Let’s rapidly consign that farce last night to the garbage can of history, right next to the hopes of anyone who wanted the Hawks to grab the Terminally Useless Zenon Konopka off Waivers.
The Hawks had no business losing that game, but seemed to be the last people to realise this. They never seemed to find any sort of fluency or effort and were punished for it. Pretty much the sole bright spots were a solid return for Corey Crawford (some iffy rebound control notwithstanding) and a busy performance from the 4th Line, despite having Brandon Bollig on it. Ben Smith & Marcus Kruger made thorough nuisances of themselves, frequently against the Tavares line. Brandon Saad was trying hard to raise a stiff middle digit in the direction of Team USA’s “Brains” Trust, but in the end it was fellow-snubbee (?) Kyle Okposo who grabbed the OT winner.
Hopefully Johnny Oduya got shown his attempted line-change before the first Isles goal last night while being whacked on the nose with a newspaper.
Chicago should be taking more than one point out of Nassau County, but so be it.
Next up, it’s off to Jersey and the Devils. New Jersey are 4th in their rancid Division so, obviously, outside the Wild Card standings in the East. They got comprehensively swatted aside 10 days ago in Chicago. Since then they have lost a Shooutout to the Beej, narrowly beaten the Isles (sigh) and, on New Years Eve, edged out the Pens.
Whenever I think of the Devils I’m reminded of Gertrude Stein’s quote about Hollywood: “There is no ‘There’ there”. I actually had to go and look up their roster to remember who plays for them. Then I remembered: it’s the mouldering remains of what used to be Marty Brodeur & Jaromir Jagr and a bunch of other guys. Oh, and Cam Janssen, St. Louis’ noblest son.
Word is that Brodeur gets the start, so hopefully the Hawks will avoid another motivated Olympic also-ran in Cory Schneider. The Corpulent One has been poor in what must surely be his final year, but is still platooning with the Ginger One. (Of course, jinx-fans, I took the piss out of another old and bad goalie before last night’s game and Nabokov turned into a brick wall..)
The Hawks should have way too much in every department for the Devils, who don’t even have the Isles rapid-attack upside. But, as we saw last night, strange things can happen when you don’t put your skate on the necks of teams like this. A pissed-off, focussed Hawks will annihilate the Devils tonight.. a disinterested, too-cute effort like last night’s?.. not so much.
Get it done, gentlemen.
Puck drops at 6