Sorry for the delay, but as I'm sure you know and will understand, we have all just returned from St. Louis. So this'll be a quickie, and you can go on about your day and we call can go throw up and get some sleep.
Sometimes you win games because you play better than your opponent, and sometimes you win because your penalty kill and goalie are just good enough. So it was last night. The plan we thought we would see from St. Louis here on Wednesday came to fruition at DrinkScotch Center. The Blues came out makin' it look mean, and that ever so tough guy Barrett Jackman was cross-checking any Hawks that was shorter and smaller than he. Seriously, fuck that guy. I know our Blues fan friends try and convince us, or more likely themselves, that he's a tough guy, but that's bullshit. Picks a fight with Cam Barker? Really? And that's supposedly rugged? Whatever. Maybe with no Eager there aren't a lot of targets, but I'm not shocked he didn't go after Byfuglien or Brouwer, someone who might actually kick his ass.
Anyway, after weathering the early storm the Hawks began to turn the screws, and it netted them an advantage after Sharp, Toews, and Hossa combined to give The Shooter a tap-in, sending the 9,000+ Hawks fans in the stands into rapture. The Hawks carried the play for most of the period, and double the advantage when Kane took advantage of Oshie doing some sort of performance art at his own blue line before feeding Toews who couldn't miss.
The next two periods had the same form. The Hawks took dumb penalties, Niemi killed them off, and the Hawks blew their own power plays, which got worse with every one. The Blues carried the play for the last 40, and easily could have tied it in the last minute when they were given a second two-man advantage. But they only got halfway there.
OBSERVATIONS (THROUGH LENSES AFFECTED BY THE 24oz. BEERS THEY SERVE THERE)
-It was juggle-palooza again from Coach Q. We know Shooter and Daydream Nation will make magic, and they had both the goals last night. Not sure why Eager warrants a scratch, but in the name of experimentation that's fine. But Kopecky with Weapon and Hossa just isn't going to work, he doesn't have the quicks or the sense. Expect even more new combos on Tuesday.
-The power play was just beyond awful. They even managed to dump a few pucks in, but then didn't bother to go get them. This needs fixing in a hurry, because the scoring well done gone dry this last little stretch.
-Though he's struggled recently, Erik Johnson will be a problem for a very long time.
-The split in the crowd last night was at least 60-40, and may have even been evenly split, which I have to say I found absolutely shocking. I didn't realize Hawks Nation now travels so well, and there is something powerful awesome about taking over another team's arena. Especially when the Hawks win. Long may it continue.
-For those who weren't there, you probably heard the strong throng (see what I did there?) carry the UC Anthem Tradition down to Missouri. While I didn't join in, I can't say I'm opposed to it either. It definitely brought a smile to my face.
-Finally, a special thank you to all who came down for the trip, you made it even more epic than we thought it would be. A special shout to St. Louis Gametime for hanging out with us after, we had a blast. But you could have hung out for a few more beers. Pussies.