Stop me if you heard this one before. The Blackhawks go in to St. Louis for an early season matchup against the Blues, lose a frustrating game, walk out with 0 points, it gets projected for how things will shape out in the playoffs and then no one remembers what happened a week later.
Oh that’s right. This has been an ongoing tradition since Barrett Jackman slowly slid out of a goat’s birth canal.
Whatever. On to the rest.
–Here’s the thing about these early season games with the Blues, particularly since Oswald Cobblepot has been regurgitating his leftover bratwurst into his players’ mouths, they’re kind of a one-note team. The Blues will play a playoff style game in October – they’re not going to take any chances offensively. Their third forward high will concede the offensive blue line to prevent any odd man rushes coming the other way. So possession, offensive zone time and finally, goals have to be grinded out.
And for a team like the Hawks who typically don’t start the season ready to do that have a difficult time facing teams like that. Of course, once the season continues, the Hawks are able to adapt in games like that and grind them out. The Blues, meanwhile, can’t counter by then trying to play an uptempo game. Maybe when Stastny is healthy and David Backes isn’t trying to spread Ebola throughout the nation, we’ll see a different type of game from the Blues. I doubt it, but I will leave the possibility open.
–That being said, the Hawks cannot continue to spot divisional opponents two goal leads in the third period. As much fun as the jailbreak offense is to watch when they’re down, it’s not a harbinger for long term success. Though it is intriguing to know they’re never out of a game.
–I still can’t picture a future where Michal Rozsival is playing important minutes for this team down the stretch this season. He’s followed a wretched pre-season with an encore of vomit so far this regular season. On the Blues second goal, Rozsival tried skating through two Blues forecheckers at his own blue line. Sure, it took Ian Lapierre shoving Antti Raanta into the net to score a goal but still.
Had they not scored, Rozsival was heading to the penalty box and it may have just prolonged the inevitable.
–I’m not even going to try and analyze what Joel Quenneville was doing with the lines tonight. I saw Kane playing with Kruger and Carcillo for a few shifts and turned the oven on to convection but before I could stick my head in, Carcillo went out with an injury.
And so here we are again. Carcillo goes out with an early season injury. A young player who deserves a prolonged look will (finally) get one. I don’t want to be over dramatic and say this is Morin’s last chance because we’re still only a few weeks into the season; he still has another year left on his deal and there are still so many unknowns to this season. But it would behoove him to snatch up this opportunity.
The question of whether Morin will actually get an extended look is another topic altogether.
–The ice times of the Hawk players are looking more and more 2011-2012-esque than ’09-10 or ’13-14. Kane, Toews and Sharp all played 20 minutes. Duncan Keith was over 25. Meanwhile, in a game where Kris Versteeg actually deserved to play, he only netted 10 minutes. Same for Brad Richards as he only played 11 minutes. Bryan Bickell barely played 12 minutes but that seems inaccurate as I don’t recall him having more than two shifts in the 3rd period.
Shifts have got to be better distributed.
–Bickell and Rozsival were sporting new helmets today going with the Bauer design similar to what Jonathan Toews wears instead of the CCM helmets which they had been using. Something interesting maybe two other people noticed.
–Not much time to sit around and feel bad with a quick turnaround. On to the next one.