Perhaps it took the home schedule in this month to kick in the winter doldrums we’ve come accustomed to. One game of course does not signal anything. The Sharks, as cloudy and weird as their identity might be in a lot of places, were suffocating in their own zone. While the Hawks mustered up an acceptable number of shots, San Jose cordoned off any prime scoring areas for all 60 minutes. Their backchecking was ferocious. The Hawks love to beat a man to the outside and then hit the late man, but couldn’t do it at all tonight with the retreating Sharks’ forwards blanketing that option. Anything from the outside the pretty sizable Martin Jones is going to stop. Tonight’s shot chart tells something of a story. Hawks didn’t get much below the circles.
Let’s to it:
The Two Obs
-So the big talking point will be Brandon Mashinter’s disallowed goal. I doubt you could ever say it was kicked in. Rasmussen banked it off his shin. As for the goalie interference… it’s hard to say. The puck was there to be played, Couture was pushing Rasmussen but before the goal was scored. Did Rasmussen have time to get out of the way after playing the puck? It would be hard to say yes. Did he pin Jones’s left arm down? You could say that. Like many people have said, this is turning into the NHL’s version of “finishing the process” and sometime soon they’re going to have to sit down and flush this out with common sense. Sadly, that is something that doesn’t run very deep in the NHL.
-Still, that one moment shouldn’t have decided the game. Deboer has certainly brought the New Jersey tendencies to the Sharks’ game with their defensive play. I’m not sure I’ve seen a team work harder in their own zone than the Sharks did tonight. There just seemed to be six or seven Sharks against the five Hawks.
-Tomas Hertl was very impressive tonight, constantly active on the top line. Most Sharks fans would still like to see him at center, and I can see why, but given that other than Pavelski they are rife with third line wingers someone has got to play on the wing on the top line.
-Matt Nieto also had himself quite a game.
-Teuvo didn’t last half the game as Pantera’s replacement, as he once again struggled to acclimate to the left side. It’s been a weird year for Teuvo, bounced around the lineup and when he did find a home it’s been on a checking line starting mostly in his own zone. He’ll learn from it, would have to be the hope. A trade for another winger would help, but seeing as how Kruger won’t return until the playoffs they’d better figure out what it is they’re going to want TT to do when he does return and get him ready for that the rest of the season.
-The Hawks are now -3 overall at even-strength goal difference for the season. That’s just weird.
– I liked Sekac’s game tonight, and am curious why he got only eight minutes.
-Found it funny that the opening to the broadcast was a Seabrook lick-fest, and he proceeded to have another game where he was chasing everything around his own zone.
Not much more to tell from this one. One of those games where the Hawks didn’t play that well, didn’t play that bad, but merely chalked one off the calendar. There will probably be more.