Boy, good thing the Hawks spent all that extra time practicing on the shootout. What were the odds that two players with close to a 50% career success rate in the shootout were eventually going to find the back of the net? Forget all those fancy numbers and a proven track record; it was all about practicing their craft.
–After Jonas Hiller and the Ducks were embarassed by the brutal Phoenix Coyotes in their last game, there was about a 98% chance the Ducks were going to give their finest effort. Hiller was his usual outstanding self against the Hawks and the Ducks played well enough in front of him to earn a point. Perhaps the biggest upset of the night was that Teemu Selanne only has 28 career goals against the Hawks. I could have sworn he had that many against them before the Jets moved out of Winnipeg the first time.
–Hiller saved his best saves for the last frame and overtime. Michael Frolik had a clear breakaway halfway through the third. Marian Hossa drilled the post and was stuffed on a breakaway of his own. Just like has become tradition, Hiller made the stops he had to. Vertigo or not, he’s still going to stop 94% of the shots he faces whenever he plays the Hawks.
–It was only a matter of time until Patrick Kane showed up on the scoresheet. Just like it was only a matter of time before his spin-o-rama move led to a goal. Whenever they put together a Patrick Kane highlight reel, that goal will be on there. What won’t be on there is the 100 times he tried that move and it didn’t lead to any goals.
His second assist came when Joel Quenneville threw him out for a shift with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. It was a great move by Quenneville to get the equalizer. It begs the question, though, how long the Hawks will wait until they start to seriously tinker with their top line right winger. Andrew Brunette has ‘perpetual Joel Quenneville line bouncer’ written all over him. Viktor Stalberg, been there, done that. Rusty Olesz is merely a rumor. Ben Smith is too busy grinding away in Rockford and he’s not a realistic long term option anyway.
So while everyone thought second line center was the big question mark heading into the season, it appears it might be another spot where the Hawks seem a little short right now.
–Who knew that Dan Carcillo had such vision? Carcillo sprung Kane and Hossa on multiple occasions with nifty little touch passes near the Ducks blue line. Carcillo also opened the passing lane for Kane to find Hossa by driving the net on the Hawks first goal. Save for the last game when he was mostly invisible, Carcillo has had about as good of a start to the season as anyone could have realistically imagined.
And on a night when the Hawks committed six penalties, he had none.