Quite a bit of terrifyingly ugly in that high five.
Now that that's over with, at least we won't have to go through much more misty-eyed reminiscing of a Cup won two years ago when there's still quite a large task at hand of acquiring the one that's still up for grabs in six months. After going their first 15 games without a regulation loss when scoring first, the Hawks have now lost their last two. This tilt was predictably fast paced and high-scoring, with both teams trading periods of exerting themselves offensively while the respective defensive corps did their best Roger Dorn impersonations. In an ending reminiscent of the last time the Hawks were in Philly for a regular season game, a late penalty to Patrick Kane proved the death knell for the Hawks, as their passive and sloppy kill was torched by Claude Giroux who was given all the time in the world by all four Hawks to find Scott Hartnell, who relayed a pass from down low to a streaking JVR who didn't miss on the game winner. Flyers 5, Hawks 4.
- The early returns from Hawk nation are that of bellowing of no minors being called on the Flyers during the game. With the way the game was officiated, I'm not sure what they could have called that would have been within the context of the game they were allowing to happen. Though it is curious how Patrick Sharp wound up with four minutes for nary a scratch on Giroux, otherwise the zebras let the boys play.
- While the defensive zone coverage was for the most part abhorrent from the Hawks tonight, Ray Emery finally got exposed by a team that had the skill and patience to get him moving laterally. All 5 Flyer goals forced Razor to move post to post. And though Emery did make several solid stops, his rebound control left a lot to be desired.
- I'm sure the legends of Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes are already being penned in leather bound, gilded page volumes as we speak. While both had nice games, and showed some hands both in close and in space, let's wait for a bigger sample size before everyone goes all Ben Smith on them. And I'm pretty sure there's still bone fragments from Shaw's skull getting kicked around the Wells Fargo ice.
- Nice of Pat and Eddie to finally tell us that Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers' best defensman with Pronger out, missed the last half of the first period and was only able to muster 3 short shifts at the start of the second with about 5 minutes left to go in that frame. I'm sure the shoutouts and waxing poetic about the Hawks training staff were more important, though.
- The Corsi numbers defy logic all over the place.
- Oh hey, Dave Bolland with an assist. So nice of him to make the trip.
- Something needs to be done with the defensive zone coverage. If the Hawks can't cut off the opposition's zone entry, they're getting repeatedly hemmed in and consequently clowned. The Hawk D men are going to need to a better job at closing in on puck carriers and angling them at the wall, rather than just flailing their sticks at them bent at the waist. Hawk wingers would be well served to stay interested in their checks crashing into the slot as well, rather than waiting for their chance to shotgun back up ice.
In a rare instance, Marian Hossa was particularly guilty of this on the Harry Zwasweriosasdoflkmnsadecyk goal, as he let him just waltz into the slot uncovered after Dylan Olsen had forced his man into a low percentage shot from the corner, and OD was in his rightful place occupying a man in front of Emery.
- For as iffy as he's been all year, The Universe was so humahngusbig when it counted (timely humor!), even if he almost filled his diaper at the end.
- Patrick Sharp officially has his annual case of the post-Holiday yips. A prolonged homestand with a newborn during one of the Hawks' densest stretches of games probably isn't helping things in the rest department either. Even with that being the case, it might be time to get him back at the pivot, as Kane's line got dong whipped in their own end tonight on a fairly consistent basis.
- If nothing else, the Hawks will have very little time to dwell on that cock-punch of an ending, as the suddenly relevant Avalanche are back at the UC tomorrow, which will be just as fast paced an affair as tonight's was. And on the plus side, at least we won't have to look at Matt Duchene's face tomorrow.