The one thing we can all agree on tonight is it’s probably a bad idea to have a 25 minute on-ice funeral before the game. Both teams took awhile to get going and the product was severely lacking in the opening minutes. As for the rest of the game, it wasn’t a whole lot better.
–Here’s a little known NHL fact: When your goalie gives up bad goals and you don’t score, you never win. Corey Crawford should have stopped all three goals and the Hawks couldn’t get anything past Jaroslav Halak. Easy enough.
I assume the easy cliche the Hawks will go to is they need more traffic in front of the opposing net. It seemed like they had plenty of traffic tonight; it just so happened that every puck hit one of their screeners. When it actually worked in their favor, someone like Viktor Stalberg missed a wide-open net. So while tonight was frustrating, the Hawks didn’t get a whole bunch of puck luck tonight and when they did, they didn’t capitalize. Hardly the stuff that will turn a Cup contender into a pretender in one week’s time.
–It will be interesting to see how the Hawks handle this adversity. Their power play somehow managed to find a new low tonight. In a game where the Blues were begging the Hawks to come back by taking some awful penalties, they couldn’t score on one of their four power plays. This coming against one of the worst penalty kill units in the league.
Yeah, they generated some decent chances off their power play but the results are still lacking. If this keeps up, something is going to have to give. Whether it’s a coaching change or full sale unit changes, the Hawks simply can’t keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
They can start by keeping two defensemen on the point and go from there. Notice how the Hawks best pressure tonight came when Brent Seabrook and Nick Leddy were partnered together. While they’re at it, maybe they can also show Jonathan Toews some film of him from a year ago when he actually took the puck strong to the net along the goal line.
–Perhaps this is a good time to remind everyone of the ebbs and flows of the regular season. Last week at this time, everyone was writing off the Detroit Red Wings as being too old. After two convincing wins against Anaheim and Colorado, people can’t wait to say how amazing they are at their age.
The Hawks have played a couple of subpar games. It will mean absolutely nothing four months from now.