Let's be clear, the Hawks stole one tonight. They were outplayed for long stretches of this game, and the shot totals, 41-21, would tell you that. There were coaching decisions that led to this, but I'm not getting into it right now because I feel like if I do you'll be picking up pieces of my brain off this post on each and everyone of your computers. Anyway...
The Hawks were pinned, blindfolded, and handcuffed in their own zone for the first half of the first period. The shots were 8-0 and that was pretty indicative of how things were going. But Marty Turco stood tall, and then the Hawks simply had to capitalize one the first of what would be a few Tyler Myers fuck ups to sneak a lead on their first shot. To start, Myers biffed the puck on the blue line, allowing Patrick Kane to steam into the Sabres zone. He then failed to play the pass on a 2-on-1, so one of the best passers in the league merely had to easily find one of the best finishers around to deposit into the open net. Thank you, sir.
That lead lasted 27 seconds, and could have lasted even less than that if not for another Turco save. This time, Thomas Vanek made a real nifty feed to Steve Montador streaking to the net from the point, whose rebound Drew Stafford was only too happy to bang home after Keith lost him. A mere 15 seconds after that some luck went against the Hawks (as it did all game, by the way) as Paul Gaustad fired on off of Turco pads that hit Leddy's skates and went in.
It was after this that Duncan Keith tied the game up. I won't say allegedly, or apparently, or falsely, because he did. Kop was pushed into Patrick Lalime, who then took 3 weeks to get up, in which time Keith fired one home. This was ruled incidental contact, which is a call that just baffles the mind. One, it wasn't interference because Kopecky was pushed into Lalime by a Buffalo d-man. Second, how long does that last? It literally was seven seconds before Keith put the puck past the swimming Lalime.
Anyway, on to the 2nd period, where Hossa decided he'd had enough. He took a sweet outlet from Seabrook to easily beat Lalime on his own. Once again, Tyler Myers fell asleep and then couldn't catch Hossbollah. But the Hawks thought they'd cough that tie up too, when Jassen Cullimore thought standing directly next to Marty Turco wanting to play the puck was a good idea, and then lost McCarthur all alone in front of the net to pounce on a rebound. The Hawks ducked and covered their way through the rest of that frame.
On to the 3rd, and the first half of that was more rope-a-dope. Turco once again came up huge, until a strange 4-on-4 led to the appearance of Dave Bolland. He was able to evade Craig Rivet before taking another sweet feed from Seabrook to burst in alone and pierce Lalime's legs. The Hawk finally gained some energy, and another inexplicable power play goal won it. Kane found Kopecky backing up toward the goal line, who then spun toward the boards to try and stuff one home on the forehand but the puck squirted to The Shooter who wasn't going to make any mistake on his second.
The Hawks tried to give away this lead too, going down two men. But Buffalo took a penalty of their own, and even Duncan Keith's late ridiculous cross checking call wasn't enough to keep the Hawks from seeing it out.
-Scott in for Skille???!!!!! Oh my god I'm gonna fucking shit myself. Okay, okay, I said I wouldn't comment. But read the front page on Monday's Indian. It's going to be a thing.
-I really hate doing this, because it sounds so stupid, but the officiating tonight was simply atrocious. From Keith's waved off goal to some of the penalty calls and the non-calls, it was circus music for those who hate music. Going by these refs, in order to negate any scoring chance against, just push an attacking player into your goalie and then have him take at least two minutes to get up.
-What was so impressive about Hossa's goal is that when he received the puck on the blue line he was about even with Mayers, but in just two strides Marian was uncatchable and still had enough time before having to shoot over Lalime. And just for good measure he banked it in off the post.
-SCOTT FOR SKILLE??!!! REALLY???!!!! Sorry, sorry, won't happen again...
-I know we got a good game out of Jassen Cullimore last night, and in a normal world that means he should get another. But maybe some people would think that they rolled sevens in Columbus with Cullimore and wouldn't try again?
-Especially considering that Buffalo is one of the more mobile teams around, so you throw out two Easter Island statues in Cullimore and Boynton and leave Hendry in the pressbox?
-Tyler Myers is in a sophomore slump, there's nothing else to say.
-Oh my god, Dave Bolland!
-Fernando Pisani still can't exhibit what he does for a living.
-Please keep Troy Brouwer in the top-6
Player Of The Game
It's a crime he wasn't the top star, much less any of the stars, but it goes to Marty Turco. Y'know, we don't have a Turco photoshop yet. Well, we'll get one. He was awesome.