Maybe it had something to do with the gluttonous state of the weekend, to eat too much, and buy more stuff you don't need. Did you know stores opened at Midnight last night for shoppers to get in even earlier than usual (what is wrong with the world)? Well, the Hawks joined in on the crazy festivities by racking up 6 goals in an 11 goal game, 4 of which were scored by the Hawks within the first 10 minutes of play in the 3rd period.
The statement coming into today's game was that the most recent game was the Hawks best road performance of the year. A statement that throws up a few red flags. First of all, they lost the game, so what does that say? It says that the Hawks have not been playing all that great up until that point. It is essentially an acknowledgement of something seriously wrong.
There is a lot of close dissection that could be done from the minute to minute play of this game. It was a very up and down game displaying good and bad moments for a great deal of specific players in an overall crazy game. Avoiding that for now, the simplest way to sum this game up is in the psyche of these 2 frustrated and determined teams. The frustration powered Anaheim early to a 2 goal lead and eventually lead them to take a ton of penalties resulting in the loss of that lead.
Conversely, a similar frustration and determination powered the Hawks to stay in a game that seemed like it was slipping through their hands. Supported by a Sharp Hat-trick, the Hawks exploded into the 3rd with 4 goals in under 10 minutes to capture a 2 goal lead.
Crawford can just about say goodbye to having any decent stats this year.
Shall we just get right into some of the finer points of this game:
- Lines looked a little bit different to start this game off, and quickly changed even further in reaction to a quick start by Anaheim. Frolik was moved to the Kane line in Carcillo's spot who was playing with an effecient 4th line all game.
- A Hjalmer/Keith pairing was out for the first Ducks goal. The result of some heavy hitting by Anaheim, and a Toews turnover caused the Hawks to fall behind very early. More heavy hitting by the Ducks and an inability to clear the zone helped the Hawks to a 2-0 deficit before the 3 minute mark.
- Obviously frustrated already, Toews took a penalty and Crawford faced 7 shots in the first 4 minutes of play. Things were looking pretty bad at this point and you could still hear re-verb from the anthem playing.
- At this point I thought Q might want to make a few quick changes to the lines in an attempt to adapt. After all, it's what he does. My thought was to get a physical presence on the top 2 lines, which mainly involved moving Carcillo and Mayers up. What Q did next worked out too. A Sharp/Kane/Toews line came together to notch the first goal that would come off of Sharp's stick.
- Okay I thought, lets try sticking with this line and see what happens. Well, it didn't stay that way. In fact, it was often hard to tell what the lines were because of all the special teams play that would follow.
- The Hawks had a net presence today. Start the chorus! The power-play also converted twice thanks in part to the plethora of opportunities to have the man-advantage. Thank you frustrated Ducks. And, even though I was cursing the Bolland on the point thing, he ended up being the reason for one of the goals. It still makes no sense though.
- The started off terribly, but ended the 1st only down 1 goal.
- The 2nd period wasn't half as exciting, but the Hawks dug themselves a slightly deeper hole after allowing the Ducks to take a 4-2 lead.
- Then the explosion of 4 goals in 10 minutes happened in the 3rd. The first 2 came within 28 seconds of each other.
- Players had bad moments and great moments today. I was commenting on how rough Stalberg was looking and then his physical presence in the corner helped Toews set-up the 2nd Sharp goal.
- I was cursing Sharp for slowing down during a 2 on 1 with Toews and blowing the chance, and then he scored 3 goals in the game. Kane had moments where he looked lost, and others when he seemed pretty aware of what he was doing.
- Keith had a great game all night, directly saving a few goals from outstanding defensive plays and added a few points while at it.
- The D as a whole looked very solid at times, only allowed 11 shots from the middle of the 2nd to until the Ducks pulled their goalie, out-shooting them 33-11 during this time, but then again left Crawford out to dry more than a few times.
- Essentially this game was a teeter-totter with the Hawks outplaying the Ducks for the majority of the 60 minutes.
- Again, the Hawks missed some opportunities that need to end up in the back of the net, but it did not matter that much by half-way through the 3rd. The Hawks won, but there isn't much I feel that can be taken from the game.
The end result is a pleasing one and sets the Hawks up to end this even crazier trip at 500. I continue to be pleased with the play of Kruger. Leddy keeps being the most dependable defenseman, and Sharp decided to show up to the game with some of his famous fire-power. Credit must be given to the determination of the Hawks to win this game.
I am having a hard time figuring out why 5 tired players were left on the ice long enough for the Ducks to get within 1 in the remaining seconds of play, but I guess it didn't really matter all that much. Hawks win 6-5. Now onto an L.A. team who isn't playing that well either.