31-10. The Hawks have a +21 goal differential this year vs Columbus, and a -7 vs. the rest of the league (or maybe it's -3, not sure if the numbers have been updated for tonight's game). Now the intent here is not to take anything away from a Hawks team that's playing some of it's best hockey of the year (considering they're doing it without Toews), but more to point out just how sorry a state the Jackets are in these days. For all the complaining we might do about being in a division that has 4 of the West's top 5 teams in terms of points per game, at least we can take some solace in the fact that we got to wipe our feet with the league's doormat six times this season.
I'm not sure this one warrants a goal by goal breakdown, so let's just hit a few bullets and get some sleep.
- That makes 13 points (6 goals) in the month of March for Patrick Sharp; if he can manage three more points in the next 5 games, he'll have his largest point month of the season, and I'd assume one of, if not the highest point month of his career. Over the last month Sharp's quietly become the team leader in plus-minus at +25.
- Speaking of Sharp, it's not difficult to point out a PP unit's success when they're on the ice for 2 goals, but even with that said, you can see what could continue to work with Shaw-Sharp-Hoss. Hossa is great with the puck, Sharp finds open space better than anyone on the team, and Shaw isn't afraid to get his nose dirty in front of the net. Who would've thought that Sharp could have a positive impact away from the point? Oh that's right, just about everyone.
- I don't want to throw cold water on your raging Hawks boner, but hot mess Steve Mason still has one more shutout than the Hawks.
- When Sam mentioned that the Hawks should try to use open teammates in the slot when getting the puck out of their zone, I don't think he envisioned Corey Crawford as the passer in that situation.
- The results tonight were good, but Columbus had plenty of chances in the first and the third; Leddy and Oduya in particular, got a little squirrelly with the puck in their own zone. Luckily, Corey Crawford played one of his more confident games in some time, but I suppose the early three goal lead didn't hurt. It'll be interesting to see who Q goes with tomorrow. Crow's had plenty of rest the last couple months, and there's a three day break between the next two games.
- Hack's Rewind Your DVR moment of the game: I believe it was about 4-6 minutes into the third; Hossa had a scoring chance and was caught well into the left circle when Rick Nash got the puck going back the other way. Hossa had no business catching Nash in that situation, but A) he's just that awesome and B) I'm guessing it's difficult to skate with one's wiener tucked.
- If Andrew Shaw can consistently make intelligent decisions in the neutral zone, I think he's going to be successful in April
- Not that this means all that much within the context of tonight's game, but the CORSI numbers for Bruno-Kane-Hoss were pretty brutal; that won't fly tomorrow night.
- Brandon Bollig had 4 shots to go along with another useless scrap......damn it.
- The current hot streak has put the Hawks just two points behind Detroit and Nashville (who both have a game in hand), but unfortunately, Nashville has an ROW in hand as well. I'm not going to be careful what I wish for, if the Hawks can't take the 4th seed, I'd rather have the 6 spot than the 5th.
Magic Numbers for a playoff berth - 9 over Calgary, 10 over Colorado, and 11 over Phoenix.
Player of the Game
While he didn't have all that much to do with 2 of his four assists, the first and last were nice, and four points is four points.