We have a nominee for worst performance of the season (which isn't all that long of a list, thankfully). Awfully generous of the Hawks to help cheer up the greater Nashville area after their Titans debacle. Unfortunately, we had to sit through it as well. When your coach has to put out your 4th line to generate offense, you're probably having a crap night. So it was for The Men of Four Feathers. Eager, Burish, and Fraser, along with Huet, were about the only Hawks to show up.
Here are your shift charts and Corsi. What jumps out is not only the 4th line, but Wiz's and Barker's numbers. Can't say I ever noticed Barker, but certainly did Wiz. He was constantly pushing the play, crashing the net, and pinching down. If only more could have.
The Hawks looked out of it from the start, and never got going. This was a thoroughly mailed-in effort. Coach Q immediately went to the line shake-up to get things going, which meant Sharp up to the top line. That's two games in a row that's happened. If this is a trend that continues for too much longer, it may be time to give Kontiola a call-up and end the Sharp-at-center portion of our program We've railed on his face-offs before, and it's time to get his scoring touch going again. It would also help Toews tremendously to have Kane with him permanently, but again, that's not something that has to be done now. Just something to watch.
We were worried that the Preds' emotional win over the Pens on Thursday would leave us facing a charged-up outfit. So it was. The Hawks were mauled in the 1st, and only for Huet was the game not a laugher by then. Getting outshot 15-5 only begins to tell the story, as the Hawks looked to be skating drunkenly in mud. Legwand was able to finally cash in for a goal which was the least the Preds deserved.
The 2nd was slightly better, but not by much. Norris candidate Shea Weber netted on the power play, and a Bolland chance and a flurry in the last 10 seconds were about all the Hawks mustered.
Again, the 3rd was only a slight improvement on the previous period, and there looked a glimmer of hope when Burish scored one of the dumber goals of the season. He surely didn't know much about it. But he gets his dessert for skating hard to the net. However, the contest was over when Radek Bonk (Radek Bonk!) was allowed to get his own dump in, beat Toews to the net and beat Huet high-glove.
A night to forget. Two losses in a row is nothing to panic over. However, the Hawks had better get to the break strong, because afterwards there's an ugly-looking 8-game roadtrip, and you wouldn't want to have to get hot on that to cancel out a lacklustre stretch before it.