Atop The Sugar Pile - 2/8

Here we are again. We'll try to keep things as even handed as possible here, but I make no guarantees.

The Terrifying Lows

  • The Second Line - Paging Drs. Sharp, Hossa, and (shudders) Kopecky. While it's difficult to attribute the Hawks recent skid to just one line, this one clearly isn't pulling their weight. Sharp and Kopecky were each -3 in the 7-4 win over Columbus, and that should tell you how well they're playing of late. At practice today, amidst all the vomiting, it appears that things got shuffled up just because it's something to do, now putting Kopecky between Hossa and Brouwer on the 2nd line, which is the answer to a question no one was asking.
  • The Power Play - In the last two games the league's top unit has gone cold with an 0-for-9 streak, including nearly 50 seconds of 5-on-3 ineptitude against the Canucks on Friday when they had the opportunity to put them down, prompting an obligatory shake up from Quenneville. Troy Brouwer was on the top unit to start last night's game, and later on Q swapped Keith in for Seabrook at one of the points (when the clear choice if he was going to make such a move would have been Campbell). While it hasn't been good the last stretch, this unit always seems to fall bass-ackwards into competence no matter how fucking clown shoes it looks, so staying the course may just be the best policy, despite what Duncan Keith has to say about it.

The Dizzying Highs

  • The Penalty Kill - Despite giving up two key goals against Vancouver, and the empty net goal last night being a power play goal against, the Hawks PK actually has tightened things up significantly since a month ago, dating back to the Islander game, the kill has gone 27 for 32, good for 84.4%, a significant improvement over their season long average of 78.2%. Mike Haviland has taken over coaching this unit, and the results are there by and large, now they just need to get a key kill when they need it most.
  • Joel Quenneville's whistle/whip - It had quite an active day this afternoon, I'm told. /

The Creamy Middles

  • Jonathan Toews - Toews is currently in the midst of a 4 game point streak with 3 goals and 5 helpers during that time. The captain is pulling his weight, time for everyone else to get on board.