It really is amazing what a little time to get into the flow of things can do for a top heavy team at forward, especially when the vast majority of them played in a useless exhibition tournament right up until the start of the regular season. But since the first weekend of the season, the right names have been appearing on the score sheet for the Hawks, and as a general rule, standings points follow.
So it should be no surprise that with Toews, Hossa, Hossa again, and Panarin with the markers the Hawks walked away with a W.
- As Sam remarked yesterday, Artemi Panarin really is showing what a player he is now with extended time away from Garbage Dick. Of course having Marian Hossa to play off of doesn’t hurt either, but aside from the goals and driving possession, one thing that goes largely unnoticed that surely draws a smile from his coaches is just how sneaky good he is with his stick away from the puck. For any little guy to make it this far, stick work is a trait that just has to be learned, and Panarin is great as knifing pucks out from the boards, as well as strategic jabs when even doing something as simple as a fly-by on a forecheck.
- Marian Hossa is cleary enjoying no longer needing to babysit anyone in the bottom six either, as short lived as that was to start. He and Panarin have a 56.98 share together to this point.
- The shot and possession boards are rather lopsided tonight, but much of that can be attributed to score effects, as the Hawks were slightly ahead in both until the late 2nd push by the Avs. That stretch was also the only time in the game that any of their 38 shots on net felt in any way threatening.
- Corey Crawford has a .935 save percentage EVEN WITH the PK shitting all over itself for three-plus weeks. He has allowed four even strength goals total in 9 starts. He sucks. Trade him for cap space.
- Duncan Keith is piling up assists again. Not that it matters, because nothing short of the rapture is going to prevent a Shea Weber Norris in Montreal.
- The Avs blue line is still a disaster even with a non-Roy, non-moron behind the bench. The only member of it that should even think about jumping into the play is Tyson Barrie, yet every last one of them thinks they have the green light.
- It’s never not fun to see Tsar Dipshitzey Imabeatov get clowned in net.