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Supporting Caste – Hawks 6, Jets 3

It feels repetitive at this point, but given this is the third time this month that these two teams have played, it’s not surprising that once again the Hawks and Jets followed the same template.  Hawks control early, let the opposition off the mat in the second, then say “fuck this” with time to spare and cruise out with two points.

Which is not to say that there weren’t some dicey moments in a wacky second period, where a combined five goals were scored- none at 5 on 5. For those keeping track at home, Saad was 4v4, Ladd was 4v4, Ellerby was 5v4, Toews 4v4, and Byfuglien at 5 on 3. Not to mention Kane’s power play marker from the slot in the first.

Fortunately the Hawks were able to play a clean third period which included the even strength go-ahead tally from Hossa on a crazy cross-ice backhand feed from Toews, and the 5 on 5 dagger from Optimus Grind doing what else but jabbing a rebound home in the crease. Patrick Sharp would add the empty netter to give everyone but Brandon Pirri a point from the top six. Two points and onward to see Torts and the Twins in Riot City on Saturday.

Observations

  • While he made some key saves when they were needed, all three of the goals the Jets scored were probably ones Crawford would like back. Even the 5 on 3 is one he could and should have just smothered. This hasn’t been the best stretch for Crawford, but it seems like he’ll need to get through Saturday night before getting a rest as the trip then swings through Alberta mid-week. Of course that’s assuming that Quenneville can stop chasing points in November.
  • Fortunately for Crawford Ondrej Pavalec was in the opposite crease, who may very well be the worst goalie for the money in the league. As erotic as the Toews goal was, how does he not have his post and let that go under the bar short side?
  • The PK needs to have something done, as it can’t get a stop when it needs one seemingly at all this year. And once again bafflement ensues when a plus-penalty killer in Kris Versteeg is acquired and Brandon Bollig gets shifts shorthanded with Versteeg not even in the rotation. Even with all of the aforementioned second period wackiness, Verbeauty literally did not see a second of PK time. Patrick Sharp either. Because these two totally suck at killing penalties together.
  • It’s unknown if Toews’ assist on the Hossa goal was an intentional back-handed saucer pass or just him shoveling it toward the net knowing Hossa was crashing, but either way, that’s as bad ass of a backhand feed as anyone will see.
  • Few thought it could even be possible, but Olli Jokinen has actually managed to make himself look even weirder with hair.
  • It seems like Evander Kane should be doing more to actually create offense than just kind of play the role of irritant.
  • The Hawks dong whipped the Jets at the dot, winning 40 of 63, which certainly makes dictating the play and coasting to their customary 55-60% of Corsi and Fenwick that much easier.
  • Tonight was probably Jeremy Morin’s most active game on the forecheck thus far, so naturally, Handzus will probably rejoin the team in Vancouver, as was reported earlier today.

 

Player of the Game

 Duh.

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