Insert posts from any day over the past few weeks here:
In a complete shocker, the Hawks are lucky to win a game against a team that they should have taken easily. They give up 4 goals on a whopping 41 shots to a team that is the poster child for bad offense, getting spanked in the 3rd period (the only period that Hawks have seemed good at this year) highlighted by the fact of being out-shot 23-3 until the last minute of play. And get this, Captain Toews had to once again save the day. Yep, shocker.
The good: Toews scored a shorty, Sharp continues to climb out of his hole with another tally tonight, the PP produced a goal, Brunette scored at even strength, and Ben Smith notched a grinding goal in his first appearance in a while. News flash: when a team is losing games due to hustle and an inability to win battles, it doesn't hurt to play a guy like Smith who does those things seemingly effectively, instead of that giant guy. No offense to giants.
The really good would have to be the 2nd period when the Hawks looked like they should more often, but I kinda forgot how good they actually looked because the 3rd period burned my eyes. We did see a pass from O'Donnell to Brunette for his goal that had a little magic on it. Didn't know he had it in him. The ultimate good I suppose is that the Hawks continue to find points at a bad time in the season for them in regards to their play. We can only hope for a turnaround later.
Something is most obviously wrong and I feel like a broken record, so lets not get too much into it tonight. The same old concerns apply here and against another suffering team. Tomorrow they have a team far from suffering, a team which always gives the Hawks a bad taste in their mouths and happens to be the hottest team in hockey at the moment. The St Louis Blues are on a tear through the conference, raking up a lot of points in their last 10 after having a slightly less terrific start. How did they turn things around so suddenly you ask? But you already know that answer.
Enough with the coaching talk right? Well, coaching aside, and unpreparedness aside, and untimely line changes (again) aside. The obvious issue of most dire concern is the Hawks drive to win games. The compete level is just not there. The Hawks are losing battles at every turn. Not finishing checks, shying away from corner scrums, and just not displaying any will to win. Even in the 2nd when they looked much better, you could still critique their ability to fight for the puck.
You could also point to Crawford on this one. I have let him off the hook more than a few times because of the lack of defense in front of him, but I could not feel good about a couple of the ones he let in tonight, even though he did make 37 saves all together. Although, my guess is Montoya wants at least 1 back too.
Like I said, not going to spend too much time on this game, lets turn to the more important one that starts in less than 12 hours. If they lose that one, at least they can use the "I was tired" story.