Return Of The... - Stars 2, Hawks 1
It's all over. Cancel the rest of the season. There's no point.
While the Hawks certainly weren't lacking energy tonight, they were certainly not in lock step with one another. With Dave Bolland missing the opener with some mystery injury, and Ben Smith out with a skull full of tapioca, the Hawks were forced to dress 7 D and trot out a makeshift bottom 6, and it showed. There were plenty of chances going both ways in the first, as the Hawks and Stars traded chances, mostly as a result from sloppy ass play from both sides, and the netminders at both ends were up to the task.
After getting outshot in the first, the Hawks began to pour it on in the second, but seemingly every shot was either fired wide or right at Kari Lehtonen. The Stars opened the scoring after a blind ring around the boards from Duncan Keith found dick nose Mike Ribeiro, who slid the puck to an uncovered Alex Goligoski who solved Corey Crawford on a shot that likely moved late on Crow. The Hawks were given three straight power plays in the frame, but near the end of the third, Marian Hossa took an offensive zone slash, with a resultant defensive zone draw that OF COURSE ended up in the back of the net.
The Stars pretty well clamped things down through the third, and the Hawks finally only solved Lehtonen with 13 seconds left and an extra attacker when Nick Leddy's shot from the top of the ring went shelf. Stars 2, Hawks 1, panic commence.
- So can we all just agree that there's zero point to ever speculating what the fuck the line combinations are going to be? What a pig fuck.
- Old Man Pucks, Sean O'Donnell, nearly got blown by 10 seconds into the game. Not a good harbinger for his endurance. And Steve "Money Well Spent" Montador hardly looked like as much of a liability as his 12 shifts would indicate. But look for Dusty Quenneville to keep OD in until he absolutely can't anymore.
- Ahh yes, the minimum one breakaway against while Keith and Leddy are out there. I'll say it every game until it works: STOP THAT.
- And while we're talking about Keith, that was a downright unforgivable turnover that led to the first goal. A 100% blind fire up the boards. No, Hossa can't leave the zone that early, but he had time an 7/8ths of the width of the ice to carry the puck with.
- Jamie Benn: officially a thing.
- Looks like we're definitely getting Fuck You Mode Kaner this year.
- Though the Hawks did take a lot of bad angle shots into Lehtonen's pads, he did stand tall when he had to in the 2nd when it was still a one goal game.
- Can hardly fault Crow for the loss, but both of those goals were preventable. Maybe the Goligoski shot dipped, and Hammer should have had better position on Benn, or Crawford should have caught the Souray shot clean, but if he only lets in 2 on 33 shots against the Stars, that's a game you've still got to win.
- The power play is still fucking clown shoes.
- Yeah, it was frustrating, it was ugly, and it wasn't the fun result, but it was game 1, and there's an immediate opportunity for retribution tomorrow. And maybe Dave Bolland even graces the Hawks with his presence. There's room for optimism. Until they lose tomorrow night. Then the sky is REALLY falling.