Not that the Dallas Stars are anything to laugh at, but it seemed like we were watching the circus trip catch up to the Hawks last night. They just didn't have the fire and edge we have seen lately. Give credit to the Stars, they played a tough and surprisingly quick game which could have easily won them the 2 points in regulation. Both goaltenders were tough to beat, with the exception of a total brain fart by Crawford. In the end, the Hawks proved yet again that they can win those hard fought 1-goal games as well.
Dallas looked so much quicker on their skates than I am used to seeing. Their place in the standings doesn't exactly do their team justice, but the strength at which they played the Hawks last night was beyond anything I anticipated. The circus trip is a tough one though, which is wearing on the team and brought out some fairly bad play at times from the guys in white. Too many bad plays to count, especially from a certain pair of defensemen. There just wasn't much effort.
- Keith and Seabrook were really hard to watch last night. Not only were they making less than smart plays, but they seemed uninterested in catching people who got around them after a not so smart play.
- In related news, Pirri's time in the doghouse continued from the Calgary game. After seeing next to zero minutes of playing time in the second half of the Flames game, Pirri was the only Hawk to play fewer than 10 minutes last night. Keith and Seabrook can make all the boneheaded plays they want, but Pirri knows that he has no freedom to do the same. Isn't that just an awesome way to coach a player!
- In what might also be related news, Pirri's doghouse resulted in him being taken off of the 2nd line to be replaced by Handzus, and Patrick Kane ended his point streak on that same night. Now I know that this was not the main reason for Kane not scoring, I'm just saying. Kane was not the dominant player we have seen in the past few weeks, but neither were any of the "core" really.
- Save for a continually aggressive Patrick Sharp, who's energy driven play resulted in the Hawks only regulation goal. He helped force a turnover with an aggressive pursuit of the puck and check, and then got to the front of the net for a tip-in.
- Like I said, besides Crawford's ugly hiccup, both goaltenders were perfect. Crawford played the rest of the game wonderfully, but i hope he gets an ear-full for leaving his net and crapping his pants after doing so. Crawford should have a tight leash in his leaving the net allowance. He just isn't strong on his skates, and god help his puck handling skills. It was a rare treat watching Raanta make plays behind his net with ease the other night.
- When the Hawks are forced to play a lot of defense, things can get ugly. Too many Hawks players standing around and not moving their feet resulted in a very successful forecheck and backcheck by the Stars. The Hawks lost so many small battles, which is almost never the case.
- Smith had another good game, and when he was picked to finally end that redundant shoot-out, I looked to my wife and said, "It's over, Smith is putting this one in the net." There was just no creativity from either teams in that one. I thought about just turning it off.
Hawks get the extra point, which gives them 10 out of a possible 12 in this trip so far. It is already a success. Can't say I am anticipating tonight's game, and I would guess that the Hawks aren't too excited either. I wonder if Raanta gets the start after a rough one for Crow? To be honest, I sort of expected Raanta to start last night.
Filed under: Game Recap