Just as McClure said in the preview... this wasn't a good situation for the Hawks. Lose and we'd see how our minds cope as we delve deeper into depression, panic and despair. Win and... well yeah, that's what you're supposed to do, you schmucks. Making the situation even more appropriate - the teams ahead of the Hawks also won tonight meaning that the victory tonight simply means the Hawks tread water. They were in 11th starting the even and that's exactly where they'll be as we all head to bed. Worrying about the standings though is a bit premature. If the Hawks can right the ship, climbing the standings will come. If not, well at least the season will end early.
Wow - that might be the most depressing opening paragraph to ever start a victory wrap, eh? Lets snap out of it. There was a lot to like in tonight's game. It started shaky as the Oil grabbed an early shot lead. It appeared the team didn't have time to adjust to the new lines since the practices consisted mostly of seeing who would be the first to spew. The Sharp-Toews-Kane didn't quite know how to set up the cycle and we saw them all crowd around the corners.
It didn't take too long for the Hawks to snap out of it.. led, as we expected, by the Captain. Toews lost a draw in the Oilers zone but pressured Tom Gilbert down low who was forced to try and clear the puck but was blocked by Patrick Kane. The puck bounced back to Toews who found Sharp alone in the slot.
From there, the great march to the box began. Six straight trips for the Oil before the Hawks would take two of their own. Six straight trips.. and the Hawks waited until the final one to actually score. It doesn't matter that it was pretty (and it was quite nice).. it's sad either way. The Oilers are dead last in PK%.. and the Hawks still somehow have one of the top power play squads. One goal indeed.
Luckily, that one goal was really all that was needed to put away Edmonton. A late goal from Jordan Eberle made it slihgtly interesting but Kaner was able to seal the deal (he's had a lot of practice) with an empty netter.
Long Live the Washington Bullets:
- Crawford looked disappointed after Eberle's goal and again at the final horn and I don't blame him. He made some great saves and kept the Hawks in the game. He had help though - the Hawks only allowed four shots in the first and for the most part kept the Oilers pinned to the outside until the third. A solid game for Craw and a shame he didn't get another shutout. Turcs McGurcs is getting the nod in Dallas (rightfully so) so we'll see how Crawford does Saturday... oh and we should all see that together.. come to our road watch/Chicago Pucks Cancer event.
- Your first power play unit was Brouwer-Bolland-Kopecky. Yowza.
- The name Ladislav Smid, especially when said by Pat Foley, sounds more like a Harry Potter villain than a hockey player.
- The Oilers were given two game misconducts after Kane's goal for barking at the refs. Six straight power plays is likely to get on anyone's nerves but it's not like the Hawks were doing much on them. Jim Vandermeer's trip on noted threat Ryan Johnson was blatant... deal with it.
- With that many penalties though - the corsi numbers for the Hawks aren't all that pretty.
- The Patrick Kane Give-A-Shit Meter was surprisingly high tonight. Bag skates with constant hangovers really must be the fucking worst.
- The big story of the night may be the absence of Marian Hossa from the third period. Hoss seemed to never make it out of the locker room after the second. This would be a bigger deal if he wasn't looking so hesitant and out of sorts anyway of late. Someone on the twits mentioned seeing him take an elbow to the jaw but I don't remember that.. anyone else?
- Oh, and we'll have more on the trade for Michael Frolik coming tomorrow as well.. as that's far more exciting news than anything that happened in this game. On the face of it, I like the deal. Skille hasn't been a factor... well ever. He's got promise but the Hawks need more than that for the rest of the year. We'll see how it turns out though... A center is a welcome sight, even if it is one with a 41.7 face off percentage.
- Finally, a small note on trolls as we had one briefly tonight before the banhammer fell. We try to keep a watch on these things but can't read everything. If you haven't noticed already though you can "flag" a comment as trolling, inappropriate or spam. You do it the same way as a "rec" and it'll bring it to our attention pretty easy. Please feel free to do this...
Player Of The Game:
If the shutout held - it would have been a tougher choice. Crawford had a great game but the Hawks were led by the play of their captain who kept his point streak alive and was a force all over the ice.. even if he did have an off night at the dot.