Stars coming to the UC? You better believe that's a paddlin'!!
I will admit that before this game, I was nervous. The Hawks were playing a team playing some of the best hockey around, with a style that generally gives the Hawks trouble, in the first home game after a long road trip. Before last season, the Hawks had been horsed by Turco on a regular basis. One of these days, I'll learn to believe.
First off, let me say I missed Sharp's injury. I was still on my way in from selling The Indian. After seeing the replays last night, it does not appear to be that dirty of a play? Unneccessary? Maybe. But if you're along the boards and looking for the puck at your feet, a player like Steve Ott is going to take a run at you. If Ott were yours, you'd want him to, that's his game. It looked like (stress: looked like) he was just attempting a normal check and their knees just happened to collide. Of course when a teammate is hurt it's good to see the others stand up for him, but I don't think this is a case of a deliberate attempt to injure.
Anyway, to the game. From the first whistle, the Hawks were intent on skating and working harder than the Stars, and did so by a country mile. After Sharp's injury, they harkened back to the "Hit or Die" days of the old Stadium. Even Buff was leaving a trail of dead in his wake (only for one period though). More importantly, the Hawks won almost every battle along the boards and for loose pucks, causing the Stars to take more and more penalties, as they couldn't keep up. The Hawks cashed in through Brouwer off a sweet feed from Captain Marver. So, let's get this straight: Brouwer hits the post from a foot out but buries one past Turco through two defenders from 15 times as far? Just checking...
Apparently, during the first intermission, Toews and Havlat decided it was now Marty's turn to be the best player on the ice. He bulged the onion bag twice, and the second was a real beauty. After turning it over in the Dallas zone, Mach 24 beat it back to his zone, broke up a Stars rush, put a cross ice pass to Bolland that was probably equidistant from each end of the stick, then raced back up ice to receive a return pass and bury a shot through the few inches of space he had. What a player (don't think I didn't notice that on the night I write my ode to Marty in the Indian's Editorial he puts on this performance. In the immortal words of Wile E., "Super genius.") Most of us were convinced he would get his trick, but next time.
When Brent Krahn came out to start the 3rd, I thought it was curious to say the least. Was Turco hurt? Surely only a three goal lead was not insermountable (though the way the Stars were going, this game was over as soon as Brouwer scored). After reading Tippet's quotes, it was to shield Turco from further shelling, which was coming. Needless to say Krahn got a rough intro to The Show, with the Hawks breathing fire to put this one away, and Toews and Fraser doing so.
We'll discuss Sharp's injury when we know more tomorrow. Assuredly it will mean a call-up for Skille, but we'll see. Today, let's just revel on how dominant our Hawks can be. Oh, right, Corsi and shift charts. The Corsi numbers are pretty hilarious.