Hockey

Quarterfinal Game #2 – Hawks 3, Knights 4 (OT) – I’d Rather Feel Pain Than Nothing At All

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

I don’t mean to be too defeatist, nor to absolutist, but if the Hawks are to have any shot at winning this series, they need to win games like tonight. We’ll dig into the details shortly, but the TL;DR of it to lead with here is that if you’re going to let a team like Vegas control the play for most the play over three periods and still be opportunistic enough to take them OT, you have to cash in and win the game. That is easier said than done, obviously, but I think if things are to go the same way from a possession/shot-share standpoint in more games moving forward, the Hawks won’t be in them like they were in this one. Let’s dig in:

THE BULLETS

– So yeah, it’s probably not a good idea to let your opponent control 71.43% of the shot attempts in the third period of a tie game. Unfortunately that is what CCYP’s team did. The especially discouraging aspect of that number is that it came right after a second period that the Hawks controlled for the most part, with a 57.58% CF themselves, and three goals in that frame to show for it. So to come out of a period like that and turn in the effort they did in the third period and then the OT (more in a moment) is not exactly inspiring. Then again, when your coach is about as intelligent and inspiring as a dead tree, it is probably hard to find inspiration.

– More of the same in the OT – Vegas had an impressive 64.71% CF in the extra frame, thought a good chunk of that might be buoyed by the flurry they had at the end just before scoring the winning goal. The Hawks did have some decent chances in the frame, so I am not going to act like that Corsi number is especially damning, but it is further evidence of my original point that Colliton is not getting this team ready to A) show up when they need to, nor B) build off any positive momentum they may create in spite of him.

– I am in love with Kirby Dach. Never been so happy to eat my words on a draft pick in my life. His goal today was nothing special, but it was the direct result of making the smart play and being in the right spot, which is a strong foundation for a young player with his skill to build on. On top of that, the kid is so good in transition to the point that he could be lethal there, and soon. Unfortunately, Dach’s learning curve in these playoffs and flashy moments didn’t do enough to save him from getting absolutely shelled in shot attempts (33.33 CF%). It be that way sometime.

– Scratching Adam Boqvist against a team that moves the puck and skates so much faster than you is a move so smooth brained and stupid that I am simply too intelligent to even consider how Coach Bowling Ball Brain came up with it. I am not going to act like Boqvist has been some type of world beater in this postseason, but he hasn’t been downright awful either, in my opinion. And the main silver lining to the Hawks being in this series, which everyone and their mother knows is not going to last more than 5 games, is to get players like Boqvist meaningful experience playing meaningful games. Colliton scratched him but kept Olli Maatta in the lineup. I just…. I actually cannot think of a worthy justification for such a thing.

– I know it’s an easy and defensible card to pull, but it’s still incredible that the only ace up Colliton’s sleeve now two years into the job is to just throw Kane onto the ice as much as physically possible. So the summation of these last two points comes to this – Hey Jeremy, maybe try switching up some tactics. Or maybe just do the honorable thing by hopping on the next plane out of Edmonton and resigning.

– Next game is Saturday. Until then.

– One more time: Fire Jeremy Colliton.

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