Here was one of my thoughts from the Lightning-Hawks game a few nights back:
If you thought Brian Campbell was terrifying to watch in the 4-on-4 overtime, Chris Campoli takes it to a whole other level. He’s all over the ice while taking all sorts of risks with the puck. Tonight, he stopped a puck with his glove with two guys bearing down on him, pinched in below the Lightning goal line, and allowed a 2-on-1. All in the same shift.
In just one game, Campoli added to his overtime recklessness resume with his latest adventure. With the Hawks controlling the puck in the Capitals’ zone and not really being able to generate much, Campoli took it upon himself to fly down the wing in hopes of being on the receiving end of a cross-ice pass that needed to clear about three bodies. Duncan Keith tried to get the pass to him and in what should come as a shock to only Campoli and Keith, the pass didn’t get through.
To make matters worse, Campoli blew an edge, the puck kicked right to the Capitals, and a 4-on-2 was coming the other way with Patrick Kane and Michael Frolik the only two players back.
After Corey Crawford was able to stop John Carlson, the puck came back around to the point where Campoli was once again in no-man’s land. An easy pass was made to Mike Knuble standing on the doorstep. He made one move and the puck was behind Crawford for the winner.
–On the bright side, the Blackhawks have Jonathan Toews and as long as the deficit is one goal, they’re always one play away from tying it. It certainly helped matters that Marcus Johansson took an awful penalty with less than two minutes to play. Either way, as long as the Hawks keep gaining points in losing efforts, they’re going to make the playoffs. That’s a fact.
–Where is the ‘Brent Seabrook is overpaid’ contingent now? Seabrook kept the greatest offensive weapon in the world at bay all afternoon. Alex Ovechkin didn’t get any shot off without Seabrook draped all over him and the shots he did get off were from bad angles. He took Ovechkin’s bread and butter, the center of the ice, away from him all game. Man, I’m so pissed the Hawks have him locked up for the next five years.
The perfect topper to his game would have been burying the golden opportunity the first shift of overtime, but alas.
–Brian Campbell was only able to play 7 minutes today. It’s safe to assume he won’t be able to go tomorrow night in a big game against San Jose. With the Hawks down to five defensemen, I continue to be amazed at the Hawks and Stan Bowman’s unwillingness to place Jordan Hendry on LTIR. As we stand now, the Hawks do not have any room to call up a defensive replacement.
Instead, we’ll likely see a guy, John Scott, the coaching staff can’t trust for more than five minutes of ice time and the broadcasting team openly asks the coaches how they plan on limiting his ice because everyone knows he can’t play. (Then again, apparently within the Hawks organization, no knew John Scott couldn’t play so all we’re doing is criticizing on hindsight and we’re not allowed to do that.)
I get that the result of placing Hendry and what remains of his $600,000 salary plus adding someone like Jassen Cullimore’s $2,688 daily cap hit to the roster means a likely cap penalty for next year’s team. At what point, though, do we openly wonder how much the miniscule savings end up helping or hurting next year’s Hawks. Additionally, when do we start to demand that the Hawks can only qualify for this year’s playoffs and not next year’s.