Just what I needed?
Once again - the Hawks stepped up in front of a big, loud, excited crowd and come up with a team victory. The Hawks also made a statement that they didn't need Patrick Kane to help them score goals, though he certainly could have helped on the power play a few times. It also helps that they played a team they've dominated lately.
The game was held much closer than it could have been by two great performances in the net for both teams. I know.. i know.. letting in 4 goals shouldn't really be considered a good performance. But the Hawks could have easily scored 3 or 4 more if it hadn't been for Kipper's quick glove. I didn't even notice they'd taken Kipper out in the third until I got back here and looked at the box score. Was he injured or just pulled?
Khabby once again came up huge for the Hawks too, especially in the third. The wall turned away 19 of the 20 shots he faced in the third... which was more than he faced in the first two periods combined. That does include the dominating second the Hawks had where they allowed only 5 shots (while scoring 3 goals).
Our boy VERSTEEG! earned even more admiration from us (I speak for all of us now) with a great shortie in the second. I'm sure Sam would have my head if I didn't point out that he was able to fully take advantage of Phaneuf totally blowing it on the point. VERSTEEG! was able to grab the puck bouncing off his skates and break towards the net putting it right through Kipper's five hole ( I just saw a replay of that goal.. did he really go five hole? It looked like he didn't have any room to put it in there but I didn't see it going around Kipper either... maybe I'm just missing something.. either way... wow). Just before the power play started I turned to my friend and said "I can't remember the last time the Hawks scored shorthanded... it'd be great to see one here". So thanks Steeger.. you made me look like a prophet. You also continued to boost your ratings in the Calder race...
It was also good to see Big Buff get one out there after taking a puck to the face earlier in the period. I always like seeing him grab a goal on the power play - especially when he gets one where we're all dying to see him - with his gargantuan self parked right in front of the net.
Check out the Shift Charts and CORSI Ratings here.. but I'd just like to once again pile on Phaneuf and say that he was a -3 tonight.. which includes being the cause of the aforementioned shorthanded goal. Iggy was -4 too.. so again.. Bolland's line dominates another teams super stars.
It was also nice to see Burish out on the ice again.. he doesn't make any impact on the stat line.. but I think I speak for a lot of Hawk fans when I say it's good to see our Man-Crush out there again..
I mentioned it before but the crowd tonight was great - they were loud during the anthem and all the close plays.. but I still had two big problems.
The first was that there was once again a ton of people yelling "SHOOT!!!" (at least in my section) during any Hawks power play. Why do people do this? Does anyone yell "SWING!!!" as a pitch is coming in? I've never been to an NBA game.. but do people yell "shoot!" there too? Well.. in the later case they probably do.. because basketball fans are idiots... (just kidding.. love you)
The other issue.. a big "fuck you" goes out to whatever asshole threw a puck onto the ice in the third period. The Hawks are never going to play in Wrigley again (most likely) so lets just abandon the whole notion that it's ever acceptable to throw things onto the ice. I'm a Cubs fan.. but the last thing I want is for the UC to become another Wrigley.
Great to see the Hawks try to right the ship against the Flames.. Lets keep it up.