates that they did. Pour goaltending, a pair of defensive mistakes, and a couple tough bounces kept the game from being as competitive as it should have been. The 23-22 shot totals don't point to a beating, and neither do the CORSI numbers. Not that any of that should make you feel better when competing in a division that refuses to let up (wins for Detroit and St. Louis again tonight).
- I still can't bring myself to full panic as it pertains to Corey Crawford's play, but I'm inching my way there with each performance of this caliber. The fault level assigned to Crow on Klein's 80-footer is up for debate to some degree, but Crow was spitting out bad rebounds for the better part of two periods, and it definitely cost him on the powerplay goal in the first. We'll get to Dunc's part on the fourth goal in a minute, but the bigger concern might be how badly Crow was fooled by Kostitsyn's simple move on the breakaway. I don't know how much of the blame should go to Crawford adapting to his newer aggressive style, but a simple deke put Crow on his stomach looking up at an easy tally for the Pred's. I'll leave it to the Goalie Guild to tell you what Crow's problem is there, but whatever it is, it's a little embarrassing.
- As is typically the case, the blame shouldn't fall completely on Crawford. When the game was still in doubt, a couple of brutal defensive mistakes doomed the Men of Four Feathers. I can forgive Leddy's turnover on goal number 3 (which was a phenomenal keep in by Hornqvist) because Nik Hjalmarsson had a chance to prevent the goal, and like we've seen way too many times this year, he failed to do so. Between Bolland coming back, and Crow coming out to cover his angle, it appeared that only way Nashville could score would be on a backdoor play. Hammer went for the poke check on Legwand, and after that attempt failed, he managed to let a pass go right by his blade for a tap in goal for Wilson. Dunc and Leddy combined for a vintage spazfest on goal number 4. Dunc got fooled by an Erat chip out of the zone, and then let Mike Fisher blow right by him. Leddy, who admittedly was left hanging out to dry, played the subsequent 2 on 1 about as poorly as he could play it; he couldn't decide whether he was going to try and retrieve the puck or play the pass on the two on one, and he he allowed an easy pass to Kostitsyn who finished the play, as we already discussed.
- Stalberg, Kruger, and Bruno all heard the cruel ping of the iron. That's how it goes some nights, I guess.
- So much for Kane building off of last night's dominating performance.
- On the bright side, I somewhat baselessly predicted a big night for Hossa and his linemates, and they made me look pretty damn smart. The lines got a bit jumbled up after Toews left the game, but for the most part, the Shaw-Kruger-Hossa line was all sorts of awesome this evening.
- If Nashville beats Columbus on Monday night, Tuesday's tilt at the UC could be for third place in the division. Heading into a 9 game road trip in fourth place in the Central sounds like a scary proposition, eh?