Who would have guessed that after a first period that included 5 goals off 23 shots, 5 penalties and a fight... we'd be in for such a quiet and boring game?
The Hawks certainly didn't play their sharpest game but they played well enough to beat a team they've struggled against and snap out of slump at home and keep their season-long losing streak at 3 games.
Toews got things started for the Hawks on another redirect from the point. This time it was Big Country Matt Walker (to steal a nickname) providing the initial shot. The young captain now has 14 points in the last 10 games. Speaking of point streaks, the bearded wonder kept his point-streak alive by providing assists on the final two goals on two beautiful passes right to the stick of Buff (who also had a good game) and Bolland who wasn't his normal-self but still managed to ice the game and win everyone in the crowd a free Big Mac. Havlat has 13 points in 8 games now and continues to build support for a new contract among once jaded Hawks fans who couldn't have seen him in another team's sweater soon enough.
Niemi looked good in the net but shakey. He made a few good saves but didn't seem to have the confidence yet needed for a NHL goalie. He gave up Huet-like rebounds occasionally and didn't seem aware of the puck's position after making several saves. It was nothing to be concerned about... yet. From some of the reports during the game it sounded like Khabby was still a fair distance away from returning to the ice so it'd be good to get Niemi more starts to spell Huet. Huet hasn't proven he can be a workhorse for the team so it'd be best to get him as much rest as possible in case Khabby really can't make it back anytime soon.
Shift Charts and CORSI for you to ponder. Skille saw more time on the ice this afternoon and improved his CORSI rating to an even zero. I actually noticed him on the ice tonight and didn't see any major blunders. He played with VERSTEEG! and Buff - for the most part this line didn't produce anything yet again (Buff was skating with Ladd and Marty for his goal). Here's hoping the Hawks can pick up a center at the deadline so we can shift VERSTEEG! over to the wing again because while he's been good on face-offs, he hasn't produced points at the pivot and is in danger of losing his nickname unless something changes. More on that later.
The Second City Player of the Game has to be the man with all the points - Martylark Lemon Havlat... And I'm going to steal a photoshop from one of our commenters - thanks happyhuman
For now it was good to see the Hawks win again, especially on home ice. Enjoy the rest of your sunday.