Holy shit, we can actually legitimately put someone in The Terrifying Lows category and not have it be a stretch! We can bitch again! I feel whole once more!
Right, to it.
The Dizzying Highs
Jonny Revelator – The Captain had five points in four games this week, including two beauty goals. As things started to actually crack and chip, Toews’s line was still dominant in every game. It seems like Toews, Hossa, and Saad create a turnover in the offensive zone whenever they want. And they want to all the time.
General Saad – Only topping Toews this week was Brandon Saad’s six-point week. That included his three-point period against Minnesota, where he was so far and away the best player on the ice it was basically laughable. Saad has become such a weapon that we talk about him improving other lines now, not where he can be protected. Should he be clearing space for Bolland and Kane? Can he skate on the 3rd? Were we asking this a couple weeks ago?
Most players ask that you stand. Saad only asks that you kneel….
The Terrifying Lows
Marlboro 72 – There’s no way to get around it, the past two games both Keith and especially Seabrook have just been plain not good. Somehow, they only ended up a combined -2 the past two games. But if you watched, you know. They were a step slow in Denver, and then looked like they were watching a 3-D movie without glasses when Magnus Paajarvi was setting up Sam Gagner for the Oil’s second goal.
It could be fatigue. 7 in 11 got to everyone. But these two have not been skating their usual profusion of minutes this year. The Hawks haven’t been hurt with these two only being good instead of great, because of Oduya and Hammer. But the Hawks won’t survive them being actively bad.
The PK – Had some hiccups recently, eh? The Hawks seem to have reverted back to the 1-1-2 passive tactics that went so south last year. And yet they’re still getting punctured in the high slot, which having a guy there is supposed to combat, I should think. The Hawks have too much speed to not be playing an aggressive box and pressuring point men so they don’t get time to look for the high-tip that the Avalanche and Oilers went to town on. Maybe the Hawks think the 1-1-2 is a better way to deal with the umbrella power plays that you see more often these days. Maybe so, but it still should be high-pressure instead of the wait-and-see approach of the last couple games.
Stan Bowman or Joel Quenneville or Both – While Patrick Sharp wasn’t having his normal season, he still was a threat and demanded attention. You lose him and you call up Brandon Bollig? Especially now when it looks like Jamal Mayers can’t really keep up, Ben Smith becomes a more viable option because he can be your 4th line-win a draw guy.
The Creamy Middles
Dream Warrior – While shuffling all around, Marcus Kruger continues to do just about everything you’d want (other than that faceoff thing). Far and away starting his shifts at the biggest disadvantage, sometimes skating with Kane and sometimes with slobs, Kruger keeps his CORSI/60 over 10.