And just like that... the Blackhawks are once again at the basement of the Central with all teams ahead holding games in hand. There have been a few times so far this season where we feel like we should remind you all that it's not quite panic time... but tomorrow's game against the Kings officially marks the halfway point of the season and the Hawks are now in a position where they have to make up a fair amount of ground in an insanely crowded Western Conference. So if it's not panic time yet, it's quickly approaching. They can't fall too much further behind.. hopefully the return of Toews tomorrow provides the spark that's so desperately needed.
Oh yeah, this is a game wrap. So I guess I should talk a little about what we just saw.. even if I'm not totally sure what exactly it was. The Hawks controlled the game for long stretches of tonight's match. The corsi numbers are just ugly. The simple answer is that Jonas Hiller stood on his head, when the Hawks weren't deflecting pucks directly off it that is. The deeper answer is that the Hawks chances, though plentiful, weren't optimal. Hiller didn't give many rebounds but the Hawks weren't there to pick them up and didn't get solid pressure until the third when the Ducks had gone into lockdown mode.
To the bridge:
- Kane was absolutely invisible tonight except for his turnover and trip of Selanne, which led to the missed penalty shot. While the Hawks amassed 40 shots, Kaner had only 2 of them. If he was able to have a solid defensive game like Hossa (who also only had two shots) it wouldn't sting as much but the Hawks need players like Kane if they're going to make up the ground needed. Since his return, Kane has had only one point and is a -5. Consider me in the camp that worries his ankle is still hurting him. The turnover to Selanne wasn't something we're used to seeing from 88.
- If anyone, absolutely anyone, is able to explain to me while Jake Dowell was benched for the entire third period, I will buy you a beer of your choice. That especially goes for you Q. Dowell-Skille-Stalberg were the only forwards that seemed to give a shit for most of the first half of the game. While they didn't get any points to show for it, they at least seemed closer than most. Dowell wasn't holding Skille or Stalberg back, even if he doesn't have anywhere near the speed of those two. Is Q expecting to see more from Dowell? I don't get it...
- At least the penalty kill was perfect?
- The Hawks had more shots in the third period than the Ducks did all game... ouch.
- As bad as this game was, at least it doesn't compare to the pure awfulness of this Rams/Seahawks game I just turned on... oof.