Someone’s Gotta Make The Outs: Stars 4 – Hawks 3

We should all be aware of this now. This isn’t the last game the Hawks will loose in truly goofy circumstances. Maybe the Avalanche loss kind of falls into this category, but not nearly as deeply as tonight. When you outshoot a team 50-18, and keep the play in their end for seemingly 7-8 minute blocks, I don’t know what else you can do. That’s not to say the Hawks were perfect, but obviously these are Kari Lehtonen’s two points.

While watching this one I couldn’t help but think of the phrase “drunk on power.” Because that’s what it felt like the Hawks were. In some ways that’s a good thing. They didn’t intentionally fall down three goals, but they certainly never looked like they thought they couldn’t pull it back instantly. I feel like all the revivals on the road trip have the Hawks feeling like there’s nothing they can’t overcome, which is good. But it also feels like that’s allowing them to be sloppy for stretches. Was there a d-man tonight not guilty of a boneheaded mistake? Maybe Keith. And yet they can always light a team up in a hurry when they need it, or it feels like that.

You can’t win them all. Sometimes the other team gets the bounces when you need and you don’t. Nothing to see here. Move on to the bullets.

Observation And Objectivity, The Two “Obs”

-Ok seriously, Lehtonen wasn’t the first star? 47 saves wasn’t enough there Sassone? How many would it have taken? 50? 75? 100?

-I think every d-man other than Keith got benched tonight in the 2nd. Or it felt that way. Leddy did for chasing Nichushkin behind the net leaving Erik Cole alone in front. Hjalmarsson did for a penalty? Maybe? Not sure. This caused Brookbank to play defense in the 2nd, and I actually thought he was pretty good. And with a variety of partners (what a hussy!) Leddy responded with a goal. Hjalmarsson responded by falling down and giving up a penalty shot to Roussel. Different strokes for different folks. Strangely, Seabrook wasn’t benched for loafing back for a change with Nichushkin and Eakin charging directly up his ass. Hammer got out to just interfere enough and Keith’s gap got fucked up because of it, thus giving Nuke enough time to wire it between Crawford’s legs. Some nights it’s just not all there.

-Speaking of Roussel, I know most were quite pissed at his antagonistic celebration. I loved it. A true heel turn. Hockey could use more of it, honestly. Though it did seem strange after he got fed it by Shaw when Shaw couldn’t see anything. He’ll be an interesting player in this division for a while, no?

-For the power play goal against, and maybe this is a problem the Hawks are now having exposed because the goalies aren’t making all the saves, but Hossa and Toews did not close the lane at all. Toews didn’t pressure enough, Hossa didn’t have his shoulder (behind him but closing the lane) and Goligoski is always going to pick that. If the Hawks aren’t going to move the men in front of the net (and they’re not), they have to pressure the points more than they are. That won’t solve everything, but it’ll solve some.

-Leddy, Sharp, and Hossa all had seven shots. I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen three Hawks with seven shots.

-I actually noticed Kris Versteeg tonight, so that’s a step up.

There’s not much left to pick at here. The Hawks did most things right, and the only goal Crow would probably like back is the first. He wasn’t going to remain perfect on penalty shots forever. On to St. Paul.


  • Jenbees27

    Love reading the recap before bed – thanks for getting it up so quickly, Sam.

    • Jenbees27

      Err… Unplanned euphemism.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        entendre achieved

        • Country_Bumpkin

          Brought to you by Cialis

          • mad-hatter

            Who’s in the bathtub?

          • Accipiter

            not Chico.

      • SamFels

        There’s not much left to say, you’ve already beat me to the joke. Just happy to be in bed with you.

      • Jim

        I checked before going to bed, and Sam didn’t have it up yet.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          Those weren’t pillows.

          • wardrums

            Flintstones, meet the Flintstones

    • Bannerman

      Is that you, Tobias?

  • Leightons5hole

    Was hoping youd take on the stupid low percentage cross crease pass they attempt evey 5 on 3. Needs to stop

    • Bannerman

      We talk about how the PP used to be a lot of standing around, waiting for the perfect pass. They’ve gotten away from that and the 5 on 4 PP has gotten better. The 5 on 3 they stood around waiting for a lane.

      • Jim

        I hate when they stand around on the PP. It’s so predictable, the other team clogs up the lanes, then waits to pick off the pass and flick it to the other side. When they are active and moving they seem to always get a good chance at the net.

    • Yep. Although, truth be told, I was pleased they gave that a go. Usually they station Hossa at the circle and have him just stand there with Chrsitmas lights all over him, waiting for the one-timer. In any case, it’s hilarious how ineffectual we make that look, given our talent.

