It’s really a shame the Hawks fell apart the way they did against the Stars. For the most part, they played as strong a game as they have during this recent four-game winning streak. Then the third period started. Then Trevor Daley snuffed out the Hawks set face-off play. Then Nick Leddy did what 20 year-old defensemen who are given too much rope do.
And it’s really too bad because Leddy played a very strong game up until the third period. Unfortunately, he completely lost his zone on the Stars second goal by floating to the top of the circles even though Dave Bolland and Marian Hossa were already there. Meanwhile, Brent Seabrook was left stuck having to defend two players standing right in front of Corey Crawford.
On the Stars third goal, he gave Michael Ryder too much space, then blew an edge to give him even more space. End result, the Stars got more insurance than they really needed.
–While I’m sure someone will be sure to mention that Marian Hossa was being lazy on the Stars first goal (and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong), the credit should go more to Trevor Daley for sniffing out the Hawks play. Without Daley’s well-timed pinch, Hossa is picking up the puck and going the other way. Not to mention if Daley misses the pinch, Hossa is heading the other way on a 2-on-1. It was a do-or-die play and it broke the Stars way.
–So the Hawks star player and captain is out with what’s widely being reported as a concussion gets into a car accident today; the Hawks make no public statement about it until it’s already being reported (even though the Hawks knew about it when Joel Quenneville met the media after the morning skate) and then Pat Foley has the gall to call out a radio station for reporting the news incorrectly. Please. Perhaps if the Hawks were out in front of the story, there would not have been rampant speculation on Jonathan Toews’ health.
–I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest maybe the Burish line against the Kruger line is a bad match-up for the Hawks. Then again, with Joel Quenneville only playing three lines, his options were kind of limited. Even with John Scott and his ultra important 2 minutes of ice time, Frolik and Mayers deserved a bit more playing time. Especially Frolik who played as well as he has in some time. At least try something different after the 11th time Burish and Steve Ott pin the Hawks deep in their own end.
–Can the Hawks go through a broadcast without Pat Foley citing the hit stats? In the first two periods with Hawks outshooting the Stars 22-10 and basically controlling the play, the Stars outhit them because they never had the puck. If all the Stars hits had a cumulative effect in the third, then it indicts Joel Quenneville’s decision to play with three lines and 11 forwards even more.
–As I stated above, when Nick Leddy gets 24 minutes of ice time sometimes bad things are going to happen. That’s not to say Leddy is bad or a lost cause. Merely, young defenseman who are two years out of high school and still have less than two years of professional experience should not be expected to play flawless hockey. Unfortunately, that cost the Hawks at least one point tonight. As long as the Hawks continue to lean on him in important situations, they will continue to play this dangerous game of roulette where he’s liable to do something great or incredibly dumb at any moment.