Oh Mr. Sharp... How we missed you.
Shooter was a huge boost to the offense that has been struggling lately and was one of the prime reasons for today's much needed win (Any guesses who the player of the game will be?)
The Hawks provided the first all around complete game since the victory over... I guess maybe the Canes but maybe even as far back as the Stars over a month ago now. Sharp started the game on a line with Brouwer and Toews and right out of the gate the Hawks looked like a team that was going to dominate the game. Check out the Shift Charts to see the rest of the lines. Might as well throw out the CORSI numbers here too.
And for the most part they did dominate. LA couldn't stay out of the penalty box, the Hawks limited them to only 5 shots per period and were out-hitting the Kings all game. The only aspect that seemed a bit shaky was some of the passing from the forwards. I noticed Keith and Biscuit make some great passes from the Hawks zone but more than a few of the passes from Kane or other forwards were just a bit off and kept the Hawks from getting some better chances.
So when the Kings scored about 17 minutes we only had a one-goal game on our hands and we were all still nervous. The Hawks had dominated the Kings all game but had little to show for it. Luckily just two minutes later the Kings pulled Quick and Sharp was able to pull off his trick shot he'd been working on during his rehab. Hitting both posts on an empty net is not something I think I've ever seen before but it looked nice. Havlat's final goal a minute later to fully seal the game was nice but certainly lacked the flash Shooter showed earlier.
These two points were huge for the Hawks as this next week is going to be hell. You couldn't ask for an uglier ending to March than having to face the Sharks, Devils and Canucks. Things don't get any prettier after that either, there's one game against the Canadiens who are very beatable and then it's all Central Division from then on out. The Hawks needed these two points so it's great to get them.
Player of the Game - Well it's obviously Sharp, but it could easily go to Havlat (again) or Seabrook who once again was a monster. Biscuit ended the game with 7 recorded hits. But with two goals and an assist Patrick Sharp made a statement right away and will hopefully coax all the worriers away from the ledge they've been standing on this month.
Welcome back Sharp - we've missed you.