If I were going to try and excuse this effort, the one where the Hawks gave up 47 shots to the dead ass Oilers, I would say something like the following: It was clear there was an extra jump with the Hawks on Monday, juiced by a couple days off that were filled with two new acquisitions that were supposed to refocus the whole organization. So there was always going to be a come down from that, especially when the 29th placed Oilers came for a visit and the feeling, as it always is with them though it almost never works out that way, that the Hawks can just show up and win.
I’m not saying that was the case, but you could make this argument and it’s not total horse hockey.
What’s more likely the case is that the Hawks weren’t focused, and their slow defense can’t handle the Oilers speed when they’re not locked in. Throw in a couple awful games from the Hawk linchpins like Toews and Keith, and you get a barely rescued two points from the jaws of the stoned koala that is the Oilers. And yes, I know “stoned koala” is redundant.
At least the Hawks came out with cayenne pepper on their balls for the 3rd, showing they’re not completely broken. And it’s two points to sit on the shoulders of the Blues, and perhaps more importantly maintain a gap to the green and red machine that is getting awfully big in the rearview all of the sudden.
Let’s do it.
The Two Obs
-Here are the Oilers main problems besides their goaltending: their defense is overmatched and their forwards can’t really grind away their way to chances. So if you don’t give up your blue line, and just put pucks behind theirs and make them play their way out under pressure, you’ll probably be fine.
Cue the Hawks surrendering their blue line and trying to be Burt Fucking Wonderstone at the Oilers’. It worked out how you might imagine.
-No one’s making any judgements on Timonen yet. At least we hope. It’s going to take a while. That said, he has looked pretty plodder so far. Only got 14 minutes tonight as Q wasn’t comfortable going to him in a close game. Let’s come back to this in three weeks.
-I think I’ve written this maybe three or four times in the entire time we’ve done this blog, but Jonathan Toews was terrible tonight, at least in the first two periods. He had three awful giveaways in the first and every one of them should have ended up a goal.
-The fact that they didn’t is that Crow had his best game in a long while. These are his two points and basically no one else’s.
-Keith wasn’t much better than Toews, and some of his trouble came from trying to make a more complicated play than simply using his partner Rundblad. He doesn’t trust him, not that there isn’t cause for that. Keith is also most certainly not a power play QB, and only a lack of alternatives is keeping him there.
-Michal Rozsival played 22 minutes. This has to stop happening soon.
-I will say Brent Seabrook looked about as smooth and active as he has all season, which is nice.
-Kris Versteeg on the bottom six will play in a way that makes you think he should be on the top six. When he gets to the top six, he will play like someone who needs to be put back on the bottom six to get his head out of his ass.
-When strictly talking about on-ice matters, I’ve spent a lot of time defending Patrick Sharp. The numbers suggest a historically unlucky season. But Sharp, at least until the 3rd, was even more float-y than I’ve seen him. He drew a penalty because he was just sitting and waiting in the corner and then shocked Marincin by actually moving when the puck came close. He got a breakaway because he was last off the bench and dragging ass back to the defensive zone. There was a board battle where Vermette (prone on the ice) and Bickell were dealing with three Oilers. Sharp just stood in the corner and waited.
Whatever his problems are, the Hawks need him to snap out of this. And he’s not going to snap out of this standing around and waiting for things to come to him. I’m sure someone will point that out to him. And he still ended up with six shots.
-It’s amazing how often the Hawks can’t figure out to outnumber the penalty killers during a power play along the boards. They dump a puck in, and one Hawk is taking on two killers. That’s why it’s called a power play, jackasses. You have the power.
That’s enough of this one. Four wins out of five. Move on.