Well they won’t box up the video of this one and send it off to Toronto for safe keeping. This one looked every bit like two teams missing some key players who really don’t have much on the line just getting through the schedule. But I suppose when you’re missing two of the five best players in the league and then are stripped of one of your top four, you’ll take the points however they get there. So it goes.
And in reality, I liked the Hawks’ structure tonight for the most part. They were hitting the line with five, they were coming all the way back to be available, and when they do that they really keep the other team from getting sustained pressure. The Wild had their moments, but I don’t feel like Crawford ever had to be a poltergeist to keep the puck out of the net. Sure, he still looked behind him twice but those were results of some fluky bounces and deflections.
Of course, a deviation from that structure is what caused the tying goal, but we’ll get to that.
The Two Obs
-Ok, going to point this out right up top. If you check the extra skater, you’ll see the three best possession forwards for tonight on the Hawks were Jeremy Morin, Peter Regin, and Bryan Bickell. The three forwards to have the least ice time? Jeremy Morin, Peter Regin, and Bryan Bickell. And they scored what should have been the winning goal. I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS HERE!!
-Those hands Bickell showed to score in close? Think that might be a tad important against Varlamov?
-As for why it wasn’t the winning goal, the Wild’s equalizer sprang from Marian Hossa cheating out of his zone in a one-goal game with less than two to go. This can’t happen. Hossa needs to be above that Wild player to be available for a pass, not hoping the puck squeaks by on the boards to him at the red line. And this is one of the most responsible Hawks forwards. At least most of the time. The puck gets turned over in the neutral zone, the Wild break up without much defensive support for the Hawks, and they get a bounce. It never should have happened.
This is what’s been so infuriating about the Hawks. I’ll somewhat accept when the bottom of the roster is making these mistakes. That’s why they’re the bottom of the roster. But it’s been Sharp, or Hossa, or Toews, or Kane, and at this time of year that’s simply unacceptable.
-The one line that didn’t want to break as a unit was the 4th line for some reason. But then again I probably don’t want Brandon Bollig trying to handle a pass in his own zone anyway.
-Speaking of Bollig, there was some conjecture on the Twitters about his hit on Parise. If you were to divide every hit down the middle and have “clean” on one side, and “cheap” on the other, I think it would just shade to “cheap.” That doesn’t make it dirty, but he could have taken the extra step to go shoulder to shoulder. He went for the back. Whatever, I’m so done talking about this stiff as it is. And he did actually complete one pass he meant tonight, so call it a win.
-Brandon Saad will not be remembering this night with any fondness.
-I’m not sure I know what sport Kris Versteeg plays now. I can only hope that playoff hockey snaps him to gear. It has before. But that was five years ago. His penalty was stupid beyond belief, and his work in the offensive zone at this point is basically a guitar solo wank face.
-Hey, any night you survive when Sheldon Brookbank plays 25 minutes, you take that.
-I guess Eddie O was hard on Crow for the second goal. He was a bit deep in his net and maybe slightly off his angle but I don’t know. He can’t come out to challenge there because a shot is guaranteed and that deflection off a stick could have gone anywhere. Maybe he was playing where he thought Haula’s shot could go. I’m just not that upset about it.
-Ryan Suter played 33 minutes, and was a +15% in Corsi relative. Even in this ho-hum affair, he’s a real joy to watch.
-When Charlie Coyle puts it all together, if he does, that’s going to be a problem.
Enough for now. It’s a win, and if it’s the start of the Hawks finally getting the whole system into top gear, it’s a good one.