I am glad to see the Hawks grab the 2 points today, but I feel more unhappy about the performance than positive. The reason being that we saw too much of the same old story. Hawks start great, dominate for a good 10-15 minutes and then let the other team back in the game, blow a lead and almost lose the game that was theirs for the taking.
Hawks Win, but it took a Shootout.
Since we have all stated the issues surrounding the above little rant, I choose rather to focus on some positives for once. Yeah OneTeam, there are positives, and you know you don't want your precious Wings playing the Hawks first round. I would think the Nucks don't want that either. Things change in the playoffs and with a team full of guys who won it last year, anything can happen. First they have to get there, but with as many bad bounces the Hawks have suffered this year, they are still well within reason of striking distance.
Which brings me to my positive statements. The Hawks won today, and with that win are only 2 points out of 6th, 4 points out of 5th and 6 points out of 4th. As bad as it has gotten, and I really doubt it gets worse, the Hawks are still in this race.
Things I noticed from the game:
Frolik and Johnson played great. Frolik had me eating my words about how trading Skille for him was a bad choice. He was the most consistent player on the ice if you ask me, almost scored the game winner, caused a few turnovers from a strong forecheck and brought some poise to the Hawk's game. Johnson won a few key face-offs, blocked some timely shots and played with the grit missing from the Hawks this year. I hope Johnson sticks around in the lineup.
For a good portion of the 1st half the Hawks played some of their best hockey of the season. This however only led to a 1-0 lead from a beauty of a goal. A few chances, Toews hitting the crossbar, and more than a couple loose pucks in front of Fleury that went without being cashed in. Bolland had another strong game and set up Hossa a few times who still couldn't convert. It might not have been such a good idea to pair Frolik with him, because Frolik is also in a scoring slump. 20 games without a goal.
The physical play in the first was right where we wanted it to be and then crashed violently as the game progressed. Bickell and Brouwer each had 5 hits though, and I was left scrathcing my head after Bickell scored with his proven wrist shot. How does he do that?
The coaching staff finally realized that they have 3 full lines of defense and 4 full lines of forwards. See what happens when you use the whole bench guys.
Hjammer had a great game, and I appreciate your perspective on Seabrook BW, but I choose Hjammer over him any day if it came down to it. I do expect Seabrook to figure his game out, and I do appreciate what he brings to the Hawks, he just isn't doing it now, and I wouldn't part with any other "core" player. I do doubt he is going anywhere, but you have to wonder how the Hawks can gain anything with the cap staying the way it is. Let me take this moment to bash on Campbell who looked terrible today.
As I said, win aside I was left feeling unhappy about the game. Blown power plays, more missed chances, and giving a game back to a team that should have been left for dead. In the last 2 minutes the Hawks saw light in a late power play. Primed to win and be done with it, Hossa gets a chance in the slot, misses the net and then gets called for a hooking penalty shortly after. As usual, he royally blows a chance to be the difference.
Then Toews makes an uncharacteristic play in overtime. With only a few seconds until they would be down a man in a 4 on 3 situation, he has the puck and takes a long shot on net when he could have held on and killed a portion of the now short-handed situation.
Cut to Kennedy missing his chance at the game winner, Fleury stopping Frolik's chance (I thought Bolland should have just shot from the slot) and the Hawks find themselves in another shootout where Kane would come through on a big move.
Hawks win and I don't know whether to be happy or not. Where is the intensity in these guys?