"But this one right here, this was my dream, my wish, and it didn't come true. So, I'm taking it back, I'm taking them all back"

"But this one right here, this was my dream, my wish, and it didn't come true. So, I'm taking it back, I'm taking them all back"

Back-to-back convincing wins have placed the Blackhawks back on top of the NHL throne. You might have noticed that the Hawks had fallen to the Ducks in NHL Power Rankings, even though this was IMO, a bit unwarranted. I understand completely what the Ducks are accomplishing here, but the Hawks are currently holding a plus 38 goal differential. Anaheim's plus 26 is pretty amazing, but there is still a 12 goal difference added on top of the 5 point lead in the West. This will all come crashing together with both teams cruising towards a huge showdown this  Wednesday night, which also has the NHL salivating at the mouth.

But before we get there, let's briefly talk about last night. I started with the above paragraph because I saw last night as a statement game by the Hawks. If not to the hockey world, then to themselves. They needed to right what was wronged just over a week ago, and take back what was taken from them, or what they had given up. Just as their 8-1 win Dallas didn't even take into full context the dominating play by the Hawks, neither did last night's 5-2 win over the Avs.

Dallas fell hard because they just couldn't keep up with the Hawks playing at full throttle for 60 minutes, but the Avalanche can skate with them, and are one of few teams who can do so. The Hawks had to be better at everything else, and they were, especially when it cam to puck movement and support. It felt a little like a taunt, "sure you can skate with us, but can you pass and support like us?"

It showed what the Hawks are capable of, and why they are so hard to handle. If you missed the game, to put in perspective, the control of the game the Hawks had became so bad that the Avs were tormented by their fans, while a cheer of "Go Hawks" dominated the airwaves in Colorado. Sure, this win was against the last place team in the conference, but they are not an AHL team, and the Hawks made it look that way.

Oh my was the passing crisp, and well planned. After going up 4-1, the Hawks could have just cycled the puck in the Avs corner for the rest of the game, because Colorado just couldn't handle it. There was one moment when the 3rd line cycled the puck back down low 3 times in a row, and then switched corners where they did the same, generating space in the process and keeping the Avs chasing around like kids at recess. It was over when Stalberg and Bickell would decide it be.

And of course, the best puck mover out there was number 88. I can't say enough about how happy I am that he got his game (and life) back together, and has started to focus on hockey. Mad props need to be sent in his direction. I have nothing but love now, and feel lucky to be able to watch it every night.

Unfortunately, after a rough hit, Hossa had to leave the game never to return. I am optimistic that the score had more to do with his permanent exit, but fear that this is becoming all too common place for him.

This did give us a chance to see Kane up with Toews and Saad on a few occasions which was rewarding to say the least. The first Hawks goal was the result of a group effort by the line of Bollie/Kaner/Hayes, but I have to say that I liked seeing Kane with 19 and 20 for a while. It helps add reasons for moving Hossa to the 2nd line with Bolland which is the moment I have been waiting for all along.

There is a lot of good that came out of the game last night, but someone who continues to disappoint, I am talking about Seabrook, was benched during the game. Hallelujah! Q benched his prized stallion. And look what happened, he scored a goal afterward! This goal came off of an example of what makes Kane such a special hockey player, but the movement on the play in which Keith and Seabs switched sides is what brought a tear to my eye. if only we could see more of that.

Quickly, because I can't get enough of pointing this out, Hjalmer is the best defenseman on the team, and that is with Keith playing pretty well.

And let's just leave it at that. The Hawks displayed some of their awesome skills the past couple of games, and maybe even a little angst for having their streak ended. It is promising that they can turn it up so high when they want to. The real test is of course this Wednesday when I hope they put it all out there for the world to see, because they have the next 4 days after to rest and look back on it.

Filed under: Game Recap

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  • On the last thread I said, "No longer do the top players do one thing without accountability while all other players get held to a different standard. " The benching of Seabrook last night was EXACTLY what I was talking about. Last year, no player from the cup team got held to that kind of accountability and seeing Q do this is long, long overdue.

    As for the Avs, it is nice to gloat a bit and remind them of why they are where they are in the standings. Breaking the Hawks streak was their Stanley cup and it's been back to reality for them since. Regardless, I believe they are going to make a jump in the next season or two. This is a make or break year for the Ducks and they seem to be getting that effect that a lot of people dreamed would have happened for the Hawks last year if Q had been fired. The new 8 million dollar man is still out for this game isn't he?

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    Yes, Perry will miss the game. But, they did just put up impressive numbers without him in the past few games.

  • Hostile Hawk, Just want to say your blog is my favorite Hawk blog. I knew little about hockey and so read all the blogs I could. I find I learn the most from you and your regular responders. Thanks.

  • In reply to Buenos Aires:

    Thanks!

  • Dominant show put on by the Hawks.Their ability to recover the puck after losing the draw is a thing of beauty. However, it would be preferable if they won more than 50% of the draws. I feel we need to see if Pirri can do it at the NHL level, now. Otherwise, with the trade deadline looming, I think we need to find a face-off specialist. This is no doubt going to cost us.

    Secondly, we keep getting outhit, by a large amount. The game against the Ducks is going to tell us if that is an aspect of the game the Hawks can ratchet up when necessary or if that is a cause for concern going forward.

    Cup winning teams can usually dish it out when required. In 2010 it wasn't an issue for the Hawks but it might be this year.
    A trade could address this.

    I confess to thinking Cup finals and maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. I am enjoying the season immensely.

  • In reply to Pilotefan:

    I hear you on thinking about the finals. It is and isn't getting ahead of yourself. If the Hawks stay healthy, there is no reason they should not go to the WCF. Sure, any low seed can wreak havoc like the Kings did last year, but that was a team that underperformed all year long. LA and the Ducks have what you love see, depth, size, grit and skill. However, I give both the Kings and the Hawks some edge for having been there before...recently. The Hawks are not without the ability to hit. It's just not their strong point. For hitting to be effective, it has to accomplish more then just put a guy on his ass; it has to disrupt. I don't think that's really happened so far, not for an entire game anyway.

    But, given the makeup of the Ducks and the way they play, it should provide some measure of what a serious opponent will look like deep in the playoffs. A lot of teams can beat the Hawks on any given night (AVS and OIL), but I feel little more comfortable over seven games. I still don't think Kane and Toews have hit their peak yet for this season.

  • In reply to Pilotefan:

    Yes, yes, yes! Bring Pirri up and see what he can do! This is something I was yelling quite a bit about last season, and just kind of gave up on.

    Shaw has been great! But, he is not a natural center. Watching Pirri play was such a substantial experience, because he is a natural center and plays the position like one. Toews is the only guy winning faceoffs and this can't continue.

    Bring Pirri up, move Bolland to a line with Hossa, and make the other necessary changes. My thoughts are Vicks and Bicks on either side of Pirri, with a Bollie/Shaw/Hossa line. Kaner gets to have some fun with Saad and Toews until Sharp comes back. Hayes goes to the 4th line in Bollig's spot for a while.

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