It did not matter who was in net tonight for the Hawks, the puck was getting by. Not only the puck, but Dallas skaters had a nack for sneaking past the Hawk's D-men as well. This was a brutal one to watch, and I tried to watch as little as possible. In the end it was a 5 - 0 loss to a huge competitor right after winning a huge game against the Sharks. A loss of 2 crucial points (as crucial as it gets) at the hands of way too many odd-man rushes and a non-existent power play. The Hawks started short a player. Bickell was a scratch due to illness, and neither Bolland or Campbell returned to the line-up. Expect Campbell soon, especially given this loss, but Bolland could be gone for some time.
Trouble In Texas. Blackhawks get beat up on by the Stars 5-0.
The start off the game looked promising for the Hawks. They actually looked like the better team for a good part of the game, if you minus all of the really dumb mistakes. Where they skated well, they made a mistake and caused a turnover, much of them at the hands of the D with the maybe the exception of Campoli and Hjammer. But I could be wrong, because frankly, I was not trying to watch too much of this downer. No matter how you look at it, the turnovers started early, and the defensive breakdowns followed.
The Hawks had a few chances to score first and just missed the mark. One such chance resulted in a breakaway for Dallas after Seabrook pinched too far up and didn't make sure he was in the passing lane. You would think a guy who is notorious for making those long outbreak passes would see it coming. Ott made sure to burry his chance and Dallas went up 1 - 0.
The Hawks had a strong PK early on which was promising and almost scored shortly after. This was a great chance for Kane to tie the game and notch number 101, but he missed all alone in the slot and shortly later a little deja-vu happened when the Hawk's D got caught deep again and gave up a 2 on 1 rush. Kane was fumbling the puck all night, and like Konroyd said, "Dallas' top players were better than the Hawk's top players." Plain and simple.
It took a 3 on 2 rush for Dallas to end Crawford's night pretty early which made it a 3 - 0 game. Not Crawford's fault, the Hawks were standing around a lot at this point and the shot was a well placed one-timer. I decided to throw all my eggs in one basket and declare a Hawk's goal, knowing that if the Hawks did not score late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd the game was over. They brought pressure making it seem like there was hope, but it just ended in another Dallas breakaway. The only difference was that Turco stopped this one with a brilliant glove save. Okay, maybe the Hawks could build something off that save? Nope, Dallas scored early in the 3rd putting the game away for good. Turco got a little over confident and tried to make one of his saucer passes from the far boards, sending it right at a Dallas player who promptly put it in the net.
The Hawks saw life in a 4 minute power play. Unfortunately, Keith doesn't only want to play sloppy hockey, he also wants to be really frustrated and take a bad penalty. What blows my mind though is how Ott did not get a penalty for attacking Keith after Keith ruffed up his teammate. Ott jumped him. It doesn't really matter because this was not the Hawk's game at any point anyway.
It is a shame to lose here. Nashville won their game, Phoenix won their game, and if the Kings and Sharks end the night victorious, the Hawks are looking at a night about as bad as it gets. There is no way they can fall out of a playoff spot on this day, but with a couple days off, the Hawks could be looking from the outside in by Sunday when they take on Phoenix.
The Hawk's fate is in their own hands. I am personally really hard pressed to say anything anymore. It has been mentioned that the depth is an issue and who can argue that. They need their core in-tact and playing well to make the playoffs. For now, I am tired. Expect a post in the very near future that goes a bit further into all things Hawks.