I Like The Way The Line Runs Up The Back Of The Stockings: Hawks 3 - Preds 0
The dizzying high of three wins in a row.
Yes, eminently predictable the Hawks would rouse themselves into coherence as soon as I pronounced them dead. Hopefully that's what this is. But, encouragingly, this was the most impressive game of the three. A perfect road game as some would describe it, the Hawks kept things as simple as possible, meaning the blue lines were paramount. Sure, there was an early onslaught from the Preds, but this time it wasn't about the Hawks not showing up but more an inspired home team that had to come out firing after a lackluster performance in their last game. The Hawks survived that, with only a scare or two, and went to work. While the shot board might look a little ugly, Corey Crawford only had a handful of tough saves to make, and even fewer rebounds to deal with, which is what we like. Overall, there ain't much to complain about, and if they can keep this rolling through the next three games, where they face teams who are their roommates in the Blob Dorm, well, things will look a lot rosier won't they?
-Duncan Keith's best game of the year? Duncan Keith's best game of the year. I can only recall from dim memory but I could swear that's what we became accustomed to last year. Closing shooting lanes, an active stick and feet that extricates him from trouble beneath the red line, picking off passes, starting the rush and jumping into the play for his own chances. Considering how ugly some of the CORSI's are, Keith's is one of the better. And it should be, because he dominated tonight. I'm sure this isn't an original thought, but if that's the Keith the Hawks get the rest of the way, things will be just fine. And I'll be eating crow, which will taste delicious.
-And he didn't even lead the Hawks in ice time, which Campbell did.
-Bolland and Hossa weren't as good as they were Monday, but Hoss was there to pounce on the one chance he had. He can make breakaways look so easy, and the way he left Cody Franson in the dust leads me to believe he's finally healthy. That's all right by me.
-21 blocked shots, which means the Hawks kept the Preds to the perimeter, which is exactly what you want.
-The Preds were credited with 36 hits, which means McClure, Katherine215, CNS, and Big C Southside were all probably credited with one. What a stupid stat.
-If it's so easy to play yourself down in the lineup, it should be only slightly harder to play yourself up, and I think Viktor Stalberg has done that. He's worked his ass off, rushed the net, and been backchecking. I think he's at least earned a look with Bolland and Hossa, and certainly will give you more than just the pitching machine that Bryan Bickell is most of the time.
-I hate to pull out the ol' Hossa line we did last spring for #81, but Michael Frolik really is doing everything but scoring right now. I can't see where this soft label has come from, because he's not afraid of doing the work. Kid just needs a bounce. Look what an empty netter did for Hossa.
-The Hawks got murdered at the dot, but you knew that.
-Hammer missed his last few shifts but no one seems to think it's serious.
-The penalty kill looks great when it's out there for 20 seconds, don't you think?
-I think the Preds are in serious trouble. I know there's the Trotz magic but other than Fisher is there a forward who can scare you in the least? David Legwand has pretty much become a joke, and I just can't see where the scoring comes from. But I say that about them every year.
-Lastly, along with the Hawks I had the Bulls game concurrently. It was a pretty exciting night to be a Chicago sports fan, and if the Hawks are finally getting their act together, there's a chance for a very exciting and unique spring around here, something we haven't seen since '92. I hope it happens.