Go A Little Deeper, Jonathan

I thought I'd share some thoughts from Game 2 from looking at the shift charts and Corsi, and also what I saw from my perch in the 3-2-0.


Shift Charts

Once again, Barry Trotz wasn't too concerned with matching up on the road. Both the pairing of Weber and Suter, as well as Hamhuis, saw pretty much equal time among the Hawks top two lines. Once again, Hamhuis came up a little short. He was a -9 in Corsi, meaning he spent most of his time in his zone. He was a -1 and while not demolished by any means, I still think he's not going to be up to whatever challenge he sees tomorrow night, when Trotz will get to choose what he wants far more effectively.

-Toews and Hossa continue to roll whoever they're faced against, and they numbers Keith and Seabrook put up together are no surprise. Seabrook has been the Hawks best d-man this series, and it's probably not even close. Long may it continue.

-Though Bolland was a little better, as he's been every game the past couple weeks, the Hawks will still need more. He and Kane were pinned in their zone a couple times, which may just happen because of their inferior size. However, Sharp's chip and chase that led to Kane's goal is an instructional manual on what that line specifically will need to do to clear their zone. If they can lay a puck out into the neutral zone with a stationary Pred d-man trying to hold the blue line, then Bolland's, Kane's, and Sharp's speed is going to wreak havoc, perhaps fatal havoc. Also, while I'm not a huge fan of Bolland on the point on the PP, with Johnsson dead and Campbell not back yet, the Hawks are short on options. I've said this before, but Keith -- with all his Norris credentials -- really isn't a PP QB. A decent puckhandler but not great, decent passer but again not great, with only an ok shot. The 2nd unit is probably where he belongs. I'd like to see Buff and Seabrook flip positions. While Buff's shot is bigger, Seabrook is a little better at getting his through, and would be better able to cover for a forward out of position, and Keith better able to cover for Buff's...uh..."wanderings".

-That said, the Hawks PP is better on the road, and I think we'll see them bag one or two more in the next couple games.

-Oh, and Bolland was once again nails in the faceoff dot, in fact acing David Legwand who he sees the most time against.

-I have to say, I was a bit annoyed at some of the reactions of the crowd last night. Look, the Hawks can't run and gun simply because they want to. The Preds are good enough to prevent that. This is what all these games are going to look like. If a team is playing a 2-3, this is what it will be. It's not exciting, it's not the Hawks style we've come to love, but we'll have to deal with it. That said, I don't see how a Hawks fan can't be encouraged so far. The Preds have created 0 goals by themselves. I know that's the game they play, looking to pounce on mistakes. But the Hawks play in their zone has been every bit as good as the Preds, and I just can't see where the Preds are going to create enough to win this series. I'll be really interested to see what they do at home. Will the pressure of the home crowd cause them to force it a little more? I doubt it, but there's a chance.

-The Hawks did pass up some shooting opportunities last night, which they shouldn't. Sometimes, as my friend Graham mentioned, they look like a second division Spanish soccer team trying to walk the ball into the net.

-As far as physicality, the Hawks have been more than physical enough in this series. If you want them to run around to try and send people into Row H, that would be playing right into Nashville's hand. They've been more than willing to take the hits when they are there (ask Patric Hornqvist and J.P. Dumont, who wilted as soon as his aged ass hit the ice thanks to Keith), and engaging in battles along the boards. Pipe down, rub-a-dub.