In all likelihood this game will end up not mattering much in the final standings, nor will it have any effect on the outcome should these two teams end up meeting again about a month from now. However, it did serve to prove that the Hawks at least are capable of skating even one of the leagues top teams with mostly worker bees if they actually move up the ice as a five man unit.
After an early Andrew Shaw penalty and subsequent Jaden Schwartz goal less than two minutes in, the Blues seemed content to just try to weather whatever the undermanned Hawks could throw at them and walk out with a 1-0 victory. And they did come in waves, as the Hawks held the Blues to a mere three shots on net in the first, while putting a dozen on Brian Elliott. However, in the second period, the Hawks finally broke through in the form of Jeremy Morin, who first speared home a rebound of a Bryan Bickell shot after Bickell had hilariously walked right by Barret Jackman, and then served up a gorgeous pass for Patrick Sharp to hammer the go-ahead tally on a 2-on-1.
Marcus Kruger would add what would prove to be a necessary insurance goal a minute into the third, poking in a completely loose puck behind Elliot, who had a Joakim Nordstrom shot rattle off the post and his own ass and still not break the plane. Nordstrom appeared to have another one of his own midway through the third when attempting to stuff home a break before getting courageously cross checked in the back of the neck by Timothy Leif. One replay angle appeared to show the puck over the line but it wasn’t enough to overturn a call of no goal on the ice. In the waning moments Vlad Sobotka (no relation) would throw a knuckler from the left circle that Corey Crawford would like to have back and got the Blues within one, but Ben Smith would add the empty netter with three seconds to go to seal it. Hawks 4, Blues 2. Bullets.
- If today’s game doesn’t earn Jeremy Morin a spot in the lineup moving forward, as well as linemates Regin and Bickell, then there’s really not a lot more that any of them could possibly do. Once again they created a goal and were possession monsters, with Morin leading the way with an absurd 84.2% (16 attempts for, 3 against).
- Speaking of curious lineup decisions, Brandon Saad got to watch the proceedings with popcorn today, once again due to a lack of “more”. While the last two games would not be ones Saad’s agent would want to use in a highlight montage come negotiation time, it certainly didn’t warrant a benching, particularly with the Hawks missing top-end threats.
- To that end, it’s also infuriating that there is still a different standard to which everyone else is held other than Brandon Bollig, who is apparently untouchable. Obviously it’s well worn territory here, but in a past life, Joel Quenneville used to abhor selfish penalties and comical decisions with the puck, two things Bollig has provided in mass quantities in his career, particularly since his awful contract extension. Perhaps Quenneville is so enamored with his own perceived genius that he’s trying to prove to everyone that he can make a player out of a useless goon. Meanwhile he’s sitting players who can actually play in favor of his asshole. It seemed to perfectly illustrate the point when right after Morin had scored (again), Bollig took the opportunity to dry hump St. Louis’ waste of space Ryan Reaves, and slow the game down at a time when the Hawks were inundating the Blues, if only to try to validate his own purpose in wearing a sweater today. And for the record, his hit on Steve Ott did nothing to force any kind of turnover. The puck had long since left Ott’s tape when Bollig delivered the check that Olczyk fell all over himself to applaud. Brandon Bollig is useless and will continue to be for the next three awful years of his contract.
- With the Blues losing two straight, an Avs win tonight at home against the Penguins could start make the remainder of the schedule a little bit more interesting than anticipated. The Avs would only be three back with four games to play. A tall order, but the Avs clearly have been defying math all year, so why stop now?