Hello Again Old Friend: Hawks beat Jackets 5-2

Like any great ointment, the Jackets once again cured the Hawks of their recent ailments.  Sure, it wasn’t pretty and it didn’t feel that great, but during this stretch with Patrick Sharp out for the next few weeks, style points don’t mean all that much; only points.

–It’s the regular season and the Blue Jackets but taking two instigator penalties on Jared Boll was not smart hockey.  Jamal Mayers’ penalty, in particular, was quite aggravating because it seemed to negate a Bryan Bickell semi-breakaway.  Not to mention, the game was still 0-0 and Montador fighting Boll the last time didn’t seem to deter him for being Jared Boll.

The Hawks ended up scoring a short-handed goal so all’s well that ends well I suppose.  And it’s not like the Hawks are going to be looking to even scores in the playoffs.

–Corey Crawford was his own worst enemy once again.  There were maybe one or two perimeter shots that he was able to control.  Otherwise everything was coughed up in the crease where Crawford had to either make a second save or perform his now infamous Hungry, Hungry Hippo act.  (Perhaps you’ve also noticed Crawford being unable to cover pucks laying in his crease, instead just hopelessly flailing his glove hand multiple times only to come up empty.)

The last four goals he’s given up were all off goal mouth scrambles where he had more than one opportunity to cover the puck but didn’t.

–Ben Smith scored a pillow soft goal.  I’m sure now there will be more calls for him to play on the first line.  Andrew Shaw is like the idea of Ben Smith only in reality.

–Speaking of, it’s too bad Shaw isn’t four inches taller.  Then the Hawks would really have something.  Of course he probably wouldn’t have lasted until the 5th round if that were the case.  Nevertheless, Shaw has impressed in his short stay.  That’s not to say he’s perfect.  I’d like to see him improve his overall speed while he’s here and certainly in the off-season going into next.

–Speaking of speed (look at the continuity), Viktor Stalberg looked like Swedish freedom was on the line when he chased down the loose puck for his hat trick empty net goal.

–While I’m here allow me to vent about the past week.  I don’t know whether it’s all the social media outlets or the fact that the Hawks set the bar so high in ’08-09 and ’09-10, but it’s becoming increasingly exhausting to be a Hawks fan.

Last I checked, the regular season is 82 games.  There are highs, there are lows, and not every game is the defining clue as to whether the Hawks are going to win the Cup.  It seems like anytime the Hawks have a losing streak of more than one game or don’t win while thoroughly dominating their opponent in the process, people can’t wait to tell you how bad they are.

Every season will have bad losses and frustrating losses.  It just so happened the Hawks had three of them in the last week.  (I’d have to say the Flyers and Wings losses were two of the more frustrating in recent memory.  And they happened within four days of each other.)  Unlike what the person you share season-tickets says, the secrets of what lays ahead aren’t going to be revealed during the first two weeks of January.

–While Patrick Kane is in the second worst goal scoring drought of his career (first being his rookie year), it’s best to remember the old hockey cliche: “Don’t be worried when you’re not scoring, be worried when you’re not getting chances.”  Kane has had terrific scoring opportunities during this drought but just hasn’t been able to find twine.  Whether it’s Ty Conklin’s shoulder getting in the way or Curtis Sanford kicking his leg out or the puck just hitting Ilya Bryzgalov, with a little luck Kane could easily be creeping up on 20 goals.

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11 Responses to Hello Again Old Friend: Hawks beat Jackets 5-2

  1. Cam says:

    People are frustrated because the Hawks haven’t looked all that great the entire season. In contrast to the prior two regular seasons, the Hawks have actually outperformed their peripheral stats. In other words, they likely were not as good as their record indicated and things seem to be evening out now.

  2. Jim says:

    First of all, thanks for the commentary here, I like your blog.
    A quibble:
    Why do you get on guys for hustling for empty netters? I recall you making similar comments about Frolick. What do you want them to do?

  3. BobbyJet says:

    Completely disagree with your point about Monty and Mayers stepping up when Boll took liberties, . In both cases it was necessary, especially the 2nd hit. How the refs figure that (high) hit not to be one of charging, boarding or high sticking is beyond me Good teams stick up for one another and the team is a little tighter today after that game.

    And let’s remember who we were playing before we declare that this team is out of it’s slump. The recurring theme of opposition players standing unmolested in front of our net while Craw flails around looking for yet another sloppy rebound, is indeed worrisome…. and our PP is non- existent right now, in fact has been dismal for quite a while.

  4. John says:

    @Jim- I just think it’s amusing to see guys bust their ass for what it is more or less a meaningless goal. Even Mayers made a comment about it after the game.

  5. You’d better believe you’d even see my fat old ass hustling for that empty-net hat-trick if 10,000 almost brand new baseball hats were on the line. Stalberg hat-trick on free hat night = I can give these out again later in the season!!!

  6. #StalbergPorn #MoneyShot = #FreeHats for #CheapOldBastard @DollarBillWirtz!!!

  7. CT says:

    I don’t blame Stals for busting his ass to get that last goal. It was his last chance to pad his considerable stats against Columbus.

  8. Francis Roberts says:

    John, you are the voice of reason, as usual. The league has much more balance now, and the goal has to be to just pile up points whenever and however possible. If you look at the last 2 Detroit games the difference between winning and losing was quite small, so to pick up 3 out of 4 points is not to be sniffed at. With Sharp out, and the assorted injuries/suspensions, it will interesting to see how everyone steps up (or not). Important time for the newbies (Shaw, Hayes, Smith, etc) to show what they can do. But also the Vets (prime example is the game OD played on defense last night- not bad). BTW, I am on Stals side on the empty netter: when you think about all the goalposts you hit during a season, and all the good/lucky saves made on your chances, you deserve a freebie every once in awhile.

  9. Thin The Herd says:

    Earlier this season or last, I would have joined the backhanded nature of Stals’ speed in chasing down the empty netter. There was a time when he took considerable time off during games.

    The last few weeks have, imo, seen a quite-improved Victor “Hats” Stalberg. He’s not the most offensively talented guy in the NHL, so good to see him get the trick.

  10. rich Lindbloom says:

    Hey, I thought Stals had a very good effort against Detroit also. Was it just me or was Boll’s check on Hjarlmarrson legal?

    Couldn’t agree more with the “panic” that settles in if we don’t win every game. IMO, we’ve run into some pretty hot goaltenders. There are much bigger things to worry about than whether or not Crazy 88 is finished. He’s generating an awful lot of chances – his goals will come.

    Smith’s goal was a bit fluky, but you can’t criticize his speed or hustle on the play.

    Why is crow having such a hard tiome scooping up the loose change.

    nice wrap.

  11. BobbyJet says:

    Where is that voice of reason as the team self destructs?

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