Getting out shot by 16 at home, against the worst team in the league, isn't exactly how you draw it up, but the Hawks made the most of their chances this evening and are the first team in the league to reach the 50 point mark. It's already late, and I'm none too happy about having to go back to work tomorrow, so let's just get right to the bullets.
- Had this game taken place a couple weeks ago, the result would have probably been in doubt deep into the third frame. Luckily, secondary scoring is kicking in at the right time, and most of it is coming from Viktor Stalberg with 7 points in the last four games. While his two points tonight might not have been the best example of this, Vik's ability to make something out of nothing is exactly what the third line had been missing, and he's burying his chances, which is more than what could be said of Michael Frolik. If Bowman is making calls to fill some minor holes on his squad, he's probably going to start fielding questions on Stalberg. Sell high or see if the young Swede continues to improve? That's why Lil' Bowman makes the big bucks.
- The CORSI numbers are expectedly hideous, but some of the Hawks Dmen still had decent games. Dunc and Hammer didn't have the flashiest of games, but they played well and limited quality chances when they were on the ice. On the other end of the spectrum, Sean O'Donnell was a mess for much of the evening, and it will be interesting to see who Q goes to (in the #6 slot) on Wednesday. I'd prefer to keep John Scott on paternity leave, and get Sami Lepisto some ice time, but I think you knew that already.
- I'm not a big fan of Bruno up with Daydream Nation, and that combo may have been the Hawks weakest line tonight. That being said, with Vik doing his thing with the Killer Bs, I'm not sure there's a better top line option right now.
- Speaking of my line combination fandom, I was never a big fan of Sharp centering Hossa, but I'd always wanted to see what the two could do with a playmaking center between them. So far, so good, and Pirri and/or Kruger will continue to get better skating between a couple of guys playing maybe their best hockey in the Indianhead sweater.
- The two powerplays in the first were back to serious clown shoeage. From my seat in the 300 level, it looked like it was after those two failed powerplays that Q and crew went back to the umbrella formation late in the third. At least the 2nd unit salvaged the third opportunity and put the game away on a nice behind the net passing play between Bruno, Bolland, and Hoss. I guess the Hawks were 2 for 2 on the penalty kill, so that's a positive on the special teams side of things.
- Corey Crawford received some accolades for his 37 save performance tonight, including the number 2 star, but he did look like he was fighting it a bit on some of those shots. With that being said, hopefully giving up just 2 goals over his last two starts will be a confidence builder for the sophomore netminder. I'm sure that Q wants to give Crawford every opportunity to regain the starting job, but I still think that Emery deserves the start on Wednesday.
- The woman sitting behind me let out a joyous squeal nearly every time that Michael Frolik touched the puck; these must be sad times for this woman. While that last bit was a needless shot at Frolik Navidad, a 4th line composed of Fro, Kruger, and Mayers is probably going to be on the ice for more goals than they give up.
- As the title of my wrap metaphorically states, two points is two points. If the Wednesday and Friday performances are a bit more consistent throughout, we can just chalk this one up to "rust" from the long holiday weekend.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Better than the picture with the Tigers cap, no?