Yotes 3 - Hawks 2, NBC you still suck

Well, perhaps lucky for all of you, I missed basically all of the first period because the brain trust at NBC seems to feel that we must see some commercials and hear what Tim Thomas has to say after the game. You're number one NBC (picture salute) I went back and looked at the video for the Toews goal and it was nice to see the captain get on the board after being out so long and it kind of encapsulates what it will take to score on Smith. Ugliness. Pure, uncensored ugliness.

Since I couldn't see the first period, I have no idea really what that looked like. From the second period on, I didn't think the Hawks played badly but they weren't doing enough of what they needed to to win. On the Yotes first goal, clearly they had too many men on the ice. We can be reasonably certain the Hawks would not have scored on the resultant power play, because they, like never do, but the play that followed for the yotes would not have happened. Score two for the officials in this years playoffs. On the Yotes second goal, the Hawks got caught tired and Crow gave up what might have been a goal he should have had. Outside of that, I thought Crawford played a good game. On the Yotes third goal, they outworked the Hawks and set up a nice redirected goal.

Crawford played well enough tonight to give his team a chance to win. It's a bummer I guess that the Hawks must score at least two goals a game to win in the playoffs, but it's not like they don't possess the firepower to do it. Thought I liked the effort I saw from the Hawks, it wasn't the right effort. Shaw and Kruger did their thing as always, but there was not enough chaos in front of Smith to score. Toews banked in a goal that was pretty crappy for Smith to give up and Seabrook scored on a wide open net after his teammates created enough chaos to prevent Smith from going from left to right quick enough. You have to give the Hawks a lot of credit for scoring with Crawford pulled. In the OT though, the Yotes were making the Hawks run around in circles and it seemed like it was just a matter of time.

The good stuff- The Hawks got 45 shots on net, they shut down a brief 5-3 and overall played a very disciplined game. What wasn't so good was that they lost on the dot, took more perimeter shots than I cared for and could not seem to sustain an organized assault on Smith's crease. It goes with out saying that Smith was very good and the Yotes were brutally tight defensively. This isn't going to change. If the Hawks lose this series, it will be because A) they can't score a power play goal, B) they don't spend enough time in Smith's grill and C) because they lose their patience and get frustrated. I'm pretty bummed they lost this game after coming back and if not for that blown call, they probably win that game in regulation. Still, if they needed a reminder of what's needed to beat the Yotes, they now have it. How they play Saturday will probably say a lot about where the series is headed.

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  • Well, lack of engagement was the key for me. The 'Yotes were more 'engaged" than the 'hawks for the most part. They wanted pucks more, won the battles and back-checked ferociously. Shaw, Toews @90%, Seabrook, and Crawford were the only 'hawks I thought that looked seriously interested.

    Indeed 45 shots but mostly easy pickings for Smith and unless they start mucking it up more in the crease, this could be a short series. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for other teams to get point shots through, get deflections and goals. Hawks have to waste 35 seconds winding up in their own zone in order to try and set up to enter the offensive zone on the PP.

    Vegas, it could have easily been 2-0 in the first as Bickell was robbed by Smith on a perfect feed from Bolland, I think.

    On the Yotes first goal, Hammer throws a blind pass up the middle which gets picked and the ensuing fire drill happens. Then O'Donnell drops his stick but makes a nice hand pass to Crawford for the cover but Hammer intercepts the pass and promptly turns it over again and the game changed from that point on.

    Kane had two assists, but he, Hossa and Sharp had better pull their heads out soon. Hammer and Oduya had bad games as well.

    I hope it was that lack of engagement but the 'hawks' lack of hockey 101 fundamentals was clearly evident last night—poor passing poor zone entry, poor breakouts and poor coverage.

    Q should have used a time out in the OT at least during one of those three lazy icing calls the 'hawks took.

    They'll be better in game 2. They'd better be.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Yes, that play by Hjalmer was hard to watch, but his pass wasn't blind, his teammates were too far out of the zone already. Still, a horrible pass. And Oduya was off for sure.

    Like you said, they have to want it a little more. I can't believe Bickell did not hit his mark on that play, and it would have been the game for sure.

    Another example of the other team wanting it more, and being out-coached.

    They will be better Saturday night.

  • I am broken hearted.
    With the exception of the 1st, I saw the Hawks falling back into a lot of the bad habits we were used to, but with some individual efforts that shined. Who know the 3rd line would be the best line? To score with 14 seconds left only to break our hearts again leaves me scratching my head.

    Putting Hossa, Kane, and Toews all on one line does not always mean that it will be stellar. Hossa really needs to showssa in these playoffs.

    The 2nd line seemed a bit off, and the D made their usual mistakes. Stop flying the zone to early forwards.

