Ray Emery #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save on a shot by Andrew Ladd #16 of the Winnipeg Jets as Duncan Keith defends at the United Center on Oct. 13, 2011 in Chicago.
October hockey is never vintage. It's filled with kinks being worked out, teammates still figuring out where the others are, some half-hearted efforts and a lot of sloppy hockey. But there's little point in firing on all cylinders this early in the season. Probably better to find a way to gather points while you still figure out what your team is and how it works. Thursday's game against the Jets was an excellent example.
The Hawks were nowhere to be found for the first 10 minutes of the game. They then showed up just enough to let their enormous talent gap guide them into a lead. Then it was time to let the car roll downhill and conserve fuel, what with the high gas prices these days and all. The Hawks got to the checkered flag before the Jets did, and the two points were in the bag.
- The big worry Thursday was how Ray Emery would do in his first actual start in The Indian Head and after a very shaky preseason. He didn't win over too many fans by giving up two goals on the first five shots he saw. Then again, most fans probably couldn't tell he was beaten by two deflections that he couldn't help. It just looked like he whiffed. The rest of the game Emery kept the puck out, albeit in a frantic, it-doesn't-look-like-I-know-what-I'm-doing fashion. Still, Emery shouldn't be required to make 27 saves against a team as limited as the Jets.
- Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa are kind of turning into Yeats on ice. Memorize this poetry, and there will be a girl who will fall in love with you for it.
- Andrew Brunette around the net is something to watch. He barely can move, but in tight around the opponent crease and he just makes things happen with his hands. He's always finding that quickly vanishing space down there. The first three steps are clearly in his head, because his feet would never take him there.
- At this rate, Michael Frolik, Dave Bolland and Bryan Bickell might comprise the best third line in hockey.
- Duncan Keith and Nick Leddy will make sure Pepto stays in business.