Some of these aren’t so complicated. The Hawks would have won this by three or four goals, and certainly deserved to, if not for the heroics of Anders Nilsson. The Sabres quite frankly are an unfortunate hockey team, and the Hawks mauled them all over the ice. They had 20 shots in the first, and it’s not like the 23 they managed from there are bad. Sure, it took Anisimov getting a bounce with two minutes to go and get the right break in the Rugby 7’s after regulation, but it’s two points and those are always welcome when the Wild are right on your ass. If finishing first means anything, which we’ll figure out later.
The Hawks were punished for all their mistakes. Seabrook channeling last year’s version by lazily going to collect a puck and then belching it up the boards right to Foligno. Keith getting his pocket picked by Okposo. Rasmussen and Working Class Kero not getting a puck out and leaving EichelMania to get teed up. The Sabres do come with the top end talent at forward to make you pay if you fuck up against them. Just upped the degree of difficulty, and even an OT loss there would have felt like the luck was out as well as whatever else hasn’t added up during this small streak of futility. But no matter.
Let’s clean it up:
The Two Obs
-Obviously, the possession numbers are slapstick comedy. When Andrew Desjardins is throwing an 84% at your ass, you know something’s up. The lowest mark on the team is Kero’s and Hartman’s 55%. On the flip side, Zach Bogosian’s 21% is a true figure of fun.
-So we’re basically down to Ryan Hartman, from all the kids who started the year who we hoped would be serious contributors. Hinostroza has had a moment here and there but is going to need a summer at a squat rack before he’s really effective. Undressing Tyler Fedun isn’t exactly the biggest scalp in the world but speaks to a level of skill that quite simply none of the other children are boasting other than Schmaltz, and Hartman’s doesn’t come with a severely confused gape.
-There was one moment in the first where TVR, cowboy-ing up the ice as he’s wont to do, fumbled a pass and entered the zone with the puck in his skates and his head down, and then promptly fell down. Every picture tells a story, don’t it Rod Stewart?
-Only Kero, Dr. Rasmussen, and Desjardins didn’t manage a shot on goal.
-Whoever showed Eddie our piece about Keith’s struggles this year, thank you and we look forward to more scraps with the plugged one.
-I think I’m going to spend all of tomorrow asking the Hawks and CSN on Twitter what it’s going to take to keep Bobby Hull off my screen and away from the team. It’s starting to feel like they’re doing it on purpose now. Judging by the looks of him, he might fall down soon enough to save us all the trouble.
-A word on US-Canada. While we usually find the WJC a comedic experience because of how seriously Canadians take it and then try to pretend they don’t when they don’t win it, tonight’s game is one of the better games, anywhere, that I’ve ever seen. Played at a ridiculous pace, full of passion, with a raucous crowd, lots of goals, some silly skill from players who will be making an impact at an NHL arena near you soon enough playing for big stakes, you can’t ask for more.
I remember reading an article, I can’t remember where, about how we all say we hate penalty shootouts in soccer but secretly, deep down in places we don’t talk about at parties, we love them. I abhor shootouts in NHL regular season games, but in a short tournament like this it boils everything we love about sports down to a fine paste and cans it. Tension, elation, despair, balls, everything. And they flash back and forth every minute it feels like. So while you would have liked to see it end on a goal, the way these teams were going hammer and tongs at each other anyway an OT goal probably would have been nearly as unjust as well. True entertainment.