    This was not the effort I was looking for, but it might have been helpful in the long run. Now the Hawks know what level they have to play at.

    It was awesome to see Toews score so early, but his team needs to assume he won't do it again.

    Shaw continues to amaze me, and that non-call for too many men was even more amazing. The official was standing right in front of the exchange, and it happened where the puck was. How in the world can that be missed?

    At least Crawford impressed.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    "Putting Hossa, Kane, and Toews all on one line does not always mean that it will be stellar."

    THIS has been one of my constant complaints and was something I was worried about with Toews returning. Arguably, these are the Hawks most talented players. When you put them altogether, they can be neutralized especially by a team like the Yotes. I see it as a matter of balance. Up until Toews returned, I felt like we had some nice balance. Moreover, each line had a nice twist to it that gave Q the ability to roll all lines. Toews, Hossa and Kane, IMO, is way too top heavy. If you neutralize that line, you have neutralized a huge amount of Chicago's talent. This is what the Yotes are so good at.

  • No surprise we lost,really. Bad missed call and all. Crawford played just fine thanks.

    I hope we get Olesen for O'Donnell and Hayes instead of Bickell come game #2. This is a team that's light on the hits. Coyote broadcast had it 44-14 at one point for the 'yotes. No doubt a homer doing the count but it was still bad. I miss Carcillo.

    Q had O'Donnell and Hammer out with the fourth line on one goal and has been mentioned should have pulled a time out on that icing call or in OT. What is he saving them for , St Jean Baptiste day ?

    I'd just commented to the wife that icings are a bad sign when the winner went in.
    I think Saturday we will see a more focused group.

  • Not being "focused" or "engaged" is hard to believe in the playoffs, but sure looks like that is what happened to more than a few players (Sharp & Hossa are examples). Hammer stealing the puck from his own goalie after the 2 minute fire drill was the turning point. The PP was again lacking hard work and puck retrieval, better figure it out quick or this series will be over. Leddy just leaning on Hanzel and not pushing him out of the lane was the biggest issue on the winning goal, been a problem with the D all year. Smith is a good goalie, but he is down early all of the time, throw the puck up top when in doubt.

  • Wow, Nucks fill their diaper again. Gave up TWO shorties. TWO! Despite the score, they again cannot put this one on Luongo. And how bout the Flyers again! Normally, I don't watch much out east but this series is getting epic.

    Congrats one team. That was another boring as hell game to watch, but your boys frustrated the living shit out of the Preds and it's good to see them get a taste of that once in awhile. Rinne was not looking good in that game, but the Wings also made adjustments I PRAY the Hawks were watching. Chaos in the crease, drive the puck in, elevate when the big goalie goes down. If the Hawks do this, they will win.

    I'm thinking this is a must win for the Hawks. The Yotes, though they played a very tough game, caught a very lucky break with the too many men missed call. On the other hand, the Hawks scored their final goal because they were down and pulled crow, so it very well could have gone to OT as a 1-1 game. I'm torn on Bollig versus Frolik. We know Fro will not score again. Ever. However, he does a lot of good defensive stuff. Without Bollig out there, I see Toews getting abused again. I dunno, it's a tough call. On the D though, I was in favor of seeing Lepisto for this game and my outlook hasn't changed for the next game. Biscuit and Keith may also need to be split up.

    Go Hawks.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    The Pens/Flyers series is blowing my mind! What exciting hockey to watch, and how the hell are the Pens down 2-0? WOW!

    Not sure this is a must win just yet, but it couldn't hurt. I totally anticipate a complete game from the Hawks tonight, and IMO, that spells a big win. This squad has shown too many times that they lack the fire required early on, and the last game was no different. I don't know if that is coaching or what, but it is too often the case. They have their heads where they belong for this one. Agreed, Lepisto should start. And agreed on being torn with the Fro vs Bollig choice, however leaning towards starting Fro.

    Break up that 1st line, add depth across the top 3, and finish with Fro on the 4th to give it a jump in production and the Yotes might have their heads spinning. Lepisto in for O'Donnell gives that last pairing an offensive boost, and someone to move the puck. Even in a game that the Hawks played badly, they lost because of it.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    Agreed, not a must win until they lose one at home, but to have to win 4 of 5 against the 'yotes will be asking a lot. Not partial to any lineup changes tonight, would like to see Frolik in there, but not at the expense of Bollig, for obvious reasons. Bruno maybe.

    The 19, 88, 10, 81, 25 need to step it up and be the best players tonight. Hammer needs to have his minutes reduced. If that means Lepisto is the better fit, so be it.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    "Wow, Nucks fill their diaper again. Gave up TWO shorties."

    Guess you could say they got "brown'd".

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