Just like with any great sequel, the 2nd matchup in as many days had plenty of excitement on both ends, ups and downs for the home team, and a triumphant comeback leading to a climax finish, only to see the good guys end up on the losing side of the equation. Perfect Empire form, but I still haven't figured out who lost the metaphorical hand. Unfortunately for me, I missed much of the game due to a surprise birthday party that well, surprised me. I did however fight my way to a tele every once and a while, catching glimpses here and there, and then watched some highlights after the festivities.
I will post some notes below of what I saw, but encourage all of you to fill in the blanks with some hearty comments after reading. Consider this an open forum.
- The Hawks played damn strong at times, looking like an unbeatable powerhouse of speed and puck movement. They accumulated 38 shots from their play, but still lost the war.
- The Avs are off to a great start, which is seemingly familiar to last years start, but I see a better team all around for Colorado. They will be hard to beat all year.
- Both of these teams can fly with the puck.
- I received a text from Vegas after Frolik scored and it read: " Frolik scores: apocalypse to begin shortly." Thats truth right there.
- Win or lose, this Hawks team is getting pretty exciting to watch. With the NBA in purgatory, the Hawks will gain quite a few new fans this year.
- Even with the Hawks speed and talent, they still lost, and they did it by allowing the same types of goals over and over. The defense is giving too much time to the opposition, are not aggressive enough and are still failing to communicate. The 3rd and 4th goals by the Avs should never have happened, and the other 2 were flukey. Montador should have pressured O'Reilly more, never allowing him enough time to center the pass to a striking Landeskog in goal 3.
- Q is pissed. He complained vehemently about the last point mentioned, and I like seeing some fire behind him. He is well aware that the Hawks have dropped 4 points they most likely should not have, and that there is consistency to their mistakes. All that much easier to fix, right?
- The 4th goal was completely unforgivable. Less than 2 minutes left and the Hawks make a defensive blunder like that. There are so many places to lay blame on this one. Brunette sort of messed up, then Keith flew way too far out of his position, leaving his man all alone (who would eventually score) and Leddy didn't cover when he saw Keith slide over. The result was 4 Hawks all on the same side of the ice. Lack of position, lack of communication and 1 point given up.
- The power-play is still a thing of frustration to watch.
How about some positives:
- The forecheck pressure created by Carcillo allowed Frolik to start the apocalypse.
- Brunettes continued slot presence and ability to be a force in front of the goaltender helped cause the Hawk's 2nd goal and almost created the game winner in OT
- Nick Leddy's rush was a thing of beauty, proving that he is capable of being the poor-man's Campbell.
And one last giant negative:
- As exciting as the Hawks are to watch during the game, they are that much more disappointing to watch during the shoot-out. Oh my god, do something creative already. Why aren't they taking notes, the flashy moves are beating them time and time again. Kane is far too talented with the puck to continually throw textbook wussy moves on goaltenders. Varlamov saw his move coming a mile away. He had the opportunity to change direction like Lindstrom did, but he continued to his forehand where Varlamov was already waiting for 2 minutes. Why haven't we seen Bolland in this role? Crawford is standing tall and then getting beat by high class moves to which he has little chance of stopping. I think it is time for a shoot-out clinic!
So, thats about all I have. Please fill in the many blanks I left open.