In general, I’m not a fan of back-to-backs that involve travel. I am especially not a fan of them when it involves having to go play the Predators, who are arguably the fastest team in the West. You’re gonna see a naturally slower Blackhawks team going up against a pack of shitheads and fuckwads that are pretty much going to skate circles around them, and that’s pretty much what happened tonight as Nashville swarmed the Hawks to the tune of a 3-2 win. Let’s get to it:
- The thing is, though, I am not that frustrated or disheartened by this loss. Again, the Hawks are on the second night of a back-to-back, and had to travel in the middle of the night. Nashville had the day off yesterday, so they were clearly more fresh, and since you’d already give them the legs advantage in this matchup, I’d say all the Preds did was hold serve. The Hawks looked fine and created some chances that they unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on. Move on.
- I am slightly confused, though, by the decision to start Crawford at home against Anaheim and Forsberg on the road against Nashville. Not that Forsberg played poorly tonight, because he was actually solid, but the decision was just puzzling. I guess it makes a bit more sense to give your starter the extra night off on the back end of it, and the more welcoming environment of home (the Nashville crowd is insufferable anyhow), but I would’ve been inclined to save Crow for the better, divisional opponent.
- But Forsberg ended up playing very well in the spot. He made a lot of key saves, looked confident, and was pretty much in the right spot for just about every shot Nashville took. I can’t pin any of the Preds goals on him. I’ll take more of this from him.
- Patrick Kane was snakebitten tonight, and it became pretty clear that it got to him. NBC did a lot of focusing on him because of his missed chances in the first, and he just looked frustrated. Then he took a silly penalty in the third that led to the third Nashville goal, sealing the deal.
- Garbage Dick wasn’t the only one that couldn’t catch a break, though. Just about the whole top nine was unable to convert on some good chances. Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma had the Hawks’ only goals. So.
- Top Cat did another Top Cat thing tonight, winning a puck battle in behind the Nashville goal (turns out being big isn’t necessary for those, who knew) and then sending a fucking dime of a pass through all five Predators that was so perfectly placed that even Tommy Wingels couldn’t fuck it up. Seriously, go watch the play. My pants got a bit tighter.
- Speaking of, Wingels was a consistent scoring threat tonight. Yes you read that right. No, I don’t want to type it ever again. But here’s how surreal it was: Q put him out with the net empty and 52 seconds left after a Nashville icing, and I did not scream at my television. Life is weird.
- Guess which defenseman got spun around and caught out of position on Nashville’s first goal. You only get one, but that’s all you need.
- All three games between these teams have been one goal games this year. These teams are closer than most would like to give the Hawks credit for.
Next is Dallas on Thursday night. Onward.
Beer du jour: Dos Perros by Yazoo Brewing. I thought a Nashville beer might bring some luck in that city. I am truly sorry.