CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 12: Duncan Keith #2, Brent Seabrook #7 and Brian Campbell #51 of the Chicago Blackhawks congratulate teammate Corey Crawford #50 who recorded his second straight shut-out in a win over the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center on January 12, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Avalanche 4-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I can't get past the phrase "false dawn."
I want to believe that the Hawks are turning a corner right now, but they've seemingly turned so many corners this season they're going in a circle. The last two games have looked like what the Hawks should be, but I said that when they won four in a row at home and then proceeded to vomit in a garbage can over the next four of five. So I won't be getting too far ahead of myself, and neither will they hopefully.
But it should be a positive aftermath to last night's game, as the Hawks were excellent. I hate to simplify this, but it really does break down this way; when Duncan Keith is good, the Hawks are good. When he's excellent, they are dominant. It can't be stated any other way, because the evidence is there for all to see. He was last night. +12 in CORSI, +4 in plus-minus, two blocked shots, and an assist where he ... wait for it ... actually got a shot through to the goalie! And the Hawks win 4-0.
Other thoughts from the lone nut in the snow:
-This is why I get so frustrated with Dave Bolland. Understand, I'm his biggest fan, and have followed him since junior. So when he's a passenger/ghost for a majority of the season, I am disappointed as I know he's capable of so much more. And last night is exactly what he's capable of. Not only did he shut down Matt Duchene completely, but he was at his best in the offensive zone as we've seen all year. He was fighting for the puck, setting up chances, getting in scoring areas (does anyone get more open nets to shoot at?), and then a beautiful dish to Fernando "The Pope-Ah" Pisani, where he saw David Jones stick off the ice making Pisani's available. That goal was so satisfying as it was Bolland there to mop up an Avs' turnover in the neutral zone, weaving his way past defenders to get into the Colorado zone, and then that dish. This is what he could be doing every game. To steal from our friends at The Fifth Feather, the problem with Bolland's game is it can be stationary (mostly behind the opponent's net), and the Hawk forwards thrive on movement. If Bolland can move like he was last night, he'll put up the numbers we expect.
-Patrick Kane had five shots, and attempted eight. This is a good thing, means he was highly active.
-Jack Skille had six shots, too. But Viktor Stalberg had none. This with reportedly 20 scouts in attendance. Make of that what you will.