Black Friday Spending Spree - Hawks 4, Ducks 1
Ahh, the roller coaster ride continues. With their systems seemingly purged of all the tryptophan from yesterday, the Hawks tried something different today - which is put forth an effort during the seemingly annual Black Friday matinee in Anaheim. The Ducks even sported new kinda-wretched 3rd jerseys for the occasion, but it wouldn't keep them from dropping their sixth straight.
Though the Hawks were unable to convert on an early power play, they carried the action for much of the first. A soft tripping call on-ah the Pope-ah led to an Anaheim power play goal late in the first, coming from a redirection in the slot off the stick of Dan Sexton, who tipped a one timer from the reanimated corpse of Saku Koivu. Though the Hawks trailed 1-0 after 20, they more than outshot the Ducks 13-6.
In the second, the questionable calls would continue, with Marian Hossa and Jack Skille both taking iffy penalties. The recently shitty PK actually came to life on the Hossa call, with Duncan Keith joining a rush that had been spearheaded by Patrick Sharp, and throwing a shot on Hiller that queefed between his pads to tie it. Andy Sutton took a run at Jassen Cullimore late, and Nick Boynon naturally came to his defense, yielding a late Ducks power play for instigating, which the Hawks killed off.
However, Sutton would get his, as Patrick Sharp pounced on a terrible Sutton giveaway and roofed a laser over Hiller for the eventual winner. Niklas Hjalmarsson got of the schnide with a slapper from the line after some nice footwork to create a lane for himself, and the suddenly streaking Troy Brouwer had the capper with a shot from the slot after a nice set up from linemates Dowell and Skille. Hawks 4, Ducks 1.
- Let the goalie controversy begin. As Sam noted in the preview, and as Pat and Eddie did in the broadcast, a strong showing by Corey Crawford today (which he had) should yield a start tomorrow against the Kings. Personally, I'm all for it. I like Crawford's approach in net, and at this point in the season with the standings being what they are, Quenneville has to start banking points. Though he's a nice guy looking for his shot to win here, Marty Turco is owed nothing in regards of playing time.
- The "traditional" defensive pairings were reinstated today, as well as Nick Boynton being taken off the penalty kill. The results were pretty apparent, as the few loose pucks that Crawford produced were quickly pounced upon. The results are also reflected in Corsi, where Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan all found themselves in the red, while Marlboro 72 were both positives.
- While the Andy Sutton/Jassen Cullimore/Nick Boyton tete-a-tete could have been initially called a charge on Sutton, that he didn't connect was likely the mitigating factor. It's also the factor that irritates me with Boynton's actions. There's a place to stand up for a teammate, but that's not it, and it cost Boynton 2 minutes.
- Troy Brouwer also kinda-sorta got away with an elbow prior to his goal, but it just serves as a microcosm for what we've repeatedly said about Lowen-Brouw: he's at his best when he's taking the body.
- Marian Hossa looked less of a passenger today than Wednesday, but the Hawks still need more from him.
- Holy shit, Patrick Sharp a +2!
- The second unit power play was fucking clown shoes. The first - they at least looked competent even if they didn't convert.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson's patience on his goal can't be understated, and it's the sort of thing that I've pointed to regarding his untapped offensive upside. His comfort level in playing with Soupy is pretty apparent.
- I'm not sure I fully understand Randy Carlyle yanking Jonas Hiller that late in the game, but Carlyle's a long-time red-ass, and it was more than likely a message to the rest of the team. While Hiller certainly wasn't the infinite abyss that he usually is against the Hawks, he can hardly be blamed for Sharp or Brouwer's goals.
- The Hawks are now garaunteed .500 for the trip, which is decent. But a win tomorrow would make it a success. Though they lost on Wednesday, the overall quality of play has been a little bit more consistent. They'll need to ramp it up a notch tomorrow night against a for-real Kings team.