Make no mistake, the Hawks got out of jail tonight. In fact, it's hard to think of a bigger prison escape than the two points that the Hawks were able to dig out of their own vomit this evening. They were outskated, out-chanced, out-fought, and out-everything tonight. Keep in mind that this was against a team already sizing up the fairways without far and away their best player, and the Hawks still couldn't be asked to give a fuck. Encouraging, this was not. But they goofed it, on some level I'm supposed to be happy with that. I just can't find it right now.
Maybe this is too small windowed, but I feel like we'll find out exactly how much we're supposed to believe in this team Sunday. Certainly at least in the three games upcoming. I basically gave them a pass for the Tuesday no-show against Boston due to the effort against Detroit. But what's the excuse tonight? They had two days off. While Keith has been skating ridiculous minutes most of the year, have Toews, Kane, and Hossa? And Campbell? The last four have missed portions due to injury. Can they be so tired? They got away with one this late in the year, which really should be a crime, with their head totally up their ass. Is that going to happen again? If they come out this flaccid on Sunday, you go ahead and write this team off starting Game 1. Which really shouldn't be. Anyway...
-I get it, Sharp is hurt. That doesn't mean his absence should affect your breakout that much. The Hawks treated the puck like the girl in high school who already had a kid (I know, that's awful, but let it slide). They were sloppy, lazy, and whatever else that led to a barrage on Corey Crawford.
-Speaking of which, we've bemoaned the amount he's been asked, but based on the last three games Crow very well might be getting better. He kept this one from being a laugher tonight.
-Hey MVP candidate, didn't notice you much out there.
-Brian Campbell on one foot skated over 30 minutes tonight. I am simply done listening to others claim him a disappointment.
-Yep, game against the Jackets and Nick Leddy can still only manage 7 minutes. But don't worry, he's really holding his own.
-At whatever strength, and no matter how much of a gift goal, the Hawks got scoring from exactly one line tonight. One. And that's pretty much how it has to be from here on out.
-I bet when this Marcus Kruger arrives that they've been talking about, it's going to be awesome.
-The one bright spot was that Q wasn't able to put out Sharp for the shootout, which he absolutely sucks at. We've been crying for Stals to get a chance after Atlanta, here's why.
-I simply can't shake the feeling, after tonight and Tuesday, that this team doesn't think it has what it takes to even make an honorable defense of what it holds. I want to be proved wrong, I really do. But after being up two after six minutes tonight, this is a game you see out with a minimum of fuss. And the Hawks did the exact opposite.
In the words of Skinner, "Prove me wrong kids! Prove me wrong!"