Okay, first of all Air Traffic AJ. McClure's Wolverine, Matt gets to be Mr. Fantastic, and I end up being The Watcher? Is this because I'm bald? Totally not fair. McClure's not fueled by rage, he just holds on to that teenage angry-at-nothing-because-I'm-supposed-to-be-and-don't-know-any-better thing. The Watcher. Unbelievable (For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, please read the beginning of the 3rd period thread).
Anyway, the fact that I chose to lead off with comments about the comments lets you know I don't have much emotion about this one. But do check out the Corsi Numbers. Keith's +24 might be the highest number for a single game I've ever seen. The rest are pretty silly too.
We were all afraid of this game, and not helping was a snowstorm on Tobacco Road that left a dead arena. We kind of thought the bus would be running, but I'm not sure it was. I mean, 41 shots is 41 shots, and some of them very prime chances. It wasn't so long ago that suggesting Cam Ward should be Canada's starting goalie in the Olympics was not greeted by laughter but was completely logical. He showed you why tonight.
The 1st was kind of a nothing period until the very end. The only goal Huet gave up that I have complaints about, as a blast from the point that hits you in the chest should be swallowed up. Still, it bounced to Tom Kostopoulos who should have been tied up by Keith and/or Seabrook. He wasn't, and the puck found its way to Sergei "Yes I Still Play" Samsonov for a dunk. Terrible time to give up a goal.
Still, didn't seem to affect the Hawks greatly, they came out flying in the 2nd and buggy-whipped the Canes 16-6 on the shotboard. Hossa made it count with a wicked backhand. But equality wasn't didn't survive long, after a nifty passing play between Staal and Andrew Alberts left Jokinen with an open net that Huet was unlucky to not pull off a miracle save on. I think this came after Keith completely air mailed a blast wide that led to the rush, but I'll check. When you're luck's out, it's out.
Again, a late goal didn't seem to faze the Hawks in the next period, and they found parity quickly when Ladd buried a chance after more good work from Hossa (fucking Christ he's awesome). But again, egalitarianism was to be an early casualty. Campbell and Kane got caught puck-watching, leaving Brandon Sutter (he of the 15 uncles) dying of loneliness in front of Huet, allowing plenty of time for a sweet tip of Chad LaRose's blast. Moments later, Mark Cullen didn't have his stick tied up by Keith and he was able to tip in another fine goal.
Though the Hawks had some chances after that, it was pretty much over. Whatever, I can't sit here and complain about a 5-3 road trip. And I can complain about anything.
-I know buildings should be allowed to chase every event they can to turn a profit. But what tin-headed moron schedules a basketball game a mere five hours before a hockey game is supposed to take place? There had better be another event there tomorrow. Though both the Staples Center and and TD Bank Garden host hockey games and basketball games on the same day, the hockey always comes first, presumably to help the ice. With the Hawks long trek from San Jose preceding this, I'm assuming an afternoon game was out of the question. But the ice was awful. How many pucks bounced away from both teams, ruining chances? Good and clever play should be rewarded, and building/ice quality is something the NHL really needs to look at.
-The Brent Seabrook Magical Mystery Tour continues.
-The Hawks got horsed in the faceoff circle in a manner that Catherine The Great would have been proud of, 32-16.
-It's comforting to know that the Hawks have two forwards who can absolutely dominate entire games in Hossa and Kane. It was Boss Hoss's turn tonight. I think only Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Detroit (possibly Vancouver, though the Sedins really count as one) could boast of such a thing.
-Good god was the officiating terrible. How many calls did they miss? 12?
-The 6-on-4 power play looked worse than the 5-on-4 normally does, which is saying something.
-I know people around the country are going to read Huet's stats tonight and we'll have the pleasure of reading more columns and blogs about he will keep us from winning, but even Mr. Fantastic/Killion couldn't have done much about three of those goals. But we're the only ones who know.
-Whatever, the trip's over, and for all the teeth-gnashing and complaining, 5-3 is a successful trip, especially when it has wins against Detroit and San Jose in it. Like the Hawks will themselves, we're taking the day off tomorrow (McClure's out with his whole family tonight, he won't be awake until 5pm Sunday, and I'll probably be joining him). We'll talk again on Monday, enjoy the rest of your weekend. .