This is the End: Hawks Forward Mid-Term Review Part 2
So lets finish this off. The drill here is very simple, especially since we've done three of these things. We've only got a few more forwards to look at but I'm not going to review all the forwards that have played this year. This is way more work than we're used to here on SCH so I'm glad it's over.
What will I come up with to say about Craig Adams or Colin Fraser?
Check it out:
|2008 - Craig Adams||27||2||4||6||-1||16||1||0||0||0||30||6.7|
There's not much to really say about Adams so this will be short. Adams is often scratched and not very noticable out on the ice even if he does make the lineup. He does already have over half as many points this year as he did last year (6 so far, 11 in 75 games last year). So Adams is playing with the best points per game since his 2005-06 season (hmm.. what else happened that year?). Adams has been a very serviceable 4th liner - hasn't made too many noticable mistakes and throws in with the occational point or fight.
Do I grade him in general? or in his role as a 4th liner? I don't know: 1.5 Guinness
|2008 - Troy Brouwer||36||6||10||16||7||34||3||0||0||0||61||9.8|
Brouwer is another Hawk that is quietly having himself a nice little season. Brouwer only had 12 games of NHL experience coming into this season (and even started the season in Rockford) but he's had the great luck to play the right wing on the same line as Sharp and Kane. You'd think a 7th round pick with very limited experience might be a bit overwhelmed playing alongside those two. You'd think it'd be even worse since he's playing against other teams' top lines. Yet you'd be wrong.
Brouwer adds some much needed size to go along with Kane and Sharp line and hasn't been scared to drop the gloves on occasion. He hasn't won many of those fights - only the one against Richards.. but that at least means he won his last fight. He's sat out a few games recently but it seemed to be just a wake up call. As long as the Hawks use Sharp as their #2 center then Brouwer will get points.
If the Hawks do pick up another center we'll see what happens - until then: 3 Guinness
|2008 - Adam Burish||29||2||2||4||1||54||0||0||1||0||41||4.9|
Burish is often talked about on this and many other Hawks blogs. I haven't read many people who actually dislike him. Sure they may think the adoration for him is unjustified (it is). But he's still one of the more likeable Hawks.
It was the case that Burish looked out of place on this team. 19 games into the season he had no points, 3 fighting majors (all loses) and was -5. Then he went on IR with a broken toe.
When Burish came back he came back with a vengence. His second game back with the Hawks Burish not only got his first goal of the season, but he added 2 assists and ended the night +4. He's netted another goal and added another fight (a fairly weak draw).
One thing you can say for Burish is that he always gives it his best. He's not the most talented player but he never seems to take a night off.
I still say he has a place on this team: 2.5 Guinness
|2008 - Ben Eager||41||8||3||11||3||89||0||0||0||0||39||20.5|
Eager has jumped around lines a bit. Sometimes playing on the 4th line sometimes being put on the 2nd line with Kane and Sharp. I like seeing him on the line with Kane and Sharp, and that’s not just because I have him on a fantasy team. He’s got the same size Brouwer but shows flashes that make you think he could breakout. He’s already matched his career high in points (11) and has a tendency to get in more fights (7 majors already). He hasn’t won many of those fights.. but none of the Hawks have a great record on their fight card.
One negative for Eager is that he does tend to take bad penalties (he's almost always a lock for a point in the SPG contest). Eager and Brouwer both have good potential so it'll be interesting to see it plays out for the rest of the year.
Lets say: 2.75 Guinness
|2008 - Colin Fraser||45||3||8||11||2||44||0||0||0||0||35||8.6|
Goddamn.. how many young players having a good season can one team have? I risk repeating myself again, but Fraser had only 6 games of experience in the NHL coming into the year but has played every game so far this year. 11 points on the 4th line is something I can live with. Hell, he's got more points than Danny Briere but that's mostly because Briere is the new Havlat.
Like most Hawks who fight, Fraser loses a lot but he's still willing to drop the gloves when called on.
Lets say: 2.5 Guinness
|2008 - Patrick Kane||43||16||26||42||1||28||8||0||2||1||128||12.5|
Before the season started - I was worried most about Kane suffering a sophomore slump. Turns out there wasn't much to worry about. Over the offseason Kane said he mostly worked on improving his shot and it's really paid off. Despite a bit of a slump recently (more on that later) Kane's been one of the best players on the ice every game. He's scoring more points per game and is only 5 goals from topping his Calder season last year.
One thing can does need to work on (other than getting a haircut) is controlling his temper. One or two big hits on him and maybe a couple extra hits with a stick and Kane can totally be taken out of the game. He ends up pushing other players around and when they push back it causes someone else on the ice to come over and fight. Kane will always be a smaller player and unless the Hawks sign the second coming of McSorley he's going to have opponents taking a run at him.
Kane hasn't fully recovered from injurying his ankle suffered in the Wings game on the 30th. Hopefully a little time off and getting a goal in the All-Star Game will help him out because he's been invisible since returning to the ice.
The 7 game pointless streak hurts him though: 3.75 Guinness.
|2008 - Patrick Sharp||45||21||14||35||1||37||7||0||4||1||135||15.6|
So lets end this review on a high-note. Sharp is currently playing out of his best position and is still leading the team in goals, showing that last year was no fluke (and thankfully his contract is a smart one). Like Kane, Sharp is in a bit of a slump (only 1 point in the last 8 games). Hard to say how much of that is Kane's injury slowing him down, but it's incredibly frustrating knowing we could probably get a lot more out of Sharp if he was still on a line with Toews and Kane.
Still, Sharp is on the scorecard more often than he's not and he's on pace to have a very similar season to what he did last year when he was just another of great players to watch. His +/- needs some major work along with his face-off %. The face-off problem is team-wide however so you can't take too much away from Sharp on that (Hawks are 28th overall in winning the face-off - puke).
If the Hawks find a good center to replace Sharp - expect something big: 4 Guinness