ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 02: Goaltender Jonas Hiller #1 of the Anaheim Ducks defends his net as he watches the puck go wide during the NHL game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center on January 2, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Blackhawks 2-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
As most of my friends will tell you, when you get to the end of a night out and last call is approaching, you can still accomplish wonderful things. You just have to work at it, and not miss any opportunity. There's no time to waste.
With the halfway mark now officially here (or it will be after 60 more minutes in Los Angeles), the Hawks no longer have time to find themselves. There isn't time to say we'll get it together when we're healthy or when the games matter more. They are here now. This second half will not be fun in any way.
The Hawks themselves, and perhaps a lot of their fans, would like to point out the 40-18 shot advantage the Hawks had Sunday night, including the 19-2 mauling in the 3rd.
But let's not for a second fool ourselves into thinking that Sunday night's effort was acceptable. The Hawks had only played for 15 minutes when they predictably horsed what is a nondescript (at best) Ducks blue line. How many turnovers did their forecheck create in the Ducks zone in the 3rd? 184? But had they done that for 60 minutes, they could have probably scored five and waltz to a victory.
I think it's a shame that Dave Bolland ended up deflecting what would have been Viktor Stalberg's equalizer in the final minute (and I'm not even sure he knew he did it), because that might have been his best offensive game of the season. He was active, especially behind the Ducks net where he was constantly taking the puck away and setting up chances out front. I have to believe if he can do that for the final 42 games, he will get close to the numbers we thought he could.
Still, the Hawks didn't do nearly well enough to get traffic in front of Jonas Hiller, who only had a handful of tough saves to make, and barely any in the first 45 minutes.
I don't know why Jake Dowell was benched, but I know these benchings and scratches of the young players are a wonderful way to lose a team. Yes, Jack Skille responded to his scratching by Joel Quenneville on Thursday with an inspired game Sunday night. But couldn't the same thing have been accomplished by simply pulling him aside after just one bad game and telling him he wasn't good enough on that night?
I think Duncan Keith got a shot past the first forward's shin pads, but I'll have to check on that one.
The Hawks won't win if Keith and Seabrook keep making basic mistakes such as letting Matt Beleskey behind them for Perry's goal and the turnover Seabrook made that Corey Crawford had to bail him out stoning Teemu Selanne.
Patrick Kane was simply a passenger last night. If he's still hurt, then he's not helping anybody by being out there and not doing anything. If he's not hurt, then... well, come up with your own term for removing one's skull from one's nether regions.
Marian Hossa has one goal in 17 games. There's no way to defend that.