Well, I took a pre-game nap that overran slightly so watched a lot of this match-up from a slightly dazed viewpoint. Whether that enhanced my Critical Faculties (yeah, right) or impeded them, I know not.

What I saw was a Hawks team that is playing it smart: content to mooch along doing what they do until it’s neccessary to suddenly up the intensity and blow the opposition out of the water. Which worked out quite nicely.

This was an effective performance by the Hawks and stretches their current streak to 6 games. Dallas and Phoenix losing, combined with the Beej becoming the 2nd hottest team in the West (4 game win streak) has caused another round of musical chairs around the lower seedings. Be thankful, very thankful that the Hawks are miles above that particular shitfight. It’s going to be very, very ugly.

Anyway, to bullets before I head off to work

  • The first goal, Toews from Hossa and Saad, was a perfect example of why that is currently the best line in the NHL, bar none. They ran rings around the Dallas D, Saad placed a glorious pass onto Hossa’s stick and he, in turn, buzzed it stright to the Captain for 1-0. Glorious.
  • On the other hand, if there’s one reason to be Angry at Q, it’s the criminal under-use of what may be a Career Season for Patrick Kane. Injuries to linemates haven’t helped, of course, but Bolland is still stuck in Alfred E Newman mode and Kane’s only point came when he got involved with the back-to-kicking-ass 3rd line for Shaw’s very Shaw-Like goal.  That giveaway for the first Dallas goal was pretty grim, too, but shit like that will happen from time-to-time to players who play the sort of “Livin’ On The Edge” game that Kane does.
  • Viktor Stalberg continues to make Edzo look like a goddam fool. Seeing him turn on the afterburners after a nice pass from Zus, scorch the D and (for once) actually rifle it home was sweet indeed. Pat & Eddie were keener on burbling about the pass. I’m guessing they were once beaten with an Ikea chair while someone played the Best Of Abba repeatedly or something.
  • As for another Swede.. boy can Hjalmarsson hit’em. I think they play him tapes of announcers mangling his name to get him psyched up for those slappers.
  • Goalie Contro… blah blah blah. Razor went in tonight, which seems to defy the Q Logic (which you will find in no Textbooks) of riding the hot hand. Maybe Crow is injured? maybe Q has a masterplan? Who knows, and frankly, who cares? The Hawks have a genuine Tandem going and even though Emery’s Sv was 0.889 tonight (on 18 shots), the first was on a 3-on-1 caused by Kane’s turnover and the second was a Jamie Benn laserbeam through a screen.  Hard to pick on Ray for either of them. Nobody ever got more mentally stable trying to second-guess Q, so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • The PP is still “Send In The Clowns” time. Get well soon, Patrick Sharp
  • Finally, Marian Fucking Hossa. 3 points tonight and, as a mark of what a true scholar and gentleman he is, when he broke away, empty net looming, he was looking for a better-positioned teammate to pass it to rather than being selfish. Which he ended up having to do anyway and did. You could almost hear the thought-process: “Ha! Marian have his puck and silly Stephen King man on bench. Marian will give his puck to his friend Andrew? No, he’s covered.. ah there is friend Bryan! No. Guess Marian will have goal himself. Ha! Pierogis for everyone!”

So there we go. The #1 Seed inches every closer and the Hawks now have an extended break until the freshly-eliminated Preds roll into town on Friday. After that, it’s a final week of games that feature some dear old friends who will in no way get the blood-pressure to boiling point (looking at you, PHX,VAN and StL). Avoiding getting involved in stupidity with teams that will be desperately clawing for points will be key.

Until then.. good job, gentlemen, good job.