I’m actually tempted to apply our normal title policy to these silly overtimes, where we list the score as tied. But more on that later.
Once again, the Hawks couldn’t find a goal during normal time, though unlike Saturday they were outplayed for most of the game instead of surviving an opening barrage and slowly turning the game their way. But they have a second straight shutout, and they can think Corey Crawford for it. By the way, Crow’s now gleaming .943 SV% is good for 4th in the league, as would his 1.57 GAA. Hopefully this time he can avoid any arguments with the H.O.B steps.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You could say a second straight shutout without Keith is highly encouraging (though this is the 5th time the Ducks have been shutout this season, so that accomplishment doesn’t get a bunch of gold stars). Or you could look at the Hawks only having put up one even-strength goal without Keith as something to worry. The answer is probably both.
Let’s do the thing.
The Two Obs
-Bruce Boudreau clearly set out his team tonight to not fall behind early and watch their belief head down the drain. The Ducks trapped for most of the 1st period, and this probably is a strategy we’ll see other teams attempt without Keith in the lineup. Because who on the Hawks is going to bust it? The only candidate currently skates on the third pairing. Seabrook can’t pass through it. So there are your six shots for the Hawks in the 1st.
Having gotten through that, Gabby let the Ducks be the Ducks, and the Hawks’ D couldn’t really deal with that either. Both teams has some sloppy ass passing and handling in their own zone tonight, and it was hard for either to sustain much consistently. It was kind of rugby scrummed chances with pucks bouncing to someone to make a play. With the Hawks defense snowed under the forwards had to come even deeper, which doesn’t help them get up the ice with numbers. That’s probably you’re biggest reason the Hawks struggled to score tonight.
-Well, they did have one goal, didn’t they? It’s the right call as the net was way off, and I doubt Andersen thought of pushing the goal off himself. Goalies use those posts all the time for leverage, so I wonder if it wasn’t a little loose to begin with. Either that, or Andersen can squat a fuckton.
-I was about to tweet that this was the most noticeable Tikhonov had been, and I don’t think he’s been bad at all, and then he had a neutral zone turnover with about two minutes to go.
-As for the scoring woes, the Hawks are basically one line right now. Toews and Hossa were underwater again, For once Getzlaf and Perry had the upper hand against his line, as Toews usually kicks Getzlaf’s head in. It’s still only nine games, and I don’t think Toews is going to not score at 5-on-5 for too much longer.
-As for the third line, Feather went over that Saturday. Hinostroza isn’t going to make anything happen, and it’s time for this little experiment to end. You’re second or third best playmaker is marooned on the left wing with a grunt and a kid who has less than 10 games above college. Get Teuvo to the middle, get Dano up here, and finally figure out that you have four 4th liners and only three of them can play at a time. If they all have to skate, try and get the mice that run around Shaw’s skull to all pull in the same direction. It’s not that hard.
-Andersen was leaving rebounds in the crease all night, but the Hawks couldn’t get there. I think Andersen is just good enough to break a fan’s heart.
-3-on-3 is dumb. Foley and the NHL can point to all the shootouts they’re not getting to, but it’s like having baseball games decided by inserting batting practice pitchers so avoid an 11th inning. It’s still a gimmick, and it’s essentially based on who’s lucky enough for their goalie to make one or two saves and head up the other way. Kinda like a shootout, no? But having ties again won’t ever happen while I’m alive, so…
-The Ducks are clearly squeezing, but based on their regular seasons of the past two or three years should be enough for them to not have lost confidence as they appear to. Perry didn’t want to shoot unless he had an open net on his clear chance, when normally he would just bury it from the circle. Tried to be too perfect on his breakaway. Everyone wants to make the perfect pass. Did anyone notice Kesler?
-This Kevin Bieksa thing is going to be the best sitcom in the NHL.
Three wins out of three without their best player. You can’t argue.