There are road wins, and then there are goalie wins. And then there are combinations of the two, which is what happened tonight.
Once again, while the shot attempts heavily favored the Hawks’s opponent, given the Rangers’ lack of east-west among their forward corps, not much at even strength felt all that threatening, and it took an eye-of-the needle pass to get Corey Crawford just barely out of position enough to get Captain Stairwell on the board. And that was after the Hawks were already up two goals.
But as a general rule, winning on the special teams ledger, particularly on the road, is a decent barometer for victory, and though it took a couple of late calls to make it happen, the Hawks found the game tying and game winning goals through some pretty passes of their own. Now get out of MSG before the scoreboard changes again.
- As Sam alluded to in the preview, the Rangers aren’t exactly a possession juggernaut, and are below water even at home where they have an excellent record. While the Hawks boast the top end talent to hide a multitude of sins, this used to be a team that used to not bank on plus-goaltending and high end skill to win. It’s not quite rooting for the 2014 Avalanche yet, complete with heinous crimes against women, but it’s getting there.
- Dovetailing from that, the pairing of Brent Seabrook and Trevor Van Riemsdyk were a disgusting -16 and -15 in shot attempts tonight, the worst among Hawks’ skaters. No one was a positive in shot attempt differential. But the Hawks need more forward depth.
- Once again it’s not an accident that Teuvo’s two brilliant passes to set up tap in goals came from creating on his off wing. While yes, his results when playing with Toews and Hossa weren’t electrifying, he was being asked to do things on his proper side (forechecking hard and winning puck battles) that simply aren’t a part of his game at 4’8″ tall and 83 lbs. And playing on a line with those two and only one puck on the ice doesn’t maximize what Teuvo does best, which is create in a not-dissimilar fashion to Our Lord Yahweh. While Richard Panik tries hard, and nothing against Andrew Desjardins, giving Teuvo a look on Toews’ right would maximize what is available to the Hawks right now and give them a look at the Hossa-less future.
- Artemi Panarin is proof that the Hawks’ scouting department still has functioning eyes in the face of the evidence put forth by Drew Leblanc, Tanner Kero, and Viktor Svedberg. While Big Bank Hank would probably like the first of Panarin’s three goals back even with Anisimov’s star hole in his face, Panarin’s release is one of the best in the game already.
- Given how many games in hand both the Stars and the Blues have on the Hawks, and how bumpy the schedule gets for the next couple of weeks, the Hawks needed to have these two points, particularly in regulation now that they’re sitting until Sunday. And tonight is proof positive why the Hawks, as presently constructed, desperately need as much home ice as they can earn.
- As a taxpayer I demand that the Secret Service never lose eyesight of Garbage Dick on the team’s trip to the White House to conclude the work week. Especially if he is loitering around the bathroom.