As I had feared in the Indian, the first two periods looked as if the three days the Hawks had off would be a detriment. None other than hockey sage Justin Bourne (I only wrote that to send McClure into orbit) had told us how difficult the post-Christmas break game is. And so it looked. The Hawks were sloppy and a step slow through the first 40 minutes. So were the BJs, but I don't know that that isn't their usual state. Anyway, the one guy who looked excited to be on the ice was Marian Hossa, and it was he being all that is man that created the first goal for Tomas Kopecky. And it was pretty much Hossa deciding the Hawks were going to score, which is what we saw for the first month of the season. From there, it was kind of academic, especially when they flipped the switch in the 3rd and left the Jackets in the dust like Sam Rothstein after his conference with the little guy in the desert (there's a reference!). Thoughts now:
-I'm really hoping it wasn't just adrenaline that made Hossa look like the beast we know he is for the game, but total health. When he returned from his first injury this year, the needle was tilting more to the passenger side than driver side. But tonight was completely the opposite, and if this is indeed what it's going to be then we're all going to have a lot of fun.
-After 40, or at least the first 20, I'm sure Marty Turco wanted to walk into the room and beat people about the face. While he's had to watch superlative defensive efforts take place in front of Corey Crawford, he was treated to bailing his teammates out. While that's not what he was brought here to do, and not what he's done, he was up to the task tonight and thoroughly deserved his win. And I for one am happy for him. Marty has done and said all the right things about this brief usurping of his job, and has just worked hard. Having two goalies playing well can't hurt anybody.
-When I think about Dave Bolland these days, I feel like all the songs John and Yoko wrote together make more sense. No one's complained more loudly about his game than I, partly because I'm one of his biggest fans. While the eye-test only shows moderate improvement, there he is with 8 points in his last 8 games. He still got murdered at the dot with Antoine Vermette doing the smiting tonight. If all he's going to be is a checking center, winning draws would do wonders for that as he wouldn't have to chase the puck as much. The CORSI is ugly too, but if he's just a checking center that's what they're going to be. And yet he's scoring, and the people he's out against aren't. So maybe i should just shut up (cue a worldwide celebration).
-Bryan Bickell didn't score tonight, but was much more effective battling on the boards, setting up Bolland's goal.
-No Hawk is ever going to score on a penalty shot.
-Don't think this Kopecky-at-center thing works just because he scored.
-The power play had two goals, which you would have gotten long odds on after watching the utter cartoon that was the first three attempts.
-Did Rick Nash play tonight? I see the boxscore has him with six shots, I think I remember one.
-Though this may have a negative tone, all I asked at the top of this homestand was four of five, and that's exactly what the Hawks have done, most in impressive fashion. After all the injuries, and malaise (and maize...you call it corn), and hangover, and utter bullshit, 20-14-3 is a 95-point pace, and I am a firm believer the Hawks will be markedly better in the 2nd half than they were in the first. But some may say I'm a dreamer.
Guess it's a Lennon night up in this piece. I've got blisters on me fingers!!!!