The Hawks win a game that looked like mononucleosis on ice. There were some really nice highlights from guys you care about, too. Let’s keep it tight, cuz it’s a drinkin’ night.
– Corey Crawford might not get his number retired. He probably won’t make the Hall of Fame. But he’s now a 250-win goaltender and has firmly established himself as at least a Top-3 Hawks goaltender of all time. It’s easy to take him for granted because he does so well without the panache of someone like Robin Lehner, but once again, he proved to be the crux of a Hawks victory. He stoned three of four Devils power plays and held on in the shootout, stopping 29 of 30 overall. The fact that Dennis Gilbert got Player of the Game just reinforces that Crawford is Chicago’s Rodney Dangerfield.
– Kirby Dach had himself a nice game, too. He was aces in the first period with three shots on goal and a smooth steal to set up his first shot. The scuttlebutt has been that Dach needs to shoot the puck more, and tonight he showed he took that idea seriously. His forehand deke in the second was just a bit wide, but he had the right idea. Though the shootout is a waste of everyone’s time, his patience on it got the Hawks the extra point. It’s still extremely dumb to see him playing fourth-line minutes with Smith and Carpenter, even though if you squint, you can sort of get the logic—having him play against trash and all. Let’s get him more time against better talent and see what he can do going forward.
– If Brandon Saad had any sense of finish about him, we’d actually get to call him Hossa Jr. Once again, he was strong in possession and dominant on defense, but he also got stoned on breakaways twice. His pass to a wide-open Kubalik in the waning minutes of the third was art, and if not for Kubalik gripping his stick too hard it could have been a game winner.
– We got to see Dominik Kubalik skate with Toews and Saad for a bit, after Nylander once again proved that he’s done nothing to deserve that spot. Saad–Toews–Kubalik has all the potential in the world to be a strong, right-kind-of-heavy line for this team if only that coach of theirs would let them. Credit for doing it at all, but do it more, now.
– The DeBrincat–Strome–Kane line was a threat all night. DeBrincat’s goal showcased all the things they can do when they’re clicking. Kane came toward the circle off the near boards and lofted a pass to Strome. Strome batted it out of the air with the shaft of his stick in one of the more impressive displays of hand-eye coordination we’ve gotten to see this year, then fed Kane for a quick, hard shot. The rebound deflected to an uncovered Top Cat, who bit the snake back with a backhander. Eddie gave Toews the credit for standing in the crease, but Dylan Strome was the real hero on that play.
– The next time Brent Seabrook tries to tell you that he’s still got something left to give, remember this clip:
There’s no reason for Brent Seabrook to be that far out for that long, unless you’re running Supre Brain Genious Jeremy Colliton’s dumbass system. The Hawks were fortunate that Hughes didn’t pot that shot.
– We shouldn’t be surprised when Foley and Eddie dump all over Subban, but listening to Eddie do a three-minute Andrew Dice Clay impression about Subban’s scoring woes just minutes after claiming that the things Dennis Gilbert does are things “you can never get enough of” is pitch-perfect HOCKEY MAN bullshit. Wad that up and shove it in your dick, Eddie.
Four points is four points, and the Hawks get the added bonus of leaving New Jersey. Overall, not a bad trip.
Beer du Jour: High Life
Line of the Night: “It IS meaningful.” Pat Foley describing Dennis Gilbert’s fight, trying harder to convince himself than any of us.