    • M7

      On a 5-on-3, one of your d-men has to engage himself in the play down low. Most teams defend a 5-on-3 with one man pinned at the top of the crease moving post-to-post with two men floating higher near the top of the circles and rotating side-to-side with the strong side defender collapsing a little bit lower.

      When the PP weakside d-man engages down low two things happen; the high weakside defender takes notice and is forced to collapse down low somewhat (leaving the high-slot open), or he holds his ground (usually because he’s unaware) which creates a situation where you’ve got one defender trying to cover 3 players – the man with the puck coming out of the corner (usually Toews), the back post (weakside d-man sneaking in) or the low-slot (the forward that was back post that rotates to othe middle). Bing-bang.

      In the event a save is made, or a pass is missed, it usually creates a scramble and naturally one, or both, of the high-defenders begin to collapse low in reaction mode which allows the forward along the hatchmarks (usually Kane) and the initial stron-side d-man to rotate towards the middle thereby positioning themselves for unabated cannon’s from the point. It should be a near miracle for the defending team to successfully thwart a 5-on-3 if the attacking team has movement and works the seams. Movement!

  • cookiemonster84

    “-Speaking of Roussel, I know most were quite pissed at his antagonistic celebration. I loved it. A true heel turn. Hockey could use more of it, honestly. Though it did seem strange after he got fed it by Shaw when Shaw couldn’t see anything. He’ll be an interesting player in this division for a while, no?”

    Totally agree. I’ve got no problem with agitators on the opposing team doing their job. It’s up to the players on the Hawks to choose whether to respond – which Shaw did – or to laugh it off and feed it to them on the scoreboard (which is pretty much how the entire Hawks team handled Boston’s attempts to agitate in the finals last year save the game 3 blow-up in the closing minutes).

    Rivalries need villains. We have ours (in the eyes of other teams), St Louis has plenty, Minne has Cooke, now Dallas as a shit-disturber of their own to stir up some nasty emotions. What would the Nucks rivalry have been, really, without pricks like Kesler or Burrows?

    As far as the last part of the point, the truly great heels know how to keep their heat. Chris Jericho could lose on damn near every PPV and come out on Raw the next night to explain how it totally wasn’t his fault or how it doesn’t even matter, how he’s still the best thing ever, and it ensured the fans still hated him and wanted to see him get beat just as much the next month.

    • Jim

      I remember being at a game in St. Louis in the early 80’s. After a big brawl, Al Secord skated around the Checkerdome with both middle fingers extended as the Blues fans chanted “Secord Sucks!”

      It was truly a great moment.

      • wardrums

        Now that’s hockey! Thanks for the great memory

  • zooyork

    Shaw’s fight? Win or blind win?

    • wardrums

      “Kick his ass Seabass.”

      Shaws fists looked like a high speed food blender.

      Something tells me that roussel did not get the message and will continue admirably in filling Steve Ott’s role on the Stars.

      • Accipiter

        Of course he will continue, it is his job.

  • birdhead

    These recaps always help me restore my equilibrium after a loss.

    • Funny how riled up you can get when the team isn’t … umm … perfect.

      I do think the shot totals and possession dominance can mask defensive lapses, though, and the trade-off isn’t always equal. We dominated the ice overall, but some of the mistakes we made were pretty darn bad. Three goals should have been enough to beat this team–but ya, they’re human, these mistakes will happen.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        “Funny how riled up you can get when the team isn’t … umm … perfect.”

        I get this…. sort of….. It’s one thing to get beat by the better team (that day). It is another thing to beat yourself.

        That said, no need to get anywhere near the ledge, especially for one game, unless it gives you a thrill.

        • Bannerman

          Not for this one game but there seems to be a trend when they play young, fast teams where they don’t take them seriously, let the other team dictate the pace of play and leave themselves playing catch up.
          When they’re fully engaged, the Hawks are better than any of these teams (Stars, Avs and Oilers). The fact that these teams give the Hawks so much trouble is hard to understand.

          • I think you hit on the answer to your question before you asked it … “fast teams.”

            The Hawks success is so predicated on transition and speed that when they begin to make mistakes (as any team in any sport will do), the teams that are best able to make us pay are those who are equally fast or faster. It’s the nature of the game these days. Possession and transition … when all eyes are focused so closely on these aspects of the game, you can get caught with players either up ice or making line changes prettily easily, especially if you combine that with a mistake/giveaway and a very fast opponent. Leads to defensive scrambling or odd-man rushes.

