The links are coming one after another like the ‘Hawks poppin’ 64 shots off against Dwanye Roloson last week. Or was it 93? I can’t keep them straight.
–We’ll start with a couple of items in the Tribune the past few days. Today, Chris Kuc took a look at why Dustin Byfuglien can’t score. He went the long way of saying, ‘He’s not a scorer’ by stocking the article full of quotes from Buff and Coach Q reiterating he’s in a slump but still getting a ton of chances. I agreed with everything Sam said over at Second City about it and will go further in saying my biggest issue with him right now is he’s getting paid as a top 6 forward for the next two and a half years and putting up fourth line numbers. Also tonight, Byfuglien joined 670 The Score’s Jesse Rogers for the weekly show ‘Hockey Night in Chicago’. I found it rather humorous/ironic that Jesse started the 7 o’clock hour by asking callers if the ‘Hawks needed another centerman but failing to mention that if the ‘Hawks do acquire one, his show will become a solo act because Byfuglien is more than likely getting dealt in any trade for a centerman.
Rogers then went on talk about the ‘Hawks desperate need for a guy who can win face-offs (he even brought up the immortal Yanic Perreault. It should be mentioned at this point, I changed stations because anymore talk like that and I would have aimed my car at the next telephone pole) and this also leads to me to an article Kuc did last week profiling face-offs. It was pretty interesting and got some nice insight from guys who take face-offs. I just couldn’t shake this statement, though.
The Red Wings (55.7) and Sharks (53.2) are the league’s two most successful teams and it’s no coincidence they are at the top of the Western Conference standings.
Actually, it might be a pretty big coincidence. I think Detroit and San Jose’s success may be tied into the fact they both have top 5 power play units. Then I did a little bit of research and take a wild guess where the two Cup finalists ended last season in face-off percentage? Ok give up, you can look here. If you didn’t look, I’ll answer it for you, Pittsburgh finished dead last and Detroit finished first. You may recognize the team below Detroit, that’s right, your 2007-2008 Chicago Blackhawks. Then I checked to see what each team was like on the power play. An interesting find was that the ‘Wings and Penguins finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, in power play percentage last year while the ‘Hawks finished a robust 24th. Hmmm….
So under Kuc’s logic, the ‘Hawks should have been at the top of the Western Conference last year because of their face-off domination. No doubt Yanic Perreault is to thank for that, but hopefully this proves once for all, there is no direct correlation between team success and face-off win percentage. Now if the argument was over having a top 10 power play and/or penalty kill unit contributing to team success, I would agree whole-heartedly. One more thing and I promise to not talk about this for a little while. On Saturday night, the ‘Hawks were 28-32 in face-offs but gave up four power play goals in a 7-3 loss. So I ask you my fellow ‘Hawk brethren, which had more of an impact in this particular loss, lack of face-off wins or lack of killing penalties?
—ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun nabbed some quotes from Brent Seabrook this weekend. One of them tickled me.
“It’s huge for the room,” said Seabrook. “The guys get pretty excited and step up for games like that. San Jose is the best team in the league; that’s a tough place to get points from.”
Maybe I’ve been watching too much ‘Lost’ recently, but I couldn’t get over Seabrook talking about the locker room like it’s a living, breathing entity. Then it started to spawn off so many questions in my head. Does the room talk? How old is the room? Does the room like everyone that’s occupying it’s space ? Does the room tell Dale Tallon who it wants out of it or does it refer to Scotty Bowman? Who is the sacrifice that the room requires? Do the leaders of the room meet with the room? Ok, I better stop. This is just getting weird.