You can get off the cliff, the Hawks will win a game this season. And rather impressively too. I suppose that one of the benefits, and there are many, of being Cup champions is that when you give up two in the first three minutes you have collected enough poise to shrug it off, put your head down, and go about winning the game anyway. That's pretty much what the Hawks did. Oh, and it didn't include a shutout so we can put that goalie controversy we know some are dying to start away for a little bit.
And it all started so poorly. Bryan Bickell and Brent Seabrook engaged in a "I can be more aloof than you can" in their own zone, somehow letting Drew Stafford having enough of the crease to himself to start picking out drapes. He made no mistake.
It got worse. Seabrook wasn't done doing his Bob McGill impression, and let Drew Stafford give him windburn, causing havoc in the zone, where Keith let Derek Roy have enough time for yoga before banging home a rebound past Corey Crawford.
But the Hawks calmed down, and slowly got their way back into the game. Once again, Viktor Stalberg and Jack Skille were the best Hawks on the ice, and eventually Patrick Kane potted one home on the power play -- though it still is most definitely CLOWN SHOES.
Then the major talking point of the game, when Niklas Hjalmarsson put the population of Pominville into darkness. I could see where a boarding major and a game misconduct were called. But this wasn't from behind, and Pominville wasn't facing the boards. In fact, Pominville saw him coming, and Hammer came from the side. I'm not sure the puck had gotten there yet, or it just barely had. I don't think the call was scandalous though, and anything these days that results in that sort of injury is going to draw the league's ire. But the game turned on the Hawks killing that off. I'm going to guess there's not going to be a suspension here, as this is Hammer's first offense and again, it wasn't exactly a blindside hit, but stranger things have happened.
In the 2nd period, the Stanley Cup champs we remember took to the ice, and pretty much pummeled the Sabres up and down. Leddy potted his first after some determined work from Kopecky and Toews. Hossa was able to sneak on after a change and Bickell found him with a pretty nice feed, and Hossbollah scored effortlessly past the Vezina Trophy Winner. He did it again in the 3rd after stripping Mike Grier at center.
From there, the Hawks kind of held on and a too many men penalty at the end didn't help. But stout defensive play left Crawford with not much to do, and what needed to be done he took care of.
Observations and Such
-The trend of Seabrook and Keith being awful continues for a third game. Though he made a couple of nifty plays, including the assist on Kane's goal, Keith has been trying some utterly ridiculous crap that would make you think the Norris has gone to his head. Cross ice passes in his own zone, shots from everywhere, you name it Keith is biffing it. Maybe he's panicking because his partner was all kinds of awful tonight. Seabrook looked at least a step slow, if not seven, and his decision making wasn't any better. And it led to two goals against. STOP. WITH. THIS.
-That said, Crawford was pretty good tonight, and kept his team in it. Which is all he's asked. He looked poised and confident, and long may it continue.
-Though the numbers won't reflect it, Skille and Stalberg were again everywhere, and included some killer defensive work. They may have even caused a pulse to go off in Dave Bolland's system.
-Leddy is getting better.
-In a world where Tomas Kopecky skates on the top line and Troy Brouwer on the fourth, I feel cold and alone.
-Jake Dowell didn't win a draw out of six.
-Marian Hossa is all that is man.
That's it for now I think, talk tomorrow.