Right, you're owed something of a wrap today. I was just so excited to finally get DLR out of the bullpen and on the mound, I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity. I know some were questioning whether only one good period deserves The Call, but I'm writing off the 3rd. Second of a back-to-back, you're up three, and all your players have been skated down to their essence, I think just getting through it was excusable last night. And I wasn't of the opinion the first was that bad. Starting off by taking two penalties doesn't help, and aside from that the Hawks were skittish like a basehead defensively. But when they were in the Sharks zone they were threatening, and drew two of the five straight penalties the Sharks took that eventually crippled them. And come on, has anything been as good as that second period this year?
-Just perusing the box, one thing that jumps out is the Hawks blocking 20 shots and the Sharks eight. Maybe just an anomaly, but considering how the Hawks moved the puck and the Sharks not moving their feet very well, I think it's quite the indicator.
-The Capitals smothered the Hawks power play by being uber aggressive and swallowing up any time they had. The Hawks seemingly didn't have a clue, and so it remained on their first two power plays in the 1st last night. But in the second, as I'm sure Eddie O was preaching from the booth, they finally moved the puck quicker and from one side to the other. Hossa's first goal saw it move from both sides, leaving him contemplating Nietzsche in the slot. The second saw Sharp get to the outside and then move it inside as the Sharks closed, not respecting his passing ability. Hossa's first was also helped by a biffed clearance, but it's fun to have that happen to someone else for a change.
-Kane's goal was just stupid puck movement that no one can live with. And that's stupid in a good way.
-Maybe I just want to believe so much and am so entranced by his speed, or his dreamy eyes, but anyone else love that Stalberg's and Hammer's goal came with Stalberg right around the net?
-I noticed a lot of Campoli love in the comments, and I get it. But he certainly likes to get about the whole surface, and I keep wondering when he's going to get us caught for that. Oh right, OT in DC. Still, more to like than not.
-I was curious to see what the reaction would be when Niemi got pulled. At first I was a little taken aback by the ovation, but it dawned on me that it was probably the crowd just saluting the Hawks effort that got an opposing goalie pulled rather than razzing Nemo. He left here with no acrimony, and most Hawks fans understood why, so this wasn't that malicious.
-Ryan Johnson went 7-for-8 in the faceoff dot.
-Had my first experience in one of the corner bars last night. About what I expected. Not bad, but I wouldn't do it again if I didn't have to.