Atop The Sugar Pile - 4/16

Check the bees for head injury

Let's do it.

The Dizzying Highs

Brent Seabrook - Now if he could only get his shots through on the power play, we might have something. Seabs scored the heart attack equalizer on Thursday and got the assist for Patrick Sharp on Saturday. And he's a +2 for the series thanks to that, and moreover has been his usual steady self at the back. Most of the Hawks problems in the Hawks defense have come from other pairs, or the yips from his partner The Flash. But Seabrook is just there doing what he does.

The Third Line - Bickell and Bolland combined for the one power play goal they have, and there was Bickell to net the winner off a steal from Viktor Stalberg on Saturday (and with Shaw almost certainly looking at a suspension, I sure wouldn't mind Stalberg and Bickell getting more chances together to replay their fine work together from early in the season). But the trio of Shaw, Bolland, and Bicks have been dominant on almost every shift they've played, as Fabulous Weapon and Bicks have instantly upped their games in April. Bickell's been a physical force as well, and Phoenix's top line, though hampered by injuries to both Hanzal and Vrbata at different points, hasn't gotten much of a sniff.

The Terrifying Lows

Niklas Hjalmarsson - Well, yeah, he's been throwing his weight around more, but I'd happily trade that in for something that doesn't resemble an ADD kid after six pack of Jolt when the puck is on his stick. While normally we would chalk this up to the usual Coyote pressure, most of Hjalmarsson's turnovers have come with nary a Yote in sight. The Phoenix equalizer in Game 1 came off pressure that started when Hammer made an idiotic cross-ice pass without an opponent even in the Hawks zone. It ended when he stole the puck from his own goaltender. After it, his play with the puck hasn't gotten much better. It's going to have to. He doesn't have to turn into Erik Karlsson back there, just simple, calm plays to get the Hawks out would be more than enough.

The Creamy Middles

Corey Crawford - I thought about throwing Crow into the first section here, but we're still talking about six goals in two games, even though there was little he could do about any of them, accept for possibly Vermette's blast in Game 1. Though Vermette got all of that one. But Saturday night's heroics would not have been possible without some huge saves from Crow, and that's all the Hawks are asking of him. Make the ones you should, throw in a handful of ones you shouldn't, and they'll find enough at the other end. If the Hawks can tighten up their defensive game and stop throwing the puck around like a college dining hall food fight, Crow's goals-against are going to come tumbling down. Just like the dice Mick and Keith told us about.

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