Well, I was not able to watch the game from start to finish live. By the time I left in the middle of the second, I was reasonably satisfied with what I saw. It was a gut punch to give up a goal so quickly after scoring one, but from the outset, the Hawks were on the Blues like stink on hockey gear. I wouldn't say they played a desperate game, but they looked like they wanted to win and for the most part, kept it simple. More importantly, they pried open the defense of the team likely to win the President's Trophy this year. That's not a bad outing.
First period, the Hawks went up one zip about half way through the period on a Bickell wrister that looked like it surprised Halak more then anything else. Did Bickell precisely place that shot to squirt through Halak's armpit? Probably not, but it didn't matter. However, on the next faceoff, the puck went up ice and Alexander Steen put the puck past Crawford on his left and the puck bounced off the far post and hit Crawford in the back before going in. Crawford did not look like he came out to challenge much on that and Leddy got completed danced around. At the end of one, both teams had an ugly goal.
Second period, no scoring. Decent chances both ways and the Hawks outshot the Blues 10-3. More on shots later. Into the third, Brunette notched another ugly goal that resulted from the Hawks having great net presence and about four minutes later, Sharp and Stals forced a two on none breakaway from center ice and and Stals carried the puck, Sharp set himself up for the one timer that he drilled past Halak. However, once again, the Hawks gave one goal right back a minute later as Arnott stopped a puck behind the Hawks net and brought it forward and eventually whacked it past Crawford. Crow had the paddle down, but Arnott had no one to stop him from the hack and whack he was doing to the puck. After that, The Hawks settled back into a decent groove all the until the very end of the game when the Blues, with a minute and thirty seconds to go, set up a pretty wicked redirect. Though the Hawks locked it down after that, it really sucked to be that close to a regulation win. With no goal in overtime, it went to the shootout and both teams first three went dry. Then Bolland showed some real nice patience to hold on the puck long enough to slide it around a committed Halak. Crow blocked the ensuing tie up chance and that was that. Niemi and the Sharks lost tonight, 2-0.
Random- Hawks outshot the Blues 40-20, won the faceoffs 31-25 and as I said before, they pried apart the Blues defenses and scored some dirty goals. Oduya played 31 minutes; Stan sure as hell did himself a favor picking this guy up. Stalberg had a great night, Kruger again looked good and though he will never score in the NHL again, Frolik has done some nice things defensively. Kane's line was on for all three goals against, but I think Leddy and O'Donnell have more to do with two of them then the forwards did. One more win is probably needed to lock up sixth place and with the Preds coming up next, it's hard to not just look past that game, accept the outcome, and look forward to trying to finish strong on the Wild and Wings.