It was a good thing (or bad depending how you look at it) Joey MacDonald played as well as he did otherwise one of the better games of the season would have been an afterthought by the end of the second period. The Hawks brought a dogged effort to the Joe Louis Arena on Monday night and MacDonald was really the only reason why the game was as close as it was.
Two power play goals were the difference including the game-winner in overtime by a beastly Marian Hossa. The power play came as a result from determined stick-handling by Patrick Kane at the end of regulation.
On to Boston.
Just A Couple Quick Things Before This Game is Completely Forgotten
—Mark it on your calendars, March 28th. The first day a Blackhawk mouthpiece went out of their way to shamelessly defend Marcus Kruger. On Detroit’s first goal in a 4-on-4 situation, Marcus Kruger was caught in no-man’s land. His positioning allowed Niklas Lidstrom to have all sorts of room before he buried his slap shot past Corey Crawford.
Pierre MacGuire correctly identified where the mistake was made in coverage by Kruger. Then a minute later, Ed Olcyzk took it upon himself to blast Bryan Bickell instead, hereby excusing Kruger of any wrongdoing.
As for Kruger the rest of the game, he played the first strong shift of his NHL career in the third. Now when does his wing in Toronto open up?
–Nick Leddy is fine. Except for the fact that he’s played just 15 minutes combined in the last two games including a season-low 6 minutes in Detroit.
–I would love to know why someone of Michael Frolik’s ability thinks it’s a good idea to simply wing the puck towards the net from 45 feet out with his back to the play. Someone in Florida must have really done a number on him. You have to think the Hawk coaches are trying to break him of this nasty habit but I’ve yet to really see evidence of that.
–I hope Marian Hossa got to sit in Steve Yzerman’s old hyperbolic chamber for a few minutes after last night’s game. Hossa was getting double-shifted for the majority of the game and led all forwards with nearly 24 minutes of ice time. Not that he didn’t deserve it. Hossa was a Golden God. He led the team with 7 shots on goal and I can’t remember a shift where he didn’t control the puck for long stretches.
–Niklas Hjalmarsson had the roughest game for the Hawks. He had a couple of really bad giveaways, took a ridiculous high-sticking penalty that allowed Detroit to tie the game at 2, and seems to really have lost his desire to take a big hit.
One of the most impressive things about Hjalmarsson in his first two years was how patient he was with the puck, holding on to it for the split second longer, making a good pass to one of his forwards, and getting crunched by an opposing forechecker. These days, the puck is never on Hjalmarsson’s stick for more than a split second because he’s firing it around the boards.
Now, the puck either rattles high off the glass for the opposition to collect outside the zone, hits a referee and starts a firestorm near Corey Crawford, or is kept in by the opposition waiting for him to blast the puck around the wall.
So much for playing a puck possession game.