            It’s the key to our own success, too. We’re just lucky to have players that are crazily skilled, and so we don’t make tons of mistakes. But we’re just as susceptible as the Edmontons of the league when we do.

            Simplistic, but I think it holds water.

          • zacked

            Uh, I don’t think the Stars were dictating anything, even in the beginning. Not that the ‘hawks didn’t make mistakes, but swap goalies and this is a DLR.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Heh. Yeah, many are blaming the D for a numerous “lapses” but probably only because those actually few “lapses” resulted in goals. Lapses occur every night, they just typically don’t result in goals. Last night they did more than half of the time.

            Maybe Crow’s .778 Sv% had more to do with it? Haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere yet.

          • Accipiter

            It was mentioned in the 3rd period thread after the game. Crow gots to be better than that.

          • DesertHawk

            Everyone has bad games. When it’s the goalie having a bad one, the other 19 skaters have to find a way to make up for it or you’re gonna lose. That didn’t happen yesterday. Crow’ll bounce back and we trudge on down the road.

          • laaarmer

            50 shots on DAL, says they did

          • DesertHawk

            The fact that they didn’t score more goals says they didn’t. We lost because they’re goalie out played ours… but the only way we can win, is if our guys get pucks past their guy.

          • laaarmer

            I’ll wager a thousand dollars that if the Hawks put 50 shots on Lehtonen in another game, they win, by a lot and he doesn’t finish the game. They did their job putting rubber on the other teams net. Crawford didn’t even see 20. He likely won’t have that poor a SV% very often.

            They got beat by one player. The rest of the time they dominated the game. It wasn’t even close.

            Look at it this way. If Crawford makes one more play, they get a point

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            and probably two

          • DesertHawk

            I don’t think we’re really in disagreement here. Was there something wrong with the ice in their end, at the end of the third? Sharp like fell down on two consecutive of his patented back door plays. It was really strange.

          • laaarmer

            I don’t know.

    • lizmcneill

      I’m still feeling the chill breeze on the ledge this morning. My giant soft spot for goalies is hurting – fivehole…contract….something.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      This board…. I subscribed to the CI just as a thank you for the good times I have on this board, but it’s always a fun read. Anyway, this board makes winning more fun, and sometimes even makes losing fun.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Classic Trap Game (ducks). Yeah, Lets was lights out, and most headlines will call it a goalie win, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It is a mark of how good the Hawks are that all but two of their losses (Nash and Avs) have left me feeling like it was our game to win and we failed.

    We were about 80% of the way there, but got caught out of position a couple times on D and paid for it with breaks the other way or penalties. Tons of shots, but many right into the logo or straight into the pads (and one of those went in).

    Understandable after a long road trip, but everything seemed a half step slow to me, except for the last eleven minutes of the second when we were seemingly skating faster (hard to tell on TV), getting shots AND net presence at the same time, and scoring goals. A half step slow, or ‘After two weeks we can’t remember how to pass on bad ice?’

    Overall play was good enough to win on most nights. Certainly not a letdown. The Hawks played well with one exception: Another so-bad-it’s-funny, absolutely dreadful Van Gogh still life representation of a 5 on 3 power play.

    For all the ranting, Seabs had a solid game. On to Minny to start another winning streak.

    • Country_Bumpkin

      This as well. It oftens seems the Hawks set up shop in their opponent’s zone for half the period, then suddenly there’s a break and we’re chasing their guys the other way.
      Maybe it’s due to the Hawks’ aggressiveness with having the Dmen pinch and skate the puck into the O-zone, but this always seems to happen to the Hawks.
      I try to consume a lot of other hockey, but I don’t see this happen as much on other teams.

      • zacked

        I think you don’t see it because we all have this idea in our heads that the other team only scores on the hawks mistakes, and the hawks only score on beautiful plays they create themselves.

        The only goal scored on a break against us was the penalty shot, and it was only a break because Nicky Chalm-chalms fell down.

        The first goal was due to probably the worst line change they’ve made all year. The second goal was a PP point shot (I don’t recall what the penalty was). The third goal was a pass from behind the net.

      • Bobby Otter

        Because other teams aren’t as good as the Hawks, don’t have as good of a blue line and don’t constantly out shoot/Corsi their opponents. Most teams try to “counter-attack” against the Hawks because if they try to skate with them, it’s going to get ugly fast.

        The Hawks are going to win 90% of the games they outshoot their opponent 50-18. Let’s settle down and not over react to the 10%. It happens.

        • ballyb11

          “outshoot their opponent 50-18” ……. in the 10 games over the next decade.

