Tonight the Hawks edged out the Stars in a game that shouldn’t have been but was closer than that scoreline suggests. The Hawks weathered an early storm that saw the Stars pile on the shots and Corey Crawford make some good saves. Then Dallas were the victim of the first of a long string of weak or poor refereeing calls, losing Cody Eakin on a questionable Goalie Interference call, and the Hawks capitalised with Andrew Shaw scoring an excellent goal while on his knees. The Hawks doubled their lead in the 2nd with a goal that I believe is currently credited to Kris Versteeg. Ryan Garbutt, of all people got one back after a defensive lapse then Duncan Keith saw a long range effort evade Kari Lehtonen for 3-1. Garbutt got it back within one goal in the 3rd when he managed to stuff the puck home of Crawford. With the Stars pressing hard and Lehtonen pulled it appeared that Niklas Hjalmarsson ended it with a shot from dep in his own half, however it was judged to have been touched by Bollig’s high stick at the Blue Line and waved off. Shortly thereafter, however, Marian Hossa bullied his way to the front off a fortuitous bounce (Lehtonen was en route to the bench, assuming the puck was leaving the zone) and iced the game. There was time for some dumbness featuring Bollig and Roussel and the two points went in the bag.
Oh, and some young Finn made his debut tonight, too.. guess we’d better mention that, hey?
- OK, OK.. Teuvo. What can I say? The kid played a blinder. He was sharp and effective, not just on offense but also in his own zone. He clearly has phenomenal vision and awareness and even caught Brandon Saad (no slouch himself) napping with a brilliant laserbeam of a pass while under pressure. His excellent hands were evidenced by his going 7-0 at the dot. He did not look at all out of place on the 1st PP unit. If I have a criticism (and I’m not sure that it is a crticism on a team like the Hawks) it was that he tends to float back towards the circles, hoping for a pass rather than getting into the dirty areas in front of the net. But then again, as I mentioned, that could work briliantly, especially on the PP. Excitingly, apparently he didn’t feel that he’d played at the top of his game.. It’s too early to tell for sure, but this young man has the look of something special about him. Exciting times, my friends
- Brandon Bollig, on the other hand, started the game by taking a stupid penalty, was barely out of the box before icing the puck and flapped his stick at Hjalmarsson’s ENG attempt, thus negating it (I’m actually not 100% sure he touched it, but anyway). But, of course, he had a pointless fight with Burrows-Wannabe Roussel right at the end, so hooray. If Bickell had had that sort of start to the game, Q would have had him escorted out of the building.
- If Lindy Ruff and Dallas fans feel hard-done-by the refs, well they have a big point. The GI penalty was weak, Andrew Shaw got away with a blatant trip and a terrible icing call turned into the ENG for the Hawks. Chicago were still the better team, but you can understand if they’re pissed
- ..and I like the idea of a pissed-off Dallas: Phoenix won tonight, so theyve slipped back in the race for the final Wild Card slot.. I hope they go hell-for-leather from here on out. I love the idea of a Dallas-Shaped landmine waiting for the Blues to step on in the 1st Round. This is a decent Hockey team and they’ve got a bright future. They will also drive the Blues insane. Fun.
- Hossa was his usual dominant self. There are days where the puck appears to be glued to that man’s stick, and today was one of them
- Poor old #OffensiveJuggernautNiklasHjalmarsson.. yet another late goal ruled out on a weak call (although nowhere near as bad as the Game 7 non-goal that still has me waking up screaming) Good game from Hjammer otherwise. Not so Brent Seabrook, who was pretty bad tonight. RUNDBLAD got four minutes. Yeesh.
OK, the Bruins are next. I have no idea whether Q will stuck tith Teravainen or not for the physical nightmare that Boston bring. Even if he sits that one out, I think it’s safe to say the Teuvo Teravainen era has gotten off to a good start.