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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hawks Win 4th In A Row to Take Round 1 Against Blues

I'll be honest, that 2nd period I got a little scared. 17 pelted shots on Corey and only 3 for the Hawks. Believe it or not, what settled me down as a fan was this uncanny story that the Blues 2014 series matched the 2013 series against L.A. Knowing last year's game 6 they only scored 1 goal, settled me down….just a little bit. As the Hawks started the 3rd period on the PP, I was really only expecting 1 goal….well, that was last years score (L.A. 2 -1 St. Louis). So, when Jonny poured in the PP goal in the first minute of the third, I thought the game could be over for St. Louis. What scared me was when Sharpie scored less than 2 minutes later. Uh Oh,…last years score was 2-1 and the Hawks just posted 3. And we already know that St. Louis can come back from 2 goals. What was surprising to me, was Ken Hitchcock said that Sharpies goal popped the balloon and the air went out on their bench. Yes, it appeared that way on the ice too. The Blues were not playing puck control, as the Hawks were putting pucks deep and allowing St. Louis to make mistakes at or around the Hawks Blue line. When Shaw scored on a blast off the stick of Duncan Keith, I felt better. Then all Hawks fans were able to breathe as Shaw and Keith on a 2-1 scored as Shaw feed Keith (who didn't handle it too well but batted it out mid air after his mishandle), who killed the spirits of St.Louis. That was the 1 and only time that the Blues and Hawks were ever above a 2 goal spread. This series literally could have gone either way. 4 of the games went into overtime. Coach Q wanted to put the praise on Corey and the PK unit. I would 100% agree. 2-29 on the PP for St. Louis who had been one of the best PP units in the league. That is absolutely an astounding number. Joakim Nordstrom made his NHL playoff debut,…NOT Jeremy Morin. Coach Q rarely used either player and used that 4th line mostly for the 4th period. Smith, on the other hand played 2nd line center and played on the 4th line. Maybe something that had to do with that was the 2nd period barrage of penalties the Hawks took which meant that Handzus was out on that ice getting pelted with pucks. It's hard to say what is going on in Quenneville's mind, but that could have something to do with it. Players that were noticeably good: Keith, Smith, Handzus, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Kane, Toews and of course…Crawford. Players that were noticeably NOT good: Saad, Sharp, Oduya. (Although, Sharp scored the 3rd goal of this game, it was his first of the series. More importantly, what I noticed was his turn overs. He and Hossa were high in that department). Saad, wasn't horrible, he just didn't have that extra effort that I was looking for. Oduya,…well, I have been on his case all year. He blocks shots, defends well,…guess I'm looking for a play off effort instead of a regular season effort. Less brain-farting would be nice. Shaw had his moments of brilliance, then he had moments of brain farts. Well, that's Shaw. Because of the divisional playoff system this year, the Hawks know their opponent will either be Colorado or Minnesota. Colorado is playing game 6 in Minnesota today. It would be nice to see Minnesota carry this series into a 7th game, to give the Hawks a few more days rest. (Coach gave them 2 days rest). I don't care either way which team plays the Hawks. Both are tough, but Colorado would have home ice advantage on the Hawks. The Hawks have played miserably there, but again the playoffs is a different animal…ask St. Louis.

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