At the end of the season, no one will remember these 2 points and maybe they won’t mean anything but these are the types of games the Hawks have made a habit of capturing through the years without having to take it out of third gear- second game of a back-to-back at home against an inferior opponent.
So let’s not waste any more time.
–It would be hard to not be impressed by Scott Darling thus far, even going back to his performances in the preseason. He doesn’t give a whole lot of net to shoot at and he’s a massive beast. And that’s not even getting into his gorgeous pads.
I will be very interested to see how shooters react as they get a longer look at him and if there are any holes they will try to exploit. But at this rate, he’s earned a longer look.
(Notice how I didn’t have to mention where Scott Darling lived as a youth to further demonstrate why he played well. If I was a professional athlete and I had a choice, the last place I would want to play is Chicago. If only because I’d spike the first reporter that asked me about what a thrill it is to play for a team in the same city I grew up in.)
–Even with 45 shots on net, I never felt like Anderson was seeing a barrage of shots that took an act of Zeus to keep the Hawks at 2 goals. The good news is that the Hawks quadrupled the amount of their odd man rushes compared to last night. The bad news, none of them leaded to goals.
At some point, the massive course correction is going to happen for guys like Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, etc. and then worries over the Hawks 5-on-5 numbers will probably be much ado about nothing.
–Which brings me to my next point. While the course correction is very likely, it’d be nice if the Hawks best players weren’t a puddle when it hits. 6 guys played 20 minutes+ with guys like Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson going well over the mark for a second straight night. Meanwhile, David Rundblad and Trevor Van Riemsdyk didn’t even combine for 20 minutes.
Based on the eye test, Rundblad should hardly offend anyone’s hockey sensibilities more than Michal Rozsival. Rozsival can misplay a defender, cough up a loose puck or be over-confident in his abilities with the best of them. Yet, he gets a guaranteed 10 minutes of ice no matter what. The only difference is that he has the “crafty veteran” label and Rundblad is a “young guy” that has to prove himself.
I get that things were a bit goofy with Ottawa taking six penalties and a few 4-on-4 situations but even if this was a game mostly played at 5-on-5, I doubt things would look much different.
So if this is what we’re in store for, I would much rather suffer through 12-14 minutes of Rozsival if it helps lessen the minutes of more important players. Of course, the Hawks could also let Rundblad play his way off the roster and give him a stretch of 10 games and ensure he plays more than 10+ minutes to see what happens.
But we all know which option they’ll go with.
–Jeremy Morin is criticized for his defensive zone play but yet his Corsi would indicate the puck is never in the defensive zone when he’s on the ice. So what’s the problem then?
Maybe there are conversations taking place behind closed doors where the Hawks coaching staff has an open and honest dialogue with Morin explaining their decisions for limiting his ice time. But I doubt it.
I get anxiety watching him knowing any mistake could mean a launching to the press box. I can’t even imagine how it must feel for him. The fact he has 11 shots on goal and only averages 6:45 per game is one of the most perplexing, frustrating and infuriating situations we’ll never get a good answer on.