When the Hawks were shorthanded, they attempted to tighten things up a bit, though considering how many shots they gave up whenever there was a genuine NHL team across from them, I’m not sure it worked. Tonight was definitely not tightened up, as this was as open of a game as the Hawks have had in a while. It worked as just about all the rest have; goaltending finds its feet and makes some huge saves to prevent a deficit from getting unmanageable, the top line scores, and then some sort of wrinkle. The wrinkle tonight wast that the Islanders for some reason never watched tape on on the Hawks power play and kept leaving the cross-ice pass open, and the Hawks got goals from the Toews and Kruger lines.
Add it all up, and it’s just enough. Let’s clean it up.
The Two Obs
-Ok, let me get something off my chest here. I don’t mean to single out the Tribune’s Christopher Hine, whose work I like a lot. But we’ve been doing this for nine seasons. Most of our readers have been here that long, and some writers of other blogs have been following us or our kind for just as long. In fact, all of us have been doing this longer than any one’s been on the Hawks’ beat at the moment. So I think our readers take what we and others say pretty seriously.
Which is why a touchdown dance on Michal Kempny tonight didn’t make too much sense, especially when goals two and three had nothing to do with him. There’s this idea that they have greater credibility due to proximity. And because Q says he scratched Kempny due to defensive errors, that’s taken as gospel simply because they’re standing there and we’re out here.
That’s inaccurate. We know what we’re talking about, otherwise no one would read this shit. You can only hold the attention of people for so long with dick jokes and Tool references. So let me put forth this theory: Q is still playing his TVR hunch, one he’s convinced will work and one we have ample evidence isn’t. He’s not going to say that of course, so he comes up with the Kempny is having issues when all of us watching have clearly seen him be perhaps the Hawks most consistent d-man. Whatever his mistakes were, they were certainly no more egregious than anything TVR pulled last year and never faced any discipline with his ice time for. Q is just going to prove himself right or die trying.
But that isn’t taken seriously by the beat writers because we weren’t in the room when Q said so? Not buying it. If they’re getting off the record quotes from coaches or scouts that this guy sucks or something, fine. That’s what we don’t get. But that’s not what’s going on here.
Anyway, rant over. Kempny wasn’t very good tonight but after a stretch out of the lineup that wasn’t unexpected. But he’s not going to learn from them in the pressbox and playing less than seven minutes. And it’s only a matter of time before TVR starts eating his own boogers again. Book it.
-Panarin’s one-timer is going to have to be monitored by the U.N. soon. It doesn’t seem to matter the angle to the net or the pass or the velocity on the pass, he just doesn’t miss. It’s already the rival of Ovechkin and Subban and whoever else makes their home in that spot.
For you long time soccer fans, I used to describe Argentina’s Claudio Lopez taking a penalty as, “You see him kick it, and then you see the net bulge, but you never see the in-between part.” It’s the same with Panarin. You see the pass go to him, you see him unfurl, and then spot patch of net behind the goalie is popping out. You don’t see the in-between part.
-If the Islanders are going to pull out of this, being dumb isn’t the way. Hartman’s hit was clean on Cizikas, even if might have come from a little far to deliver it (debatable). There are few things in the game more annoying than a player having to “answer” for a clean hit. It’s a good hockey play. By that rationale, Hossa should have to fight everyone whose stick he lifts and then steals the puck from. Good on Hartman for not buying into that bullshit. With the Isles kill being a home for wayward children at the moment, the last thing Cizikas should be doing is unnecessarily putting it out there. It turned the game in the 1st.
-Hartman is clearly full of confidence, because that pass to Hossa wasn’t anything he would have attempted even a month ago. The Hawks suddenly have a full top six. Who knew?
-Of course, the Toews line still got buried possession-wise, and I don’t know how many games the Hawks are going to win when they and Keith are having that kind of night. There are only so many rabbits…
-While Hartman and at times Vinnie Hinny have stolen the plaudits, Dennis Rasmussen is having himself a season. He’s dovetailed well with Kruger and played well when called upon to go in the middle himself. He’s been a dogged forechecker, and has been able to take the dungeon shifts that Kruger always gets. He set up Wiener Anxiety’s goal with all those qualities.
-Which helped Panik make up for being the inflatable wavy arm ballon man while Alan Quine was traipsing down to the net for the Isles’ opener.
-Darling won’t be happy about the four goals against, but without him in the second the Hawks might have given up a touchdown or more. Darling might make himself rich somewhere else this summer if he keeps this up.