If you look simply at the first period stats, minus the goals obviously, you might assume the Hawks were in danger once again of getting their asses handed to them. The team that averages only 27 shots against per game allowed 17 total in the first period. Those stats are so out of whack given the 3 trips the Hawks took to the penalty box in the opening twenty. Three trips to the box are always going to be bad but that’s especially bad when the team is also near the bottom of the league in PK%.
Sure enough, the Predators were able to score on their opening power play when Seabrook failed to clear the puck and the Hawks ran around their own zone like teenagers who snuck into the Playboy Mansion. Raanta made a few big saves but couldn’t find a slapshot from Shea Weber. Though to be fair… most goalies aren’t going to be able to stop that guy if he gets a few chances to really wind up.
Thankfully though, Patrick Kane still exists and that’s good enough for right now. Keith got the early one with a sneaky slapper that beat Hutton blocker side but it was Kaner’s incredible backhander that will go down as the game winning goal. With that beauty, Kaner pulls within a point of the overall league lead (though Crosby has games in hand… I’m getting really sick of realizing everyone has games in hand against the Hawks). Kaner also has 18 points in 10 games. Holy hell is he fun to watch right now.
- Steven Konroyd filled in for Eddie and did his best to give the broadcast team a bit of professionalism… however boring he may be. Pat Foley really wasn’t having any of it though.
- Speaking of Konroyd, he wondered if Shaw lead the team in drawing penalties after he was held by Colin Wilson in the first. In case you also wondered the same thing, he’s not. That would actually belong to Jeremy Morin with Shaw being second on the team. That’s a much smaller sample size though since Morin has played only 11 games but draws a silly 2.5 per 60 minutes. Shaw leads the players who see regular time with 1.8 per 60.
- Kind of interesting to see Leddy play up by the circles on the first power play in the second. That didn’t seem to be on purpose, maybe a missed change, but he certainly had a few good looks from that area. He even ended up scoring from the same spot later on the Hawks second chance with the advantage that period. I can only imagine Q is spending the evening trying to figure out if 3 D-Men up front with Sharp and Hossa on the point could be a good idea.
- While the idea of Seth Jones is certainly something to be afraid of… I’m just not really seeing it the longer this season goes on. The Hawks have been good on the forecheck (see what I did there?) but they’re certainly not a ferocious team. Several times though, the Hawks were able to get Jones to panic and throw the puck away or at least make the wrong play. He’s going to be a thorn in our side but he’s just not there yet. He is only 19. I was just a dorky college kid drinking PBR and throwing up in the bushes around campus at that age… at least now I drink better beer.
- Bicks was back.. that was nice I guess. Right? Didn’t really see him out there much because it was a blink and you’ll miss his shift kind of situation.
- For a moment there in the second period, I forgot Stalberg wasn’t a Hawk anymore. They announced his penalty and I began cursing his name. Some things never change I suppose.
- For as ugly as the first could be with all the chances going the Preds way, they were held without a shot on goal for over 8 minutes to begin the second.
- If the Hawks want to improve on their PK, this was certainly a game where they got a lot of time to work on it. I’d prefer they just do that in practice though and stay the hell out of the box during games.
- The third, which was the only period I watched live, was boring as fuck. But two points is two points and the train keeps a rolling. See you on Friday for the Nucks.