It was actually starting to look like the lack-luster performance of this game would yield a shutout for Corey Crawford, which was sitting nice in my head as a possible jolt into the playoffs since it obvious Q has chosen him as our guy. However, nobody seemed like they wanted to play this game. The Wild are done, the Hawks aren't sure they want the points, and the evidence is in the god-awful 3rd period performance in which a combined 9 shots was tallied on net. Oh, the Hawks only had 1 of those shots and there is your lost shutout for you.
With 3 minutes left to go in the 3rd, the Wild got one of their 2 power-plays in the game, and Clutterbuck redirected an innocent enough shot from the point, making it 1-1 and sending this game all the way to another shootout. The Hawks seemed interested in winning through the extra 5 minutes, but couldn't really make anything happen. Kaner gave us another awesome interpretation of his quick and agile hands on the shootout, had Harding was fooled a few times as he tried to end the suffering with a poke-check, but Kane missed on cashing in with most of the glove side open for business. This should be how Kane attacks every attempt in the future. In familiar fashion, Setoguchi netted the game winner and the hurting was over. 1 point gained and I am mostly fine with that.
Earlier in the game, the Hawks 4th line made it 1-0, and the Hawks most definitely had a few other close calls that would have made this a 3-0 game on most days, but it was the play of that 4th line and specifically our questionable number 67 that had me excited. He continues to boggle my mind, and I am sure the administration is as unsure how to act with him as I would be. He looks great out there in many situations. He was handling the puck wonderfully, making important plays, and eventually earned the Hawks a goal and essentially a point from the game. His set-up to Mayers was brilliant, and I also take notice of what Bollig did to help that play along. This could be a tough 4th line to play against in the playoffs.
And of course, in familiar fashion, we are all ready to complain some more about the Hawks power-play. I am in shock and disbelief that the coaching staff could not fix this issue with a full season of time to do so, and especially with the talent it possesses. Against a so-so kill, the Hawks couldn't really muster anything on 11 minutes of PP time. All of the teams they will face in playoffs have better than average special teams, and the Kings have the #3 PK in the league. Will this be the downfall of the team this post-season? It is highly probable.
And with that point, the Hawks maybe come a little too close to facing the Preds in round 1. If the Hawks pull a regulation win out of tomorrow's game, they will be facing the Predators, and we all know how the Hawks have performed against the Wings this year thus far, as head-to-head play would be the tie-breaker in that scenario. My personal feeling is that Nashville is the team I would be cheering for if the Hawks were to fall out, and I see Nashville as one of the biggest threats in the West. They have destroyed during division play, but the Hawks have given them 2 of their losses there. I guess we just have to wait and see.