If last night is any indication of what this season is going to look like for the Blackhawks, then we are in for an exciting season with a lot of roller-coaster drama throughout. 6-4, pretty big start if you were looking for goals. And goals the Hawks did score, including a power-play goal for extra gravy. For the most part, the Hawks looked like the superior team, minus a stint during the 2nd period where the Caps had the Hawks on the ropes. Although it was more like that lack-luster attitude the Hawks get into from time to time. You know the one, it goes something like, "we got this, no worries."
Unfortunately, the Hawks did have problems keeping the puck out of their own net, and this might serve as the most deserving subject to talk about, besides the powerhouse of scoring depth the Hawks seem to possess.
So Bollig kept up his preseason success? Uh? You know, I really like this kid, on and off the ice in terms of energy and attitude, so watching him notch his first which was also the first of the season for the Hawks in front of a banner raising crowd; I'm a fan. What I am not too happy about is seeing him play over Smith, Morin, or Pirri. There is increasingly less reason to have an instigator on the team with some of these new rules, and there were more than a few times that Bollig was absolutely out of position. I just don't understand why he gets to do that and play while other players get benched for less.
It felt good, watching this one go down. Even when the Hawks fell behind for a minute, not even caring if they ended up pulling it out, which it felt like they would, it was just fun to watch.
Even with the plethora of scoring, and the even more opportunities for the Hawks, it was sloppy hockey. Sloppy or not, the Hawks still connected for some beauties, especially the Zus to Saad goal that ended up being the game-winner. It's funny too, because I was kind of asking myself where Saad had been all game at that point. Ask and you will receive. This kid is going to be fun to watch this year and forever after.
On Zus, I thought his presence was about to end sooner than anticipated when he left with an injury, but then he came back and made that perfectly placed and executed pass to Saad for that goal. He also followed it with a great defensive play. I still think Pirri should be playing right now, but Zus showed us why he is welcomed in the line-up.
Maybe I should just get to that PK thing now, since we are talking about a PK player. Anyone else missing Frolik after watching that game? Not that this is a time to get too much into it, but you can't help but fear a weak PK along with a weak PP. That PK last year saved the lack of production from the power-play. The loss of Bolland and Frolik is going to hurt it no doubt. I like Nordstrom, but he wasn't as aggressive as Frolik. Maybe he will get better, but it also seemed like Kruger was more timid than usuall (no Frolik around to help and allow for that aggressive attack). Worth mentioning is that Hossa was on it, which means he was on both special teams units, and play 2nd line minutes. Cannot continue, just saying.
Thankfully, the power-play produced. All in all, it did look a little more like a power-play, but there were some rough times on it as well. What I will say is that when the Hawks scored, 2 defensemen were playing the point, one of them was Leddy, and the other was not Keith. The entry is rough except for when Leddy is out there. Seabrook has a way with scoring goals doesn't he?
Uh, faceoffs? Not good.
Not sure what to say about Crawford, but I get the feeling there are more 3-4 goal games against than last year. Had some bad moments, had some strong moments, which pretty much what I anticipate throughout the year. He made a really strong save on the PK, and did a terrible job following the play and getting into position on another. There ya go.
Good start to the year. I love seeing some of the guys do exactly what we hope they will, such as Kaner on the O (100 points this year!), Shaw's inability to lose a battle, how Sharp really wants the puck, Saad's power-forwardness, Leddy's QBing, and Hjalmer's stay at homeness to name a few things. It is going to be a fun season.
Filed under: Game Recap