Viktor Stalberg, clearly doing *something* wrong

Run To The Hills – Hawks 3, Jackets 2

With everyone and their brother braying about the Hawks’ best start since the Nixon administration, Columbus being the perpetual punching bag they’ve been, and Scum waiting here in town for their first visit to the U.C. this year, pretty much everything about tonight absolutley screamed “trap game”. And it pretty much played out that way until the final horn sounded.

The Hawks started out tonight as sloppy as they’ve been all year, and the retooled Jackets took as much advantage as they’re capable of, carrying the play in the early going, outshooting the Hawks 8-1. They would also dent the twine first, as Mark Letestu would bang home the opener on the third whack allowed in front of a scrambling Crawford fresh after a Sheldon Brookbank minor. That seemed to provide the appropriate slap to the back of the head for the Hawks to get their shit together, as the period would end with the Jackets only holding a 9-8 shot advantage with the score knotted at one after Dave Bolland followed up yet another Kane stuff attempt breaking in on the left wing mostly alone.

Bryan Bickell would give the Hawks the lead his forecheck led to a Niklas Hjalmarsson point shot that Bickell would deflect up and over Steve Mason. Three minutes later an ill-advised fight in every sense of the word between Jamal Mayers and Jared Boll would put the Jackets on the advantage, as Mayers instigated the bout coming to the unnecessary defense of Marcus Kruger. During that power play came the game’s most crucial moment- a disallowed goal due to what appeared to be phatom goaltender interference by Nick Foligno on a Derrick Brassard point blast. To the befuddlement of pretty much anyone with a set of eyes, the Hawks emerged still up 2-1 at the end of 40.

Jonathan Toews would seemingly put the game out of reach about 7 minutes into the third, deking Steve Mason into sweet oblivion after Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane conspired to strangle a Jackets breakout attempt and found Toews all alone in front of Mason with the Jackets already up ice. An Artie Anisimov rebound would bring things within striking distance for the Jackets in the waning moments, but their final flourish fell short. Hawks 3, Jackets 2, and get the fuck out of Ohio before they change the scoreboard.

Observations

  • While it’s certainly of no solace to the Jackets and all 48 of their fans, the only plausible explanation for ruling the disallowed goal from goaltender interference is that from the angle referee Dan O’Rourke had (in the corner to Crawford’s left), O’Rourke saw only Foligno come in and put himself in O’Rourke’s sight line while looking at Crawford flailing behind Foligno, and assumed he was bumped. Like I said, it’s not a good explanation, but I’m sure the Hawks aren’t going to argue with it.
  • Once again Crawford had many solid moments mixed with those that make everyone’s sphincter clench. But over the long term, allowing 2 goals a game is certainly a result the Hawks will take.
  • While yes, Marcus Kruger seems to have a sign on his helmet that says “Place Elbows Here”, the hit he took from Boll that precipitated the bout between Boll and Mayers was certainly far from vicious. Mayers doesn’t need to go to such lengths to justify his presence in the lineup, and nearly cost his team dearly in managing only to accumulate 17 PIMs while getting tossed by Boll.
  • Think keeping busy in the Swiss league has had some benefits for Kane?
  • Brent Seabrook is still a step slow.
  • While initially the game had a feeling that Keith and Seabrook were going to breathe heavily on 30 minutes of ice time for the evening, Keith ended up with 25:35, which, while not as light a workload as the first four games, is still preferable to what he’s endured the last two years.
  • It’s going to shock no one when Michal Rozsival is back in the lineup over Sheldon Brookbank tomorrow.
  • Brandon Saad got a couple looks on both special teams units tonight and didn’t look out of place. While there are some clamoring for him to score to prove his worth on the top line with The Ghost and The Darkness, those points will come if he keeps playing the way he has.
  • I had no problem with the 4 on 3 power play sticking mostly to the perimeter with a two goal lead and still penalty time to kill regardless of whether they scored or not. The movement on it was nice regardless, and Mason had to make some solid saves.
  • Though the PK was officially unblemished for the evening, there was the disallowed goal, and the first Jackets goal came shortly after a penalty had expired. Columbus moved the puck well and only didn’t score more due to having a seemingly terminal case of “Columbus Blue Jackets”. Tomorrow night Scum will make the Hawks pay dearly, even as sputtering as they’ve been to start.

Player of the Game

Two more assists for Slim Shady, and a threat every time he had the puck. It’s really amazing what getting more than 90 minutes of sleep a night can result in.

  • Z-man19

    Much may be made of the ‘no goal’, but the BJ’s shot themselves in the foot, leg, abdomen and head when they turned a 4 min PP into a PP for the Hawks. Massive fail on that one.

    I’ll take this Crow all year and be pretty happy about it.

    Fuck Scum, that is all

  • mightymikeD

    Good write up MM.. just one thing to clarify:

    “The Ghost and The Darkness” great nickname but which is which?

