A pessimist would look at last night’s game in which the Hawks had a one goal lead with 5 minutes in regulation and be disheartened about losing the lead and the second point in a shootout. An optimist would look at the fact that the Hawks battled back from a two goal deficit in 20 minutes to take the lead for themselves and conclude they were fortunate to get a point out of the game.
It’s still early enough to be more encouraged than discouraged.
–The Avalanche, save for one bad Erik Johnson turnover, played a perfect road game for 39 minutes. Then one penalty at the end of the second period changed the whole complexion of the game. Jonathan Toews scored on the ensuing power play and the Hawks took their game to a whole other level. A fluky Jamal Mayers goal pulled the Hawks even and a Marian Hossa tip shot looked to be the difference.
Then, a defensive breakdown left Gabriel Landeskog wide open in the slot with less than two minutes to play. He didn’t miss. So it goes.
Both teams took turns scoring weird goals. Both teams blew defensive coverages that led to goals. It was only fitting after 60 minutes that they were tied.
–Give credit Ed Olcyzk for only taking three games to realize that Patrick Sharp and Andrew Brunette switched wing spots. In the third period against Boston, Sharp took his customary spot on the left wing and has remained there. After their first shift on Saturday, Olcyzk said to ‘look out for that, folks’. We have been, Eddie. Welcome to the party.
–The WGN cameras caught a great little moment late in the first period when Joel Quenneville grabbed Michael Frolik’s stick and shook it out after he missed a scoring opportunity. Frolik opened the scoring for the Hawks in the second. In the ultra-serious world of the NHL, it was pretty cool to see a light-hearted moment on the bench during the middle of action. Especially when it involves the head coach.
–The one nice thing about Colorado being relevant again is, at the least, they’re going to make Vancouver earn the division this year as opposed to the past few years where the Canucks clinched it by November.
–Halfway through the second period, Joel Quenneville moved Dan Carcillo down to the fourth line, Viktor Stalberg to Toews’ line, and Patrick Sharp to Kane’s line. It seemed like that switch reminded Carcillo what he needed to do to be successful. After the first two games that saw Carcillo be a forechecking demon hitting everything that moved, he was a little more (for lack of a better word) calm in the offensive zone. What made that line so successful though was Carcillo flying around on the forecheck and Hossa and Kane to clog up the passing lanes.
After his demotion, Carcillo went right back to it. He hit two Colorado players on his first shift with Mayers and Kruger. Suddenly, the Avalanche defensemen were a little more jumpy when he was on the ice and there was a little more room to skate. Sure enough, it led to a goal shortly thereafter. Fluky as it was, it still counted like the rest.