What a bizarre game. From the start of this game, I was not very impressed by either team and I'm not very impressed by this win. A win is a win I suppose, and the Hawks sure need the points, but it was really kind of a steal of a game where the Hawks got the lucky bounce despite getting outplayed in the third. Whether it was a matter of the Hawks getting some luck or the Rangers extending bad luck, the Hawks capitalized on a turnover, scored a goal and then scored another 60 seconds later and just like that, turned the game on a dime.
First period, both teams were guilty of cutesy bullshit passes instead of putting on net. Neither team put up double digits in shots on goal and hits were even at ten each. In the last couple minutes I felt like the Rangers were starting to get some edge and the Hawks were having trouble getting the puck cleared. Finally, with less than a minute to go, Seabrook takes the puck up the boards to Emery's right and passes to Stalberg who is on the boards looking up ice. He bobbles the puck, loses his stick, and Kane gets his stick lifted by a Ranger who puts it to Anisimov. As Anisimov is skating in on Emery Seabrook and Stalberg are kind of watching in amazement from the boards, and then, Seabrook for some inexplicable reason gives HIS stick to Stalberg and then tries to go after Anisimov without a cue!
Second period was a better effort from the Hawks. Bollig started the period by dropping the gloves early with Rupp. Bollig landed better jabs to start the bout, but was never able to tie up Rupp's right hand and took a couple of solid shots because of it. Give him credit for taking that fight. For the most part, the Rangers were starting to play a tight game and the Hawks were not challenging the slot. Then with about five minutes to go, Oduya got the puck at the blue line, wound up to slap it, but then pulled it back and moved to his left before letting it go. This perfectly opened up the shooting lane and Shaw got a perfect deflection on it.
In the third, the Rangers caught the Hawks in a sloppy clear and put it in with a scrum of players in front of Emery. From here, the Rangers really started driving the bus. They finished every check, they fought for every puck and outworked the Hawks. However, with about seven minutes to go, Kane picked up a bouncing puck at the top of the slot, passed it to Hossa on Lundqvists left who quickly passed it to a wide open Sharp on Lundqvist's right. Without that kind of puck movement, the Hawks had no chance of beating King Henrik tonight. After tying it, the Hawks finally got some jump in their strides and started to bring it. 62 seconds later the puck squirted over to Oduya's point and he one timed is clean past the King. After that Kane got an empty netter and the Rangers came back and picked up a lucky one when Keith was not able to swat away a bouncing puck in front of the crease.
Random thoughts: Hammer returns! Meh. He played third pair minutes and was a +1. I think he's got some work to do to displace Oduya and get back on second pair. Seabrook was not looking very good to me. He got danced around a few times and I still don't get what the hell he was trying to do on that first goal. Oduya was great to watch, but oh yeah, Bowman is an idiot who can't judge talent. Nice to see Shaw get back on the score sheet. That kid is fearless. In the third, Q switched up the the lines and moved Sharp up with Kane and Hossa. While I don't think that's any kind of thing to count on in the future, it worked tonight.
NY played a predictable road game. They were consistent with hitting, they didn't take a ton of chances and were it not for a shitty bounce late in the third, they would have won this game pretty easily. Much as I'd like to say the Hawks won a gritty game, I really feel like they just got lucky. At this point, I guess all that matters is to try and hold their place in line while waiting for Toews to return. Oduya is becoming a nice addition that I hope sticks around next year, and guys like Shaw, Bollig, Hayes and Olsen are getting valuable ice time. Overall though, I don't think anything has really changed. But hey, winning on a Friday night beats losing.