Kukla's Korner

Talk'n Hawks

A “Happy” Halloween

The Hawks, playing their third game in four days, found a way to beat Nashville Monday night. Corey Crawford was back in net for Chicago, going up against Pekka Rinne (for my money, the toughest goalie the Hawks faced during the ‘10 playoffs). The Hawks entered the game with a league leading, 94% penalty kill. Conversely, they were a ridiculous, 27th place in the league on the power play. Their PP percentage was 10.5% heading into the game, and were 0 for 11 in the last 3 games. Caoch Q has been trying every combination to try and snap them out of this.The problem, as I see it is, the inability to pass cross ice and set up the one timer. They have had great success with this in the past, but what do I know.

The game had an inauspicious start, 26 seconds in. Crawford mishandled the puck, after the Hawks failed to touch for icing, and the Preds jumped on it for an early 1-0 lead. The Hawks power play was tested 3 times in the first period, including once when they had a 2 man advantage for 19 seconds. Unfortunately, their percentage dropped even lower as they came up empty. But, for once, it was the Hawks who scored with less than a minute left in the period, on a shot by Patrick Kane. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. Nashville out shot the Hawks 9-8.

Corey Crawford continued playing well, stopping shots and controlling his rebounds in the second period. A strange simultaneous high stick call for Nashville and a too many men penalty for Chicago led to a 4 on 4. Neither team scored and they played on. I’m really getting tired of the “feast or famine” play of Hossa. It seems like every time his name is mentioned, it is immediately followed by “misplays the puck”, “has the puck jump over his stick”, or “gives the puck away”. I’m starting to cringe every time he gets the puck. Anyway, Craig Smith, the kid from Madison, Wisconsin, made it 2-1 Preds on a nice pass from Erat. Nick Leddy, who has really improved his game this season, tied it up on a pass from Patrick Kane. Another (make it 0 for 14) unsuccessful power play ensued. Nashville scored to go up 3-2 to end the period.

In the third, Patrick Kane tied the game at 3-3. Crawford again kept them in the game with big saves. Brain Bickell on a feed from Frolik (I like this kid too, btw)
put the Hawks up 4-3. Nashville tied it up and the game then went into overtime. The Hawks continued their home streak of getting at least a point per game this season.

In the OT, Viktor Stalberg - who I had hoped in the last blog would be rejuvenated by his 