Now that the holidays are over, I guess I can't get away with making this a Festivus-themed feature any more. But my brain is far too poisoned to not reference something, so for the forseeable future this will be Smokey's Best and Worst, because it allows me to quote Walter Sobchak and that's the way I want it. Anyway, let's get to it!
Mark It Eight, Dude
Brian Campbell- It's hard to decipher this group, because the Hawks were awful for two, and parts of another, of the four games this week. But Campbell has been a constant all season, and was the main reason they got back into the Sharks game, even scoring. 51 Phantom has been all over the ice, and has been getting into the offensive end. You'll see him behind the opponent's net more often than you did, and last night he was out there to close out the last minute, and not Duncan Keith. The Hawks best player for two months now.
Joel Quenneville - This is some low-hanging fruit here, but finally Q realized we're all better off without John Scott and Nick Boynton in our lives. That's worth noticing. Hey, take what you can get.
Over The Line, Mark It Zero!
Duncan Keith - Whole raft of candidates here, but we'll start with the one it's least acceptable from. Keith was terrible against St. Louis, Anaheim, and Los Angeles. Last night was topped off by an asinine penalty where he had all the time in the world behind the net, decided to skate into trouble, leading to firing the puck into the stands for a delay of game penalty. He's now looking at getting stripped of his #1 d-man duties, and he's bringing partner Brent Seabrook with him. Hopefully, with slightly lessened responsibility he'll rediscover his game. But the passes to no one, the rushed clearances, and the turnovers on a platter in his zone have to stop.
Patrick Kane - Yes, he's just returned from injury but he's been floating more than ever since he did. The Hawks need the cocky little cuss who lived to cut your heart out, not the one who looks like he just cashed a check.
Joel Quenneville - Tomas Kopecky still skates important minutes, Kane is skating with Bolland which has never worked, Sharp is centering two wingers in Kopecky and Bryan Bickell who can't pass, and Jack Skille and Jake Dowell have been scratched for unknown reasons in favor of John Scott and Ryan Johnson. Much work to do, sir.