Perhaps the best way to draw the silver lining from this game is to realize this was only the second home game where the Hawks did not gain at least one point. Not a bad way to start.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason you subscribe to, the Hawks didn’t match the Coyotes’ defensive effort and the result was being on the wrong end of a 4-1 score. Make no mistake, the Coyotes played as good of a defensive game as the Hawks will probably see all year. They were incredibly poised in their own end, got in the Hawks way long enough to slow down their forecheck but short enough that they weren’t interfering with them. Their sticks were always in the passing and shooting lanes and whatever chances the Hawks had, it was of the one and done variety.
On the other side, the Coyotes were able to capitalize on a couple of miscues and that was the story of the game.
So it goes.
–I have never experienced a two-week road trip in the NHL therefore I don’t know how it feels. However, the excuse making of how difficult the first game back from a road trip is before, during, and after the game bordered on ridiculous tonight. We all get it; it’s tough to play in, but perhaps if there wasn’t such a negative connotation surrounding the game, the results might be a little better.
–It’s so difficult to gauge this Hawks team. Mostly because this team is going to look drastically different once the important part of the season kicks in. (I’m not even going to touch the goaltending because if that doesn’t straighten up, then it’s all irrelevant.) Right now, the Hawks are far too dependent on their top two lines, aren’t getting nearly enough contribution from the bottom two lines, have three top-notch defensemen (Keith, Leddy, Seabrook) and three bottom pairing defensemen (Montador, Hjalmarsson, and 6th defensemen du-jour).
Something is going to give; most likely on both sides of the puck. Then we should see more consistency from the team. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if Ray Emery or Corey Crawford feel like getting hot anytime soon. That will also help covering up a lot of their inefficiencies.