Or is it?
The rematch between the Stars and Hawks last night produced much more pleasing results than on Friday nights matchup. Namely, the Hawks scored some goals. Could this have been the reaction to a goaltender change by Dallas, choosing to start Raycroft over Lehtonen? There is a good chance it helped, but the Hawks still made positive changes in their game over the 24 hours between games.
Is the only real difference in this game that more pucks went in the net for Chicago, or was there something bigger happening? I tend to sway towards the pucks in net idea, but they did one particularly important thing to allow that last night. They put bodies in front of the net. Case and point: Brunette scored after picking up a rebound doing exactly what the Hawks pay him to do.
The other important factor was that the core produced an abundance of goals. Bolland's return, always a welcomed event, added 2 goals to the cause. Never mind how flukey they were. Sharp and Toews also added 2 goals that were of the highlight reel variety. Kane is only a few inches away from 3 goals in 2 games easily.
I had my concerns before the game even started. Pirri was sent down in exchange for Kruger, and the Hawks were dressing 7 defensemen again. I am really waiting for a good justification on the 7 D-men thing. But, by the first 5 minutes of play you could tell this game would render a different result. I give Bickell mad props for coming out of the gate with 2 really big hits. He helped jump start his team to a much improved 1st period over the prior night, and this might have been the other huge factor leading to the win.
My observations on game #2
- Why the hell was Scott dressed? He didn't even play past the 1st period and it allowed for another night of double shifting forwards. This leads to the next point.
- The Hawks have to get out of the habit of relying on the same players to do everything night in and night out. Toews saw too much ice. Lets dress a full roster of forwards on Thursday, huh.
- Montador didn't look crappy. I only noticed one significant mistake. Nice to see him look like a hockey player.
- Keith kinda looked like Keith.
- Seabrook's cross-rink passes are a thing of beauty.
- Kruger had the best game of his career and I still prefer Pirri. Wise up Q.
- The core was everything we hope for them to be.
- Not as many forced passes, the Hawks took shots and crashed the net.
- The PP needs to be better moving forward. Anything under the top 3 in the league in this category would be a shame with that skill.
- The officiating was horrid, absolutely terrible. If this is what we can expect for future games, then the team with the best PP will win it all.
- Bolland is a mandatory body in the line-up. Maybe not the best thing.
- The Hawks positioning needs a great deal of work. The D is getting caught too deep too often, and if the defensive zone coverage doesn't get better, we will see a Crawford heart-attack by December.
A win is a win, and a 5-2 win is something to celebrate. The long break until Thursday nights game offers ample time for the coaching staff to address some much needed improvements. I hope to see a much more organized team take the ice against the Jets.