This recap would be completely different if the Hawks hadn't pulled out a win tonight. It's one of the things you have to love about the sport-- it honestly isn't over until it's over. I probably wouldn't be saying things like "You can almost feel bad for St Louis, struggling as they are to score goals and still losing despite potting 5. Almost, but not quite." or "Damn that was nerve-wracking, don't you just love games like that?"
But the Hawks did win, as they well should have the minute they made it 5-1 halfway through the second. Kopecky scored something of a beauty, and though Berglund tied it up, Sharp had an answer within minutes. And then the Hawks exploded for three more goals in the second, and was the United Center as alive as I'd ever seen it this season.
A fight between Boynton and Crombeen and 3 unanswered Blues goals later, however, and suddenly the outcome wasn't so certain. Thankfully Q let them have it and the boys tried to catch up, scoring twice in a row in the third period to give them the necessary breathing room even though Backes scored once more to get the Blues within two. This go around, though, the Hawks sat on that lead and didn't give it up, even though a Keith interference penalty late late late in the third put them in a bit of a "How much damage can the Blues do in 34 seconds of power play time?" conundrum.
The answer, thankfully, was "not much".
- This is the fiftieth time you will read about this today, but Morin had a heck of a game with the big club. He forechecked hard, was unafraid to get physical, even notched an assist and got into a bit of a scrap. I'm pretty sure whatever's keeping him in the AHL so far this season has little to do with how ready the Hawks brass think he is, and plenty to do with a lot of other factors unrelated to his performance.
- Kopecky had a four-point night, literally days after I'd pretty much given up on him. Of course he'd do this sort of thing, get hot for a few then disappear for longer. This is me, reluctantly impressed but waiting before I fully get back on the bandwagon.
- The Jumbotron had a couple of clips of Sharp's goals before the game began, and I noticed how many of them had Sharp scoring by scooping up a rebound off a fumbled Kopecky shot. On the second goal tonight, Sharp and Kopecky were both driving to the net as Sharp held on to the puck. Kopecky was wide open but Sharp didn't pass. I guess he saw the Jumbotron sequence too.
- Number one sign the game you're watching is likely a clusterfuck: John Scott ends up with 2 scoring chances.
- Number two sign the game you're watching is likely a clusterfuck: Patrick Kane picks a fight with someone. (It would be remiss of me if I did not mention that it was in defense of Stalberg, who seems to have a large bullseye painted on his back.)
- Of course, that Kopecky has FOUR POINTS ON THE NIGHT was probably your first clue about the game being a clusterfuck anyway.
- Tweeted this during the game and the question still stands: the Hawks are up 5-1, why does Boynton pick that time to fight Crombeen? It would have done nothing to rally his team, and it only gave the Blues the pick-me-up they needed. Three Blues goals followed not long after. Jesus Christ, Boynton, if you're not going to be useful, at least try to be invisible. All this sabotage is ridiculous.
- This was so not a good night for Bolland, more so than usual. He ended the night a -3, committed a questionable though still-harmful Delay of Game penalty, missed the one good chance he had... the list goes on. It's painful because he's capable of so much more, but of the "core"-- hell, of all the Hawks right now-- he's had the most inconsistency in linemates, usually getting whoever doesn't fit on the top two lines. But at some point the excuses have to stop and he has to find his stride. That's what good players do and he's got to remember he can be a really good one.
- This has got to be the lowest shooting game with the highest goals scored. One game after I shower him with praises, Crawford lays a crapper. Oh well, at least Conklin sucked more. Sometimes it's just a matter of timing.
- Vancouver's up next. Oh boy, this will be fun.