Remember when Paula Abdul was like the center of all your middle school fantasies, which basically amounted to holding a girl’s hand? Ah, the innocence…
Oh right, hockey. It would appear the Hawks are going to try things in reverse this season, if I’m going to make wild conclusions after 11 games because we’ve got nothing else to do. Usually their sloppy, barely bothered effort on the 2nd of a back-to-back on the road comes in February or March. While the Wild did enough to let the Hawks back into this one, the Hawks did more to cost themselves the contest.
It’s rare you see the Hawks so sloppy at both blue lines tonight. So many shifts saw them failing to get the puck out when given the chance and having to cycle back and defend. How many times did they nearly get caught on a change because of misplays at the offensive blue line? Four, five? Maybe more? They just aren’t the most cohesive of units right now.
Zucker’s opener was a result of misplays from a couple Hawks on the boards. Ryan Carter scored off a rush when Kane didn’t quite know what to do when covering for TVR at the point and got caught. The last two goals sprang from Hawks d-men getting caught too far outside, leaving a lane through the middle that either ended in a goal (Spurgeon) or a scramble that did (Niederreiter). It will not make for a happy Q.
The Two Obs
-These aren’t in any particular order and I actually just thought of it, but perhaps it is Teuvo who is suffering most from the short summer. Pretty much every one else on the roster has been through it or is accustomed to the NHL grind. Teuvo had never played more than 50 games in a season in Finland and was always done in April. He played over 90 combined between Rockford and the Hawks last year and for the first time only had a two month turnaround. Throw in being bounced between spots and linemates and you get this hesitant player. His feet will land on the ground before too long.
-Hawks probably aren’t going to win too much when Seabrook is a -13 in Corsi.
-The call-up of Hartman kind of just gives the Hawks more of the same problem they had already, Now they have five fourth liners. Sort of symbolic their two best chances to tie the game tonight fell to CatButt. Guess how that ended.
-So Toews won’t go scoreless at even-strength this year. I know you were worried. Toews’s numbers actually took a jump when Teuvo was put on his line after Hossa was hurt, and Teuvo was on the right side. Hmm…
-Probably Trevor Daley’s best game so far this year. Then again, maybe that’s relative to the rest of the crew tonight.
-For Viktor Svedberg to be an effective NHLer, his brain and instincts are going to have to make up for where his feet can’t get him to. Rushing all the way to the boards to chase Koivu who could then easily let in Zucker before Nino banged home the rebound would suggest there’s a long row to hoe before he gets there. Such are the mistakes the Hawks are going to live through if they want to be patient with young d-men.
-As for Gustafsson, some good some bad. There was that pass to Anisimov, but there were some curious decisions with the puck in his own zone as well. Would like to see more, probably won’t as soon as Rozsival can stand up for four consecutive minutes.
-I’ll echo Feather, I like the limited look on Kero and hope he gets more than the customary two weeks that every other kid seems to get.
-Scott Darling wasn’t particularly helpful. The first goal can’t go in, he was down too early for Spurgeon’s, and he overcommitted on Carter’s though that was a clean rush. The big saves after giving up four or five are cute and all, and hey, they made Ondrej Pavelec rich. But needs to be better.
While the Central is going to be a grinder all year, the broadcast’s harping on the standings already seem premature at best. Every team will have a rough 10-game stretch, and the Hawks might have a worse one than this at some point. They’ll return home, though only to see two teams that are playing well at the moment.