Only three games left with the Blue Jackets left this season. Thank Shiva for that.
–The Hawks, once again, were led by their secondary scorers. Viktor Stalberg scored two goals; Dave Bolland had a couple of assists. While Stalberg was excellent in the offensive end, he still had a couple of really bad giveaways at his own blue line which probably helps to explain his 11 minutes of ice time.
–I can’t imagine Marcus Kruger taking three huge hits in the first period is going to help the swelling in his brain subside. Kruger was hit directly in the cranium in his first two shifts. Aaron Johnson got him with a check along the boards and then Rick Nash gave him a punch to the back of the head.
–All in all, it didn’t seem like the Hawks were very intent on sacrificing their bodies in a game that ultimately meant very little. They only blocked 8 shots and Joel Quenneville distributed the minutes among his top 4 defensemen almost to the second. Anyone who follows the Hawks knows Keith and Seabrook generally play 27-30 minutes every game while Hjalmarsson and Leddy trail at around 20 to 23.
Even when the Jackets slightly threatened in the third, Quenneville didn’t ride Keith’s minutes any harder. So it seemed like once the Hawks grabbed a comfortable lead, they were going to try to coast to the finish line. Nothing wrong with that.
–Not sure when Steve Mason changed his pads but I’ll give him an A for the effort and a C- on the execution. While it seems like just about every goalie has white pads, it’s always nice to see someone go to the colorful scheme. Unfortunately for Mason, I couldn’t tell what color scheme he was using nor the pattern he was going for. Was it black, navy blue, silver and red or was there no black? Was he styling his pads after the old Potvin scheme? I still have no idea even after the cameras showed multiple close-ups.