The Hawks have ocassionally been guilty this year of playing only up to the speed of their oppenents. When they play Detroit or San Jose - they play brilliant hockey (for most of the game anyway).. when they play the Kings, Leafs or Yotes - they ease up, resulting in close games or loses.
That wasn't the case last night - they took the same energy and skill they played with in the first two periods of the Detroit game and took the Yotes out of the game after the first and put up such a big lead that they actually were able to hold it for a very boring third period. We all knew it was going to be boring - at least as boring as a 6 goal lead can be.
13 different Hawks players came away with a point from last nights game - highlighted by Ladd's 4 points. Even Sopel had a good game ending the night +3 and making a great play in the first going down to block a shot/lane and at the same time reaching his stick out for a great poke while also getting up and clearing the puck away. I heard at least 3 people in my section blurt out "SOPEL!?!" afterwards since I'm sure we all thought it was Keith.
It's good to see the Hawks beat up on a team they should be beating up on - sometimes literally. In addition to the 7 goals there were 4 fighting majors a few with some surprise participants. Rather than go goal-by-goal for the extended recap - we'll go with the fights - click below for that.
This fight really made no sense to me at all - I didn't even know Craig Adams was playing last night. Carcillo is the Yotes tough guy and one of the better fighters in the league for his size. He's already been in 8 fights this year which puts him near the top of the NHL in fighting majors. Adams meanwhile was in 8 fights all of last year and lost a majority of them. This was his first fight this year and it was another loss for Adams. Glad it got broken up quickly though since Adams was blind out there at the end. Credit goes to him for sticking up for his team and not going down after some of those big bombs by Carcillo. It's also worth noting that 38 seconds after this fight the Hawks scored their first goal and never looked back. So overall - not a bad fight.
The second fight, 10 minutes into the second period, was the big win for the Hawks on the fight card -I'm not really sure why it started though. I hadn't noticed Hale going after anyone and the Hawks were already up 7-0 at that point. These two had fought before so maybe they just don't like each other... Anyways, Eager manages to not only not get a concussion but lands a big left that drops Hale. This fight put Eager just an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick. Eager had already scored his two goals for the night so he could take the rest of the night off - good showing from the game's Number Two Star. How great is the reaction from Gretzky too? I guess he was going for a creepy child-molesting priest look for last night too. Then again, maybe he just lost a bet and had to wear that..
A pretty clear draw on this fight between Brouwer and Jovanovski -this one came 6 minutes into the third so all the scoring was done. This looks like pure frustration on the part of the Coyotes and both players get in some good shots before the linesmen step in. No major damage - nothing really to say.
Ahhhh yes - the winner of the What the Fuck? award of the night. The fight we all came to see and were hoping for all night. Finally, with 1.1 seconds left the two heaviest of heavyweights throw down. VERSTEEG! against Turris. Ali vs. Foreman ain't got shit on this one. The Great One had another fit about this fight. I don't really know what was going on in VERSTEEG!'s head but he says Turris challenged him so he went. This was both boys first NHL regular season fight.
I'd personally like to thank VERSTEEG! for single handedly winning my PIM category in a fantasy league as not only does our boy get a fighting major and an instigator penalty - but he also gets two game misconducts. I'd challenge any of you to get 27 minutes of penalties with just over a second left in a game. That's not easy. Not really sure about the instigator penalty though - Kris did throw the first shots and does seem to show no mercy to a guy who very quickly realized he didn't want to fight but oh well. I was more upset with how long it took them to drop the puck after all this.
We also get our obligatory Eddie-O comment about fighting with visors. Yes - it's dumb. This could also be a fight between two guys who are going for the Calder if only Turris would live up to his hype. His stats so far have been a bit disappointing, especially compared to VERSTEEG!
|2008 - Kyle Turris||2||6||8||-6||6|
|2008 - Kris Versteeg||7||15||22||13||8|
Those stats are also not fully up to date as the PIM clearly show but 8 points to 22 along with a difference in +/- of 19 clearly shows who is having the better year.
All in all - great game for the Hawks.