Agoraphobia Comes To Chicago: Hawks 1 - Sabres 2
Specifically, the Hawks seem to have a fear of the open space between the posts. It's obviously a phase, as the Hawks can't keep throwing 40 shots at the net per game and keep coming out with one or two goals. At the same time, you can't ignore that the Hawks haven't put up more than 3 goals in a game since administering Catherine The Great's Death to the Sharks in San Jose. The last thing anyone expected this team to struggle with was scoring. It's hardly panic time about it, barely worry time. You get the feeling some poor team is really going to pay when the Hawks bust out of it.
The 1st period tonight looked a lot like the 1st period Wednesday night. That would be the Hawks mauling the opponent like McClure hitting on a girl. They were everywhere, and how they didn't manage to score is anyone's guess. It's not a matter of not having anyone in front, they did that. It can't be getting too cute because when you have 17 shots in a period, a lot of them good ones, you must be doing something right. Turning point was the 4-on-3 power play. The Hawks power play standing masks the fact that it still isn't very good. For a team like this, a 4-on-3 should border on an automatic goal. I question why not one of the Hawks two best PP d-men, Barker or Campbell, weren't on the ice. Both have better shots than the Marlboro 72, and both are better passers. Somehow, Coach Q has convinced himself that one quarter season of scoring now means that Keith is a better power play QB than Campbell, which is almost laughable. But that's not why the Hawks lost. Just a point to be made.
On the few shots Huet saw in the 1st, that nasty rebound habit became evident again. You got the feeling that one of them would come home to roost. And it did with Sharp sitting in the box after getting called for a hold, exacerbated by one of the many Sabres' journeys to their ass. Get up already. Vanek was able to outmuscle Hammer, and there you go. The second goal looked like a bad bounce off someone's chest, and I was a little surprised it didn't warrant the least review as it never hit a stick on the way to the net. C'est la vie. The Hawks were punished for getting sloppy in their own end, and turning off the engines once again, an annoying habit of theirs.
When they turned them back on again, they were again turning the HSBC Center into an alligator fuckhouse. The Sabres couldn't touch the puck. Sharp was able to pot after Kane benefited from Buff's one cogent shift of the night. There's always one.
There were some chances after that, but Lalime made the stops. Winning in Buffalo was always going to be tough, so it's not disaster. But it was there for the taking, and you can't leave too many points out there when you were the better team. We'll let it go this time.
-If you're not going to use Campbell to run your power play, what is he for, then? What is Q trying to prove? I love Keith as much as the next guy, but watch how many passes bounce off his stick at the critical moment. He's simply not a premier power play QB, yet, and there's one sitting on the bench. It's kind of baffling.
-Why were Sabres fans booing Campbell? He was TRADED. He didn't leave voluntarily, and all he did was play his ass of there for eight years. I expect idiocy from San Jose fans who don't know any better, but Sabres fans are some of the most knowledgeable around.
-The 3rd period was Kane in "fuck you" mode. Let's hope more arenas boo him regularly.
-May have been Hossa's best game as a Hawks, and he didn't get on the scoresheet.
-Oh no, the ohmygodohmygodohmygodohfuck Troy Brouwer is back
Player of The Game
It's Patrick Lalime, but I'm too lazy to find a picture. So imagine one.