With their dads in tow, the Hawks walked into South Florida needing pretty much only to give a shit to grab 2 points from Dale Tallon's re-tooled but ill-fitting Panthers, and fortunately they gave just enough. After grabbing an early lead off the stick and skate of Jonathan Toews, who drove to the net and banked in a feed from the plodding Andrew Brunette, the Panthers began firing, putting 15 shots on Corey Crawford in the first. Though there were a few minimal scares, the Hawks got out of the frame with the lead.
In the second, the Hawks looked far more crisp and lively, and jumped ahead by 2 when Marian Hossa finished a beautiful cross ice feed from Kaner. Even Dan Carcillo got in on the act, hitting the post twice, once on a beautiful one-man rush starting at the Hawk line. But the Cats would cut the lead in half in the last minute, after the line of Kris Versteeg, Thomas Fleischmann, and Stephen Weiss completed a nice 3-man weave breaking into the Hawk zone.
The Panther firing squad resumed in the third, as the Hawks seemed mostly content to sit back and get out of Sunrise with 2 points in regulation, but after several clutch Crawford saves, a tip from a deep-pinching Ed Jovonovski forced the game to overtime. There were several traded chances in the extra frame, but once again the game needed a shootout to be concluded, with Patrick Kane potting the only successful attempt in the skills competition. Hawks 3, Panthers 2. Onward to the bullets.
- Though he likely wasn't any more active than usual, Nick Leddy's offensive activity was more noticeable due to having Sean O'Donnell play centerfield in Duncan Keith's stead. Leddy was a +1 for the evening with a helper, and was a team-best +11 in Corsi.
- As for the Corsi for everyone else? BARF.
- Anyone else find it shocking that for as obviously terrible as the ice was, we weren't treated to a Kopecky wipeout-and-helmet-loss tonight now that he's wearing someone else's sweater?
- Kris Versteeg - get a haircut, hippy.
- Anyone else get the impression that Corey Crawford was not pleased with how hard he had to work this evening as well as plenty of red sweaters being all up in his face for the first and last periods? The extra Fleischmann shot in the shootout only increased his red-assedness. That being said, Crow was excellent tonight, very quickly getting over his shaky performance against Nashville.
- For as good as the power play looked without scoring against Nashville, it looked equally as bad on its lone opportunity tonight. The general rule is that if your special teams are at or over a total of 100%, you're at a net positive, but for as good as the kill has been, the power play is going to start dragging things down in a hurry. It's fucking clown shoes. Fix it.
- Despite the point total and the at least partially renewed interest in his own zone, it's pretty clear that Patrick Sharp has the yips, and he made his frustrations known after burying a shortside bid into Jakob Markstrom's armpit in OT. His shooting percentage is well below his career average (7.5% vs 12.5%). His track record shows there should be a regression to the mean, and perhaps there's a chance that he's able to avoid his perennial post-January 1 disappearing act as he returns to his averages.
- With Scum and Vancouver losing tonight and generally scuffling a month in, the Hawks are at least doing well to accumulate points while they can before the schedule gets icky. Should these trends continue and these teams can't figure it out, Christmas could start to be run-away-and-hide time in the division. But let's run over that kitten when we get to it.
- Giving the 'Ning 43 shots at Ray Emery tomorrow night is going yeild quite a different result. Tighten it up.