It's all over people! We don't have a prayer! Right, now that that's out of the way, we can continue. And apologies for not being able to find the picture of the good Reverend running through the Springfield streets, but you get the idea.
Anyway, the first one is in the books, and it comes with only a point. There was some good things, some bad things to take from this one. So, to start off, the first period was complete garbage. Both teams played like I chase girls at a bar, scrambled with no plan and always getting there too late. I'm not sure either team completed more than two consecutive passes in the first frame. The only good to come out of it was that Huet made some big time saves, and Greg Campbell put up the first nominee for Miss of The Season. Other than that, there isn't too much else to say.
Once the second period started, the Hawks calmed down, and pretty much proceeded to maul Florida. Kane finally made it count by catching a clearance coming out of the box, and when we all thought the chance had gone after a brief slip with the puck, those devil-laden hands came to the rescue and he put Vokoun in the corner and went backhand. This kid is going to have a stupid good year. Florida later tied it when the Hawks failed to pick up the late man in Frolik (a continuing theme) and after receiving a nifty pass from Steven Reinprecht, buried it from 10-15 feet. Not sure what Huet could do about a prime chance alone in the slot, but feel free to bitch.
The 3rd period was the 2nd period exaggerated. 24 motherfuckin' shots. To 7. Sadly, the two times the Panthers got a foothold in our zone, they scored. Buff was able to score off a Kane rebound, and I think Denis Seidenberg is going to needs some serious amounts of lager to get over dealing with Buff. But that was undone after a too-many men penalty, a bugaboo from last year rearing it's ugly head, and the Hawks losing a late man again, this time Koistinen. Sharp gave us what looked like the winner later, but this time Bolland went a little goofy in his own end, and Booth made no mistake. This was the only goal you can pin on Huet if you want -- he was screened on the second -- but David Booth lasers pucks past a lot of goalies.
You know how I feel about shootouts, it's pretty random, so whatever. Good: Hammer was a stud all game long. Huet made some nice saves in the first, and Kane was everywhere. Toews actually appeared on the PK. Bad: Huet's glove hand, especially considering he didn't have much to do in the last two periods, Coach Q waited all of a period to play Line-a-palooza, Sopel looked like a drunken wildebeast. Turnovers aplenty and dumb penalties as well.
Whatever, just the first game, and we said 3 of 4 points was acceptable. The Hawks get 55 shots most nights, should be all right, no? Talk tomorrow.
Player Of The Game
Well, it really should be Vokoun, who was all kinds of awesome. But if we have to pick a Hawk, and we do, I'm inclined to say Super Nintendo Hjalmars, as he was solid all game, but I won't. It's 20-cent