Huh?: Isle 4, Hawks 2


There's no actor better than saying, "What the fuck?" than Jonah Hill, which is just about how I feel right now. What a bewildering afternoon. A sort of ho-hum first period followed by a period in which I swear the Hawks played pretty well, and yet found themselves down 3-1. They doubled up the Isles on shots, had chance after chance, and the only thing I can see is a couple dumb penalties, by Eager, Walker, and Barker, and the now-suddenly clueless penalty kill.

This is the one thing to really worry about. More than faceoffs, because if you notice the Hawks have won the faceoff battle the last four games, and are 1-3. But the PK is leaking like my steering fluid. It's given up 3 goals to the Isles and BJs, the 20th and 30th ranked PP's in the game. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know enough about systems to tell you what the exact problem is. What i do see is that when the Hawks PK was nails, they blocked a lot more shots out front. Those shots are getting through now. The Hawks this year haven't been moving people out front of the net, they were more concerned with pressure outside and blocking shots. Now those shots that are finding their way through are being met by unmolested forwards in front of the Hawks goalie. Q has showed a reluctance to change personell or systems, he shouldn't the latter but maybe the former. Why Toews isn't out there, no one has adequately explained to me yet.

The 3rd was about how you'd expect, unable to climb back against a team that had bunkered down. An infuriating sequence took place to the end, eliminating any chance of getting back into the game. The Hawks were up two men, pulled Khabby, and had a 6-on-3 advantage. This should be an automatic goal. Yet, the Hawks were still looking for the cute play, instead of firing at will and using the ridiculous numerical advantage to crash home a rebound.

What a forgettable afternoon, and though I'm not looking for the panic button yet, I'm going to remind myself where it is. It's an ugly week looking us in the face, in New Jersey when Brodeur is going for the all time wins record, and the next night in Columbus. This could be squeaky-bumhole time in a hurry. About the only good thing that come out of this game is that Mark Streit made me look like a genius after writing a spotlight about him in The Indian, so he wins the Player of The Game.