“Someday, we’ll figure out a way to beat those guys.” — Lou Brown, 1989
Truer words have never been spoken. Unfortunately in the ‘Hawks case, Lou Brown was talking about the big, bad Yankees and not the cellar dwelling Blues. At this point, games against St. Louis have moved from frustrating to simply humorous. The ‘Hawks had all sorts of opportunities to blow this game wide open. How does Troy Brouwer hit the post an inch away from the net? He couldn’t do that again if he tried. Andrew Ladd hit the post on a turnaround backhander, then Blues goalie Chris Mason made a terrific toe save on the rebound attempt. Jonathan Toews rang one off the pipe on a delayed penalty. “Someday, we’ll figure out a way to beat those guys.” Amen, Lou, amen.
Even with the loss, the ‘Hawks concluded the second longest road trip in franchise history at 5-3 and considering the competition they faced, the ‘Hawks have to be more than pleased. Wins against Anaheim and San Jose, two buildings where the ‘Hawks historically have zero success, may mark as turning points in this season. Sweeping Calgary four straight games is another notch on the belt. Even though the three losses were somewhat disappointing, the good far outweighs the bad on this long and winding road.
A win in tomorrow night’s tilt against Dallas will go a long way in cinching up home ice advantage in the first round. Dallas is scorching and starting to nip at the ‘Hawks heels. The ‘Hawks still hold a seven point advantage against the Stars with a game at hand but they will face each other twice in the next week. A sweep by Dallas will put them right back in the thick of it. Amazing, considering where they were just a couple months ago after the Sean Avery/Sloppy seconds incident. They’ve gone from the basement of the Western Conference to fighting for home ice advantage.