All right, that sucked.
It’s not a coincidence that in three of the four full games that Patrick Kane has missed, including the last game before the Olympic break against Phoenix, the Hawks have been shutout. That’s what happens when a team becomes so reliant on stretch passes that the other team can sit on and anticipate and there is no individual X-factor talent that can’t be game-planned for. It turns the Hawks into a dump and chase team, which they are not. This is not a knock on them, in fact they’ve been pretty successful in not being that kind of team in the last few years. That point is exacerbated by the forwards starting their pursuit from a dead stop at the far blue line. But it’s country fucking stupid to turn one’s self one dimensional out of sheer stubbornness, laziness, or lack of recognition. When this team attacks as a five-man unit, moving up ice as such, with or without Kane, there aren’t many teams that can deal with them. And it’s zero coincidence that three teams with the slightest bit of defensive discipline and structure have fully muted what had been the highest scoring offense in the game, without a singular generational talent to force defenders on their heels even if the forwards are camping.
The Bruins are that and then some, and they did exactly what they’re supposed to. Hell, they were even conceding the Hawks’ first pass in regroups because they knew what was coming. And the Hawks didn’t adjust.
- Crawford will catch some heat for his mishandle behind the net, and deservedly so, even if that area of his game has improved. But he deserved a better fate and kept the Hawks in the game far longer than they were going to be otherwise.
- Kris Versteeg and Brandon Bollig. That’s enough. Seriously. Sit down. Preferably for a while.
- Teuvo was active once again, particularly defensively because that’s the way the Bruins dictated things. And his opting to defer offensively is understandable particularly for a kid joining this team and with the throbbing hockey mind he clearly has. But someone needs to tell him it’s OK to just throw one on net every once in a while.
- Fortunately for the Hawks and their Rex Grossman attitude they get the Senators tomorrow, who allow nearly 35 shots a game, have a .900 even team save percentage, and just lost Bobby Ryan for the season, where all of these bad habits will likely be positively reinforced once again.