While certainly the most sloppy game the Hawks have played so far this year, it was far and away the most eventful, with four blown leads before things needed to be settled individually. That’s how fickle and weird regular season hockey can be. Contrasting directly against Tuesday night’s near-impeccable performance against the challenging Ducks and walking away with nothing, the Hawks came right back around tonight and sloppily got out of Ottawa with two points. But that, so the saying goes, is why they play 82 of these goddamn things.
- The Andrew-Shaw-As-Second-Scoring-Center thing is rapidly turning into a disaster, and the experiment needs to be terminated immediately. Shaw was once again a team-worst -10 in Corsi at evens, dragging down the Patricks with him, following right behind with -9 for Kane and -8 for Sharp. Shaw’s defensive zone coverage is horrible (as exemplified on the Zibanejad goal), and his decision making befitting of a cocker spaniel was shown on his reverse to no one in particular right in front of the Hawk net. Shaw can be a useful player, but right now he’s a liability in the role he’s been given, and hopefully the coaching can find it within themselves to dislodge him from the spot they so hastily placed him in. Or maybe they’ll just blame Bryan Bickell some more.
- That being said, Bickell’s turnover on the Bobby Ryan goal was simply baffling, and he probably deserved to have a seat for the remainder of the game.
- Speaking of abhorrent, something needs to be done about Michal Rozsival as well. He’s well past his expiration date and it’s not a good look for him in the least. The first goal was a result of him not recognizing either part of the give and go equation fast enough and allowing both passes through him, though TVR could have done a better job of sticking with Mark Stone. Most unforgivable is that Quenneville didn’t try to keep this pairing away from the Shaw line, which ended up yielding a nice, crisp 20% of possession at evens. Rozsival might keel over before Thanksgiving anyway, but it’s going to be ugly until that inevitably happens.
- Scott Darling was fine enough tonight, certainly not a world beater, but he did stand tall in the shootout (GET IT) and had a few nice saves where he showed just how much area he can cover down low. If he and Raanta are a push and Raanta is waiver exempt, then there’s no reason to not free up the $200ish thousand dollars by sending Raanta down, leaving room for a taut, early 20s blonde Finnish boy to join the lineup.
- I swear if I ever actually see a Blackhawks power play, particularly a 4-on-3, have their point men switch positions and criss cross to open up for a one timer and get that forward moving I’ll shit twice and die on the spot.
- Oh yeah, those Toews and Hossa guys are pretty alright. Just 67% and 74% 5 on 5 shares respectively, 2 points a piece, and Hossa reaching the 1000 point plateau. No big deal. Hopefully this is the tipping point on a Hossa binge, who had only one goal on 29 shots coming into tonight.