On a day that started with possibly the first ever combination of the words “NHL” and “Temple University,” the Hawks got a glimpse of the results their play has deserved lately but Crawford has kept from happening. That’s not to say Scott Darling was bad, he was far from it. But it’s an example of the other-worldly play Crow has had to put forth at time to get the Hawks two points consistently. When you go from other-worldly to just pretty good, the chances these Hawks surrender right now make for less than two points.
And it’s not even as the Hawks were 60 minutes bad. For long stretches they were better, though those came after they were down two goals and could be partially attributed to score effects and having to throw more and more caution to the wind. Given the lineup though, even when the Hawks have the upper hand there are some shifts where they are running around their own end like a kids birthday party where someone gave them all soda. Or they make a mistake at the other line or neutral zone to cause odd-man rushes. Crow’s expected absence for a couple weeks will be an excellent chance to shore this shit up.
Let’s clean it up:
The Two Obs
-So who wants to welcome TVR back? I’m sure this is exactly what Michal Kempny signed up for, to clean up the stains and vomit left all over the ice when he’s around. A turnover for one goal against, and then a hilariously badly played odd-man rush against where TVR went to pressure Konecny (I guess?) then decided no, that made too much sense, then turned his back on him, and then did… nothing. And doing nothing is kind of his patented finisher. We should name it at this point. Along with his other patented moves of not having his stick in position to block a centering pass from behind the net and turning the puck over. The Hawks kind of have to keep him around for the expansion draft, but carve out some room in Rockford for him permanently.
-The Hawks once again got excellent work from Wiener Anxiety-Dream Warrior-The Funky Mussen, and they play in a way that maybe other lines should take a cue from other than Kane-Anisimov-Panarin. They just go in straight lines. They get up the ice as quickly as possible, and right now the Hawks don’t have enough ingenuity to do much else anywhere else. That’s why Vinnie Hinny and Hartman have found some success at times. Getting up the ice a bit quicker, maybe leaving the zone just a touch quicker, and just get up there.
-Tyler Motte managed a 16% Corsi today. That’s… something.
-Oh good, Olczyk’s bullshit Keith for Norris campaign is up and running again. Yes, Keith has a ton of assists. He also looks a half-step slow in his own zone most of the time. He also looks like he hasn’t quite adjusted his game to not having the dynamic speed he once did, which knee injuries tend to take away. Keith used to be a hellion behind the net and in the corners. Maybe he’s saving it, but we haven’t seen much of it.
-Kane and Panarin are getting that thing again where they’ll only pass to each other. It still produces, and it can be gorgeous, but it does end some possessions before they should be.
-With Provorov and Konecny to go with Ghost Bear, Giroux, Coots, Voracek, and others, the Flyers could themselves an awfully interesting bunch next season.
The Hawks won’t get much of a break tomorrow. While the Jets have had their struggles, they always play well against the Hawks and they come loaded with more speed and scoring skill than the Flyers have.
-Still no cheesesteaks.