And that my friends is how you finish a game off. It also happens to be how you start a game too. Pointing to what Guitar said in the last post, it seems like the Hawks took advantage of a tired team. I even got the sense that the Canes were expecting to lose this one from the get go. Not playing Cam Ward is a sure sign of a team not giving it all they have. Add a really bad brain-fart by the Canes defense early and the Hawks jump out right away. On a perfect sign of things to come, the Hawks score on their first shot of the game. Toews and Sharp collectively stold the puck and Toews finished brilliantly with a 5-hole shot showing why, since the Allstar break no other player in the NHL has more points than himself. That's what's up right there. Here come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks.
5 Different Goal Scorers Help the Backhawks Cruise to a 5-2 Win.
With the exception of a bone-headed play by Seabrook, when he tried to make a pass to Hjammer who had a man on him, the Hawks controlled almost all of the play for the first period. 2 goals off of 2 defensive mistakes in the game. Of course Seabrook was forgiven after he assisted the next goal by ringing a blast off the pipe. Bickell doing what he should probably do more off, stood tall in front of the net and banged in the rebound.
We all know the final score, and the Hawks did control most of the game as well, but there were a few too many close calls for my blood when they only had a 1 goal lead. Brouwer and Frolik could not cash in on a great opportunity. Im not sure how either of them missed their respective chances. Toews and Sharp connected for a beautiful give-and-go that resulted in a prime chance going uncashed too. Puck possession was theirs with authority and yet the game stayed at 2-1 for a good portion of the game.
During the first half of the 2nd period the Hawks almost gave the Canes a few gifts. Thankfully, they too could not convert on their very few opportunities. A little later in the game Crawford would be tested on a shorthanded opportunity for the Canes. Simply put, if the Canes scored on that chance the game would have been a lot different. Once again, Crawford makes the saves the Hawks needed him to.
I know Kane scored and all, but I thought his game was really suffering last night. He wasn't getting in the right places, he missed on a few chances including a huge breakaway, and was not moving the puck with the confidence we expect from him. After missing that breakaway, he sent the Hawks on the PK too. Good for him to find a goal in a game that he wasn't feeling good about.
My impact player of this game is a fellow I mentioned in the last post. Let us give a hand to SB for acquiring 2 strong players for little in return. Frolik and Campoli are great additions to the team. I know a lot of negatives have been said about Campoli since his trade. Most pointing to the lack of a physical presence coupled with limited numbers on the score sheet this year. Honestly, they could not have been more wrong. Campoli is a perfect fit in Chicago and his play last night really impressed me. Not only did he get 2 assists, one of them being a huge one that involved him carrying the puck almost coast to coast and handing off a beautiful pass to Johnson who nabbed his first Hawk's goal. Actually, add Johnson to the list of great acquisitions too. What impressed me overall about Campoli was his ability to read the offensive play. He was, and I quote, "The Campbell that never could for the Hawks," last night. He had the sense to move up in the offensive zone on many plays, creating more options for the offense and he still stayed within a safe distance to play D. On one such play he was almost rewarded with a goal. Add to the list of great plays, a couple of really big hits and I think we scored big with Campoli. Both he and Frolik looked great last night, with Frolik making a few really brilliant plays as well.
Bam! 5 goals from different guys. Toews, Bickell, Johnson, Bolland, and Kane. This is a team that is playing good hockey. The league is taking notice and all of a sudden no one is talking about all of the talent we lost during the summer.
Before I end this late post I want to mention another big reason for the Hawk's success lately. I think the PK has gotten much better. Sure they have 2 explosive scoring lines coupled with another 2 that are hard to handle, and sure they have the best PP in the league with a defensive unit that can move the puck better than any team in the league. What really has made me feel more comfortable about this team lately is the aggression showed during the PK's. I like what I see and I hope they keep it up.
7 in a row is not too shabby and still the Hawks have an uphill battle to wage. Let me second the comment left by Carp in the last post, they have a chance at catching the WIngs. Wouldn't that be great. There is no team that has been better in the last 10 games than the Hawks and they play Detroit twice before the season's end. Those 4 points would put them only 3 points away from 1st in the division. On to Toronto who would love to end the Hawk's party.