    • DesertHawk

      Both?

    • Accipiter

      Ima go with Toews starring as The Darkness and Hossa starring as The Ghost. Mind you it could simply be the combination of the two on the ice at the same time, you know, like their presence.

      • mightymikeD

        it was a really shitty movie, too

        • Accipiter

          Yeah, I’m not sure who is playing Hossa/Toews ? Michael Douglas or Val Kilmer.

          • Waylon

            It’s Kilmer before he gained about a hundred pounds. After all, he’s his huckleberry.

    • chijim

      If it really was a great nickname, you wouldn’t have to ask.

  • ArlingtonRob

    90 minutes of sleep…that line killed me. Well played sir.

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    Not a win to be proud of, but a win nonetheless. Or perhaps a better way to put it: Good teams find a way to win, bad teams find a way to lose, and it’s profitable to be on the ice when one of the latter does.

    Tighten it up for tomorrow. It would be the highlight of the young season for Scum if they could hand us our first loss.

    • DesertHawk

      Indeed it would. Anyone else feeling just crazy in the head about this start?

      • Z-man19

        Yes, but I have last year’s trip into the abyss fresh in my mind as well. Anything can happen.

        • DesertHawk

          I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • ChiBlackhawks

      with the season as short as it is, we’ll take all the Ws we can get.

      • ahnfire

        very much this.

        • Accipiter

          There you are !

          • Z-man19

            Late, as usual

          • ahnfire

            I’m very proud you children didn’t burn down the new site while the mods weren’t commenting.

          • Z-man19

            aw thanks mom

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            Whatever yo do, do NOT look behind the curtain, nothing to see there, NOTHING I tell you, just ignore it is even there. Everything is fine!!!

    • justforkicks

      well good thing they won’t be getting the chance

  • Tvdan

    That one was ugly, but it counts…….

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    First game all year the PP did not convert.

  • YouFeelShame

    If Bollig were getting ice time while I sat in the press box, I would look for any excuse to drop the mitts, just like Mayers.

  • justforkicks

    Seabs still seems a little off to me. And while its not my preference, I am happy to see the Hawks able to come back from sloppy play and being down to a win. Also happy to see Kruger get some more minutes tonight

  • justforkicks

    also yeah yeah no goal, but as TMFF brought up in the last thread, we should have gotten a penalty shot for Mason throwing his stick at the puck. And bet your butt it would have been a good shot in

    • DesertHawk

      At least 50/50 chance, plus as we’ve had to console ourselves with quite frequently… the no goal was midway through the second, it wasn’t a game winner.

  • justforkicks

    And how great was Bolland’s “i barely care” fist pump with dead eyed stare. And tonights moment of adorbs was kane and hossa hugging it out before skating over to toews. 19-88-81 ftw.

    • The_FFF

      I live for Bolland’s goal “celebrations”. Even better when they consist of the CELEBRATORY DEATH STARE.

      • Accipiter

        ….

    • Accipiter

      Captain Lazy Panda indeed.

  • DesertHawk

    Where are the sidebar tags pulled from?

    • justforkicks

      I do wonder where idiots galore is coming from

    • ahnfire

      they’re pulled from the posts.

      • DesertHawk

        So not the comments? Alright, well it’ll be a while til the downers are gone then. This also explains the lack of fuck.

        • Z-man19

          maybe they filter that one out

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Why was kruger drawing so much attention from them? Even near the end when boll bodied him after the faceoff. Whats he doing to garner that.

    • ahnfire

      poor Frogger. everyone wants to run him over :(

      • 10thMountainFire

        I see what you did there.

    • TheFullAmonte

      He is small and plays a physical game and is not afraid to stick his nose in anywhere. Mouth breathers on other teams probably see him as a chance to get a “momentum changing” big hit

      • Joe Banks

        oooo – a “Scooby Snack”…

  • The_FFF

    Ick, just saw that Kruger got reamed at the dot tonight– 0 for 7

    • DesertHawk

      oof, that’s bad.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Wooooooo 82-0 mother fuckers!

  • PhoenixHawk

    How many beers and co-eds did can have before that picture was taken? Think his mother kept a strict curfew on him while they were on European Vacation?

  • PhoenixHawk

    How many beers and or co-eds did Kaner have before that picture was taken? Also, do think his mother kept a tight leash on him while they were on vacation in Europe?

  • cliffkoroll

    Brookbank needs to find the gift bag line, right behind Emery.

    And Mayers too. He’s old and slow- he was outta gas by the end of last season, and he didn’t get a fill-up since. At this point, Bollig is better in every way.

    I give Crow a good game- that’s two outta four. So overall, the Hawks have one of the top set of forwards in the league, one of the top set of defensemen in the league, and a coin flip in the net with no Plan B. Stan?

