The back end of the divisional home and home historically tends to be a testier, albeit sloppier and more sluggish affair than its precursor, and tonight was no different considering just how spirited last night’s tilt in Dallas was. Given the Stars’ final push in regulation last night, it looked like both teams took quite a bit to get into the swing of things this evening.
But with the Stars depleted, the Hawks had enough to outgun them finally in overtime. Hawks 4, Stars 3, now time to look at the electoral map.
- John Klingberg was only on the ice for THREE attempts for during 5v5 play, and 21 against. It doesn’t take self-proclaimed statistical geniuses like Steve Burtch or Emmanuel Perry to create a kaleidoscopic chart with made up stats to deduce that the Stars are probably going to catch the ass-end of most games where that happens.
- Similarly, Duncan Keith was underwater for his third straight game, and fourth out of 5, albeit barely with 16 attempts for and 18 against 5v5. Keith also clearly had lunch with Bottomless Pete and that became apparent on the Smith shorty, as he was very slow in getting back. Hopefully it’s just a blip, but it bears monitoring. Overall he’s still at a 51.72% share still with nearly a point per game as he racked up two more assists tonight, but getting him a consistent partner should be a priority going forward, because he and Campbell together seem to have rapidly diminishing returns.
- On the other side of things, Michal Kempny has very, very quietly become a steady NHL defenseman in short order. He was +8 tonight, bringing his season mark up to 53.46, second on the team behind Artemi Panarin. Kempny’s game is very economical, and he does so much right that it’s easy to miss, but the hope is that this is an early audition for him to eventually pair with Hjalmarsson for a true shutdown unit, allowing the other two pairings to push the pace against middling-to-lesser competition.
- Mike Bossy, Jr. got his ass stapled to the bench for a bit and subsequently demoted for biffing one too many passes with Toews and Garbage Dick. Richard Panik has a place on this team, but it’s certainly not riding shotgun with those two. Schmaltz has the brains and creativity for the slot, but he is really weak on his stick in puck battles at the moment.
- It does seem like Q has found a bottom six unit he likes in Motte-Kruger-Heart Man, and for a while that line was generating most of the Hawks’ chances until about halfway through the game. Motte and Hartman both have wheels and are dogged forecheckers, which compliment’s Kruger’s game well.
- Once again, the names on the scoresheet being Kane, Toews, Anisimov, and Hossa resulting in two points is not coincidental.
- Next up, a trip to West East St. Louis on Wednesday as a good barometer of just how far they’ve come since the sloppy opening weekend, provided the country hasn’t been burnt to cinders Tuesday night.