Considering the Hawks are notorious for laying giant turds on the Dad’s Trip, two points in the first game is something to celebrate, regardless of how it looked.
–The Hawks were guilty of overcommitting to the puck all night. It almost bit them in the ass early in the third when Patrick Sharp took an awful angle on a loose puck that sprung Tomas Kopecky on a 3-on-2. Only a hustling Patrick Kane prevented a goal.
On the Panthers first goal, Kane, Sharp, and Hossa were all caught too far deep in the Panthers zone. Only Hossa was able to get back in time but Ed Jovanovski jumped up in the play to make it a 4-on-3. By the time Kane made it back, the puck was already in the net. Patrick Sharp was nowhere to be seen.
On the Panthers tying goal, they were able to break out of their zone because Bryan Bickell stayed along the boards giving them an easy breakout. Had Bickell not overcommitted the Panthers would have never been able to control the puck as they broke out. It would have needed to be a chip and chase type.
Instead, they came down in the Hawks end and after a terrific Corey Crawford save, Sean O’Donnell lost track of where he was on the ice and it let the iceberg of Ed Jovanovski to plant himself in front of the net. Tie game.
–Nothing would have been more annoying than seeing Tomas Kopecky score an important goal in this game. Nothing.
–I understand the intermission interviews are hardly the stuff of what Pulitzers are won. However, Chicago is an Original 6 franchise. I would like to think the fans know a little something. So I couldn’t help but be offended when Ed Olcyzk asked Patrick Sharp to explain to the fans the difference between playing left and right wing. Seriously? This isn’t Colorado after the Nordiques moved into town. Ridiculous.
–Came across Jeff Sagarin’s NHL Ratings today and I thought it was kind of pertinent to the conversation from the other day. Not counting tonight’s game against Florida, the Hawks have faced the 3rd easiest schedule in the NHL. The important thing thus far is that they’ve won the games they should have. As opposed to the Boston Bruins, who have played the second easiest schedule and are the 27th ranked team in the league. So it could definitely be worse.
Phoenix continues to be the Bumslayers of the West refusing to die. They stay alive by winning their games against lesser opponents and then getting pounded by any top team.
Look out for the Kings though. That is a scary bunch. We knew that already though.
–Jakob Markstrom is so damn big; I have a hard time understanding how anyone ever scores on him. He’s the closest thing I’ve seen to the ‘sumo wrestler as a goalie’ theory.
–Matt Bradley was not seen after Jamal Mayers was done with him. After a questionable hit on Mayers in the first period, Bradley got his face pounded. It would have been nice to get another look at the fight but it certainly looked like Bradley was shaken up afterwards.