But they certainly did not play smart hockey and so much for streaks ending now - maybe 10 days from now is the right time to switch things up.
If there's one thing we can say about this game, it's that the Hawks can certainly skate with the best teams in the league. From a certain stand-point, this game could have gone either way with the right bounces. There were several times that the Sharks could have knocked a few more home, and a few chances that the Hawks could have come away with two points.
The problem came into the third period where the Hawks once again experienced the pain of not playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. This game they came out sloppy, then started to dominate, then once again played like they were a few steps behind the pace of the Sharks.
When it comes right down to it... you can't give up as many penalties as the Hawks did and expect to win. The PK teams were a highlight of the past few weeks, but tonight they gave up 4 goals, just like Calgary did in the Sharks last game. Had it not been for those multiple penalties the Hawks could have won the game.
I wrote this a few hours ago:
The Hawks have been great on the kill this year though and are still near the top of the league killing penalties 89.6% of the time. I'd still like to see them stay out of the box against this team though.
And fuckin' a if I didn't have the right feeling about the game. The Sharks scored four times with the extra man.
The game ultimately came down to special teams - with flashes of brilliance on each side. Versteeg, or as he's been come to know on some blogs and as I will refer to him from now as VERSTEEG! , practically kept the team in the game but it ultimately just wasn't enough. His two goals may be considered "flukes" by some sources - but they should rightly be thought of as hard work and lucky breaks.
His shorthanded goal to tie it up at 1 all was all about not giving up on the play. Boucher thought he had an easy play - but coughed it up when put under some pressure. His third goal was more of the fluke - but still came from hard work and the right moves. I doubt his idea was to score a goal by getting the puck back in front of the net - but things just happen that way if you try.
The third period unfortunately was all Sharks - the dominated the play and drew three hooking penalties - two of which the Sharks took advantage of.
Sopel once again looked like shit out on the ice - slow as balls and the control of a 15 year old on his first date. His whiff on the puck halfway through the second directly gave up a goal to Roenick (who still does not need to be feared). I don't know if the Hawks can afford it - but once Wiz comes back he's the guy who simply has to go. Was he this bad last year? I really don't remember him being so terrible - but that could be just bad memory. Luckily once that turn over happened he was rarely seen on the ice again.
Huet looked terrible again early on - giving up huge rebounds on fairly straight-forward shots - like the one Super Joe was able to score on to kill an momentum the Hawks had after VERSTEEG!'s shortie. He was able to keep things under control a bit better from the second on - but the early goals still didn't help the Hawks any.
To wrap it all up - the Sharks were obviously able to catch weaknesses in the Hawks Power Play and take full advantage of the. At least two of the goals came from guys flying in the back side to put it behind Huet - obviously knowing they'd be free in those situations.
So ends the Hawks road trip at 2-1-2... this may be the first time in a while fans can look forward to the circus trip with a chance to continue a good streak against a few weak teams and a few they could possibly upset at home.
Ultimately - a bad effort and an end to the point streak at home - but not the end of the world. Perhaps getting away from home can do a team good.. we'll see.