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Brookbank looks way out of place, and Rozsival, like Mayers, looks slow as hell and prone to mental lapses (just not as many as Brookbank).

      That 6th defenseman spot is looking massively vulnerable with Montador still out on his pablum diet. The 12th forward, too … enough with the 5-minute skaters already.

      Things are good, but complaining is always warranted? A 6th d, a 12th forward, and someone besides Toews who can win a draw. All minor fixes, and all things that I hope Stan is looking into. It’s just two minor trades, and I’d gladly wave bye to some prospects to get it taken care of. Lots of time, though. Re goalie, I just don’t think there’s a legitimate trade out there for a number one that isn’t overly risky.

      • cliffkoroll

        Mebbe that came out a little grumbly, and it’s kinda silly to be slamming on the ‘EMERGENCY’ button after a 5-0 start.

        But #8 seed or #6 seed and two first round exits notwithstanding, I have always thought the Hawks have been elite or near-elite consistently over the past four seasons, so while I’m happy and pleased with the start, I’m not overly surprised.

        Personnel-wise, Oduya is looking like the cement that makes the whole defense work. Good job Stan. Come playoff time, they can prolly swing a mostly 5-man line-up if Monty doesn’t bubble to the surface.

        Up front, the bottom-6 has looked credible without Bolland. I heard Hossa talking up the rolling four lines concept. Plus, there are additional options in Rock Vegas. Some Capocalypse stock-piling and draft work. Again, Stan, not bad, but he hasn’t really done anything here for a year.

        But the pipes are this team’s Achilles heel. It’s so obvious. And Stan has done dick-all to suggest he remembers last year’s playoffs.

        Look, at this point Crawford is still Plan A. Is he gonna play like a top-25 goalie, like last year, or a top-15 goalie, like two years ago? A lot rides on that answer, cuz if it’s a top-25, the most likely script is to once again fall to a team that they outskate, and I don’t want that.

        Other teams made moves in the off-season. And it seems like every team we face has a back-up that would be worth dealing for, to at least provide a credible Plan B behind the Hawks only real question mark.

        • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          I agree, and ya, it feels weird worrying during a 5-0 start, but you’re right, the last two years warrants caution. The goalie is easily the most glaring weakness; thing is, I just don’t see any viable, realistic upgrades. I do think we need a Plan B that doesn’t involve Emery or Hutton (or Bernier) … but I also don’t think that Plan B exists unless we give up significant roster players. In which case, if a deep playoff run is in our cards, we’re going to have to do it like 2010, where we didn’t really know what we were going to get in net.

          Shore up all skating positions down to the 13th and 7th d-man (let alone 12th and 6th), and that is all we can realistically do. That’s a very realistic action plan … that, and all of us crossing our fingers that Crawford can give us a couple of series like Niemi, and that we also run into a Luongo and a Leighton.

          • cliffkoroll

            Here’s an example of a market transaction from last summer that doesn’t look too expensive:

            http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/tomas-vokoun-signed-penguins-capitals-trade-hopefully-disturbs-155431825.html

            And Fleury was an Olympian for you guys right (snicker)?

            (Aside, Aren’t American goalies awesome?)

            The 2010 Hawks team was so awesome, and Nemo was still money in the playoffs (after game 1 against Nashville) and the Finals still went to OT in game 6.

            Crow is prolly gonna have to play his very best hockey for the Hawks to win it all. It could happen.

          • Waylon

            Nemo was only really money vs. the Sharks (and boy, was he ever), but I thought he was merely pedestrian against the Flyers. He gave up rebounds like they were flyers on the street, terrible control.

          • cliffkoroll

            If you don’t want to click, the Pens picked up Vokoun for a 7th round pick and are paying him $2 million per year.

            And your point about Leighton particularly just hit me. The stars were really lined up for that team eh? And still, it was a harrowing slog.

            Makes it feel almost impossible. Then again, SOMEBODY’S gotta grab that Cup.

          • Accipiter

            Caps may have jumped the gun on Holtby, prolly wish they still had Vokoun.

          • Joe Banks

            What about Jacob Markstrom?

        • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          P.S. I loved the Oduya signing last year, and loved the re-signing just as much. 20+ minute defenders that can play all situations … they’re not always flashy, but there’s also not tons of them floating around for 3.5 million.

          • cliffkoroll

            Speaking of $3.5 million floating around, I believe Oduya v. Campbell is close to a toss-up.

          • cliffkoroll

            Also speaking of $3.5 million floating around, when do the Hawks pull the plug on Rusty Olesz?

          • Accipiter

            Probably as soon as he is healthy.

          • cliffkoroll

            Also speaking of $3.5 million not so much floating around as kicking ass and taking names, anyone still think the Hawks would rather have Niemi than Hjalmarsson?

          • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

            You don’t read Jaeckel, do you? :)

          • mightymikeD

            worked out alright, didn’t it..

        • Z-man19

          I am in full agreement Cliff. I want one trade to be made and that is for a legit backup goalie. Stan can stockpile Dmen and bottom 6 forwards to his heart’s content and it won’t mean a pot of piss if Crow gets hurt or reverts to last year’s form. The hawks need a legit goalie option, anything else is window dressing IMHO

        • Waylon

          I don’t think Rosizval’s been bad at all so far, he’s made some excellent decisions with the puck in his own zone, particularly when he had at best poor to disasterous options for an outlet pass. But I agree on Brookbank, he looks lost out there, I’m just waiting until he blows a tire and starts flying backward.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I maintain that, in a constrained season like this one where legs are going to slow and players are going to tire, a guy like Mayers being available is a valuable commodity to have.

    • Joe Banks

      Where do you get 2 out of 4 for Crawford? I just don’t see it. He’s doing fine.

      I also don’t see giving up on anyone after 5 games. (Or in Emery’s case, 1)

      In playoffs, experience counts. (But were not there yet)

      I see some potential in Bollig (please insert my beating HERE), besides just being an enforcer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

    Why is Carrot Top on Kaner’s card? I thought it was last year’s team goal leader that needed the props.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Is it possible that, before our very eyes in just five games, we are witnessing the full maturation of one Patrick fucking Kane?

      The dude has always demonstrated other-worldly capability… but is this his coming-out party as a player among the cream of the cream of the elite?

      • Waylon

        I think so, primarily because of plays like the one he did last evening. He went in alone on Mason, knew he was going to take a nasty hit and/or dump, but went in anyway and let Bolly clean up the rest. Last year he would’ve skated into the corner and passed, but not this year. He looks absolutely fearless out there, and you can see some teams playing way off him when he has the puck in their zone – which is understandable.

        • 10thMountainFire

          These are all excellent and insightful points; I have noticed the spacing, too… the opposition seems to be giving him room and trying to mitigate his ability to make plays by not advancing on Kane himself but anticipating the target of his pass and either getting in the lane or doubling-down on a linemate. I noticed that specifically in the game at the UC vs Scum, Jr.

          • mightymikeD

            as i said before: Boy is becoming a Man and god help the rest of the West!

  • 10thMountainFire

    In defense of Mayers, for whom I admit I have an affinity as an under-appreciated player on the roster, Kruger has been the victim of vicious blows to the head. In the heat of the moment, I don’t know how you blame Mayers for going after Columbus in light of that history. What’s the alternative? Do nothing?

    • flavius

      It’s unfortunate that he lost his footing just as the fight began. The play reinforced the negative image some hold of Mayers, i.e. he looked like a veteran maybe one year too many past his prime to be out there. I hope that’s not the case, obviously. Just a fluke that will soon be forgotten, part of an otherwise good season with lots of contributions from Jammer. We’ll see. In retrospect, removed from the heat of the moment, “do nothing” immediately was the better choice. I don’t think Boll’s hit was dirty. The game is played in the heat of the moment, though, so physical and mental mistakes will happen.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Fair enough and you make great points on all.

        • mightymikeD

          give me Mayers going straight after Known-AssWeasel Boll and tripping over Bollig having a Straight-To-DVD against Biznasty any day of the week

  • The 7th Hawk

    ….and Sharp is still on the bloody point for PPs.

    • Accipiter

      …..

    • Joe Banks

      I do not like this either. Make it stop.

  • neverhome30728

    After all is said and done. I was certain the boys would lose last night. Not hating. Just thought they would overlook BJ’s for Wings. And honestly I think the Ranger trade ins are giving a lot more to Columbus than peeps think. They have a lil swagger this year (I know week one).

  • red palace

    Some concern here that Columbus has laid out a blueprint that can successfully be used against the Hawks by more talented teams. Aggressive forechecking, gumming up center ice, laying body on body at every opportunity.

    But until that may happen, I’m just enjoying this too much. Go Hawks!!

    • Z-man19

      This plan is new?

      • red palace

        Oh, no, not at all. Just a reminder for me that punctured my giddiness a bit.

  • jackattack

    We need to start calling the Toews line the Holy Trinity; Father (Tazer), Son (Saad) and The Holy Ghost (duh).

    • 10thMountainFire

      His name is NOT ‘duh’. Show some goddamn respect!

      • Accipiter

        Maybe he was talking about Carello. Isn’t he supposed to be dead sometime soon.

      • jackattack

        His name is too powerful. It shan’t be spoken aloud.

    • Chesterfield King

      I heartily approve

  • Toews still makes funny faces!

    Walking down to Aloha Stadium here in a few, so I will miss the Hawks game. So just want to say FUCK SCUM, and LET’S GO HAWKS and will catch you all on the other side!!!

  • Chesterfield King

    FUCK SCUM