Thoughts From Last Night At The UC
Sorry folks, i should have been all over the wrap. But you know why I wasn't last night, or this morning, but I can't print it because my brother is tired of reading about my drinking problem. So fill in your own blanks there...
Anyway, some randoms:
-That's a gutsier win than it looked last night. The Hawks were down to a line and 2/3, and the 2/3 probably wasn't even that because when Ladd and Bolland have to drag around The Good Ship Useless 33, they're not all that effective. You'll also notice that Q just rolled three lines last night in the 3rd, with Versteeg joining D-Ladd (no Soul) and Buff skating with Fraser and Eager. Pelletier, Brent, and Burish barely saw the ice. All of this against a seriously hot team, desperate for points. After taking the lead, the Hawks did a remarkable job of closing up shop, Huet didn't have a big save to make until Toews's (silly) penalty. Even then, it took a slice of terrible luck to for the Hawks to be breached, Bolland catching an edge. It happens, and they showed enough heart to find a way for the extra point. It's a better effort than it might first look.
-Good to see VerStud have a great game. He was everywhere. I've been hard on Versteeg, and still don't think he should be on either special team, but to be fair to him he's been played out of position and/or with some dogshit linemates. If you check out his Quality of Teammates number on Behind the Net, his is far and away the worst. Finally getting to play with competent people certainly helps. I feel this will cause a line juggle when Sharp and Pahlsson are back. Mabye Sharp with Havlat and Bolland and Ladd, Versteeg, Pahlsson? I could live with that.
-Neither Matt or I mention the 4th line enough, but they've been stellar. I said to my friend last night in the beginning of the 3rd, " I know he doesn't have a point, but if Eager is not one of the three stars, there's something wrong." He was creating havoc in the Canes zone all night, and skated so hard I thought he might vomit on the ice. The play of him and Fraser has been everything you could ask. All you want from a 4th line is to be better than the guys they face on that shift, create some energy, and do it in the other guys' zone. The Hawks 4th line has done that an overwhelming majority of the time.