EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 17: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks is checked by Ryan Whitney #6 of the Edmonton Oilers in second-period action at Rexall Place November 17, 2010 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Whatever. That's pretty much where most Hawks fans and I stand after last night's win. It wasn't a romping, stomping, "put their face in it and make them like it" win, but it wasn't close either.
The 3rd period could have been better, but I'm willing to concede that maybe that psuedo bag skate the day before sapped their legs. And I'm only giving them that to make me feel better. Anyway, to the bullets:
There are signs of life from Patrick Kane, but he simply needs to shoot more. Multiple times in the past two games, Kane has had a lane to shoot or drive to the net, but he passed them up to do his Gretzky turn at the circles and wait for the late man. Teams are on to this and are scrambling to cover that up. If Kane only takes a few of those opportunities to shoot or go to the net, teams will have to cover for that, and those passing lanes he loves to use will open up again.
Jonathan Toews has certainly answered the horn of Gondor to be everything this team needs. Opposing teams, however, have figured out they need to get him tossed from face offs because the Hawks don't have anyone else to take them. Work on this.
But Dave Bolland won more than he lost last night. Baby steps to the elevator!
OK Quenneville, you got a one-game pass to trot out some truly goofy defensive pairings just to change the scenery. Now go back to what works. Duncan Keith with Nick Leddy doesn't make any sense, neither does Seabrook with Hjalmarsson. Those pairings are made up of guys who do the same thing, not like the ying and yang of Keith-Seabrook and Campbell-Hjalmarsson. If you really want to change things, play Seabrook with Campbell (they've been your best d-men all year) and Keith with Hammer. But you can't get away with that goofy mess against Dallas's Top 6 forwards.
Viktor Stalberg continues to drive the net in this recent patch of games, which is good to see. Too bad it's wasted on the fourth line.
I know the power play isn't scoring, and people are losing their heads, but power plays hit slumps throughout the season. It happens.
The Hawks need to be better this weekend than they were in Edmonton, but we'll take the win and move on.