by Vince Maranto on 01/13/12 at 03:55 PM ET
Before we talk about the game last night between the Hawks and the Wild at the United Center, congratulations are in order. Three Hawks (so far) have been named to this year’s All Star squad. Marian Hossa will make his 5th trip to an All Star game, receiving the news yesterday on his 33rd birthday.—As a side note, I was wondering & would like your opinion on this. Hossa has over 400 goals. Do you think that 500 goals is an automatic trip to Toronto and the Hall of Fame or just a ballot opportunity. Another words, is that number losing the magic it once had? Just curious.—Toews & Kane will both be making their 3rd trip. I say so far because there still may be a shot for Duncan Keith, I feel. As always, time (and unfortunately injuries, will tell). Patrick Sharp, last years All Star game MVP is out due to injury (3-4 weeks, wrist). Sharpie, with 20 goals & 20 assists would have most likely made it 4 Hawks. Too bad.
On to the game. It was Ray Emery (9-3-2) against Josh Harding (8-4-2) in the nets. A couple line shake ups worth mentioning were, the 2nd line with Hayes, Bolland, and Hossa. I always thought that the Hawks needed a 2nd line center and perhaps they always had one who was on the 3rd line. We’ll see. The line certainly did well yesterday. Shaw centered Brunette & Frolik on the 3rd line. Bickell slipped down to the 4th line (it would NOT surprise me to see him go in some sort of package deal, down the line) with Mayers & Smith.
In the 1st Period, Setoguchi scored in front off a rebound. Shaw (Kid # 1) then tied it 1-1. Some big saves were made by Harding including a shot from Hossa off a sweet pass from Hayes. A Hawks Power Play (17.5 % - 17th) with 2:30 left, came up short, with only 1 shot on net. The score remained 1-1 after one. Hawks out shot the Wild 13-8.
In the 2nd period, the Hawks 2nd P.P. did come through. Jimmy Hayes (Kid #2) scored in front off a great pass by Bolland. 23 seconds later, Stalberg lit the lamp (HEY!! he scored on some one other than Columbus, Yay!) to go up 3 - 1. The Hawks scored AGAIN off a Power Play (2 in a row, I can’t remember the last time I ever typed that) with Bolland getting this one 4-1. Exit Josh Harding and enter 21 year old, 3rd rounder, Matt Hackett. He is the nephew of former Hawks goalie Jeff Hackett. 4-1 going into the locker room. Hawks out shot the offensively challenged Minnesota, 8-5 that period.
In the 3rd, the Hawks Penalty Kill ( 78.8%—26th) came up successful. Later, Brodziak pulled the Wild closer on a ‘rebound in front’ (I need to come up with a term for that. I’m sick of typing it over & over). 4-2. Dave Bolland (the #1 Star of the Game) finished it off with an empty netter. 5-2 final.
Hawks / Wings from Detroit on NBC, Saturday afternoon, next. I love it!
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