by Vince Maranto on 02/15/12 at 12:45 PM ET
The title says it all. The Hawks have now only taken 1 of the last available 18 points. This is beyond “skid”, “bump in the road”, or whatever else you want to call it. The most frustrating and aggravating thing about watching it, is that they are actually trying. If it’s from lack of hustle, or taking shifts off, that’s one thing. But this is just plain old getting beat, mixed in with giving games away.
This time it was Nashville, who were 14-4-2 in their last 20 games (again) beating the Hawks 3-2. Emery (11-6-2) got the start against the always tough Rinne (30-12-6). Problem area. The Hawks STILL are the only NHL team to not shut some one out. It appears that we have 2 back ups, and not a #1 who is going to steal a game. Emery played well, but we NEED above well right now. If the defense was up to par and we were scoring the 4 goals a game that we were close to averaging for a while, the goal tending would not stick out as much.
The lines saw Sharp, Toews & Kane on the first unit. The rest were juggled, also. There is a different healthy scratch or two every game these days. Last night, Scott in, Frolik out. Bickell in, Morrison out. There is not a lot of movement D-wise, with Montador placed on the I.R and Hjalmarsson out due to injury.
In the first period (as well as the rest of the game) I saw more players from both teams being tossed out of the face off circle. Usually, it was one side, then the other on the same draw. The game started with a Penalty Kill (still a lousy 77.5% - 28th) turned 4 on 4, turned Power Play, turned 4 on 4, turned Penalty Kill. Throw in a Power play after that, and the game still remained scoreless. A Toews neutral zone turnover led to the first score. There is something wrong with him. He has not played the same since his injury right before the All Star break. Mayers kept possession of the puck in the Preds zone during a shift change a fed Bickell to tie it, 1-1. Again, the Hawks played relly well for the first 15 minutes. Emery only faced 5 shots that period and most of the time they were in Nashville territory. The Hawks has 11 shots.
Pekka Rinne played outstanding in the second period, making great saves and equally important, controlling rebounds. The period saw another Pk and PP which did not affect the score. With a little over 2 minutes left, Spaling redirected a slap shot from the point. 2-1 Preds. 21-16 shots total, in favor of Chicago.
The third period saw early good chances, but Rinne was up to the task. Hossa broke his scoreless streak, going stick side, to tie it at 2-2. Another long slap shot, unfortunately this time inadvertently redirected by Keith, somehow beat Emery 5 hole. That was it. Emery was pulled with 1 1/2 or so minutes left, but the magic we saw, in Nashville, in the 2010 Playoffs, did not repeat it self.
Next it’s the Rangers in New York. Is their goalie any good…..? Geez.
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