Normally level-headed and objective (at least I think), I realized during yesterday’s second period that I’m quickly becoming Randy Quaid’s character in the Major League movies – ya know, angry, negative and hopeless about my team’s chances.
A few things got the better of me while watching the Hawks complete a 2-2-2 road trip yesterday night in Phoenix:
- Just about every unsuccessful season in any league has a goat. There’s little doubt that – if, in the end, this is deemed an unsuccessful season – Marian Hossa will the Hawks’ goat. After he started off like a house on-fire, he’s seemingly had as many injuries or ailments as goals. Watching he, Kopecky and Frolik flail about last night forced my hand; I DVR’d the third period in favor of a Season 2 Mad Men episode. It calmed me down for a while. Funny how 45 minutes of Don Draper’s adultery can soothe my nerves.
- Is it possible to have defensive pairings made up of d-men who complement each other less? Keith and Leddy? Campbell and Hendry? Seabrook and Hjalmarsson? Things haven’t gone particularly well in the defensive zone this season, so something had to be done. But, with a top-four that includes the Norris Trophy winner, a second Team Canada defenseman, one of the game’s premier offensive defensemen and a player who was signed to an offer sheet last off-season, it’s frustrating to have to watch Nick Leddy play over 20 minutes a night.
- Jeff Taffe is 6’3″, and in his first action as a Chicago Blackhawk last night, one would think he would at least consider using his size. Guess not. He must enjoy bus rides.
- These overtime/shootout points add up. Patrick Kane’s overtime chance was out of character, as his shot went right into Bryzgalov’s body, and the Hawks went 1-for-5 in shootout chances on the weekend (with Sharp’s chance on Friday and Hossa’s opportunity on Saturday scored as “misses”). Opponents were stopped only twice out of six times.
All things considered, though the Hawks needed more, this was a difficult end to a road trip. Dallas and Phoenix are solid teams, and the Hawks played a strong third period when it mattered. I guess that’s what we’re pinning our faith on: that the Hawks will pick up their game as the stakes get higher. This week would be nice.