    • Bobby Otter

      What’s the “whole story”? The the Hawks completely dominated, Lehtonen and just got unlucky. That’s the whole story.

      Just because the Hawks didn’t have 100 shots in the upper corners and allowed more than 0 shots doesn’t mean they didn’t play great or well enough.

  • wardrums

    The stars are pretty loaded with young stallions – a lot more fun watching Hawk/Stars contest than in the past.

    What was with all the odd man rushes? Q needs to bring in a dominatrix and teach the boys a little discipline.

  • mad-hatter

    Ho hum. I really wanted to win this one, but after Roussel’s penalty shot it felt like the Hawks had pushed their luck as to how many mistakes they could make and still come back from it. And probably the one thing they didn’t miss on the circus trip was the UC ice. Distance definitely does not make the heart grow fonder in this case.

    But it was really entertaining watching Dallas throw two guys on Kane whenever he had the puck and he still found plenty of room most of the time to get a pass off.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    Not mad and not on ledge. When the Hawks were down I just said, “Give it time and they’ll come storming back”. They did, but the penalty by Hjammer was shitty and the penalty shot was made good by the skating bag of skin and that was that.
    No thoughts of letdown regarding this team, I’m actually in awe of what COULD be in the making for these beauties.
    This team does remind me of the Bulls, when they were good.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Yeah. I’m just not that worked up about that game. A goalie win is a goalie win. They happen sometimes. (And Sparky makes some good points below about some other reasons they lost). Point is that it really felt like one of those games where a bunch of things combined to form the perfect storm for a loss: 1) Lehtonen playing out of his skull, 2) Crow not playing at his best, 3) sloppiness/poor passing, 4) some bounces going the Stars’ way. Also, if I could pick a guy on the Stars’ squad who would be least likely to score on a shootout, I might pick Rousell and if given the chance to choose after that shootout goal, I’d still pick him. In other words, he doesn’t score on that probably 90-95 times out of 100 and that was just one of those 5-10 times.

      Hawks will regroup, makes some adjustments, and hopefully play a tighter game next time.

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    Regarding the drunk on power feeling, when the Hawks were down 3-0, I was about to tweet “You can sense they’re gonna come back from this.” Then I remembered I was watching on delay.

    After your Sugar Pile yesterday, I decided to solely concentrate on the Hawks Dmen for the entire game. Maybe I was missing something? I’m sure I’m guilty of wearing rose-colored glasses at times.

    I agree on the instances you mention above, but disagree that Keith was error free. Keith got caught pinching during the first 2 minutes of the game, leaving Seabrook to defend a 3 on 1. To Seabs’ credit, he didn’t allow a shot on goal.

    Keith then made, imo, an ill-advised attempt for the puck when Dallas had a 3 on 2 with the Hawks on the PP. Sharp was the only other defender and he was behind Keith with 2 Stars. Benn did a spin-o-rama past Keith and Sharp was left to defend a 3 on 1. The only reason they didn’t score was Dallas missed a wide open 6×4. I know that risk/reward is part of what makes Keith’s so great, but he needs to be situational aware there. The risk was probably not a good idea in that situation with Sharp on defense.

    In the 3rd, Seabs got beat 1 on 1 to the outside, so that might validate your point from yesterday (something to watch?), but Keith was slow getting back, so there was no support. On the flip side, both were out there for a double-shift, so that probably vindicates them both.

    • laaarmer

      3rd period reference.
      Keith fell down, which I’m sure Seabrook was not expecting. Seabrook did get torched to the outside, but prevented a good shot, Crawford made the save, so I attribute the entire sequence to guys trying to win a game. When you push that hard at the end (Yes I said that), sometimes you get beat (yes I said that too).

      • Accipiter


  • Paul the Fossil

    A fair summary of the game, but no mention of the penalty-shot call that Sharp was denied? It was exactly the same thing as the call that the Stars later got and scored on. Sharpie was ticked, hard to blame him — they didn’t even call a penalty for the obvious hook.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      spilt milk…

      • RLWiener

        And there’s no crying in the breast milk.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    I have commented before on the trend that I perceive; that this team plays it’s best when it feels it has something to prove, and is most vulnerable when they feel they’ve proved it (record setting circus trip).

    I’d say I had a feeling about this game, but I get that same feeling for more than half our games. Comes from being a Cubs fan since 1968.

  • berkley

    The Roussel penalty shot thing cheesed me off because Shaw wanged him pretty good in their tussle

  • steeg of their own

    The best thing about this game is when Shaw proudly saluted the crowd as he skated off after beating on Roussel. He was so happy with himself. That sort of swagger typifies this team right now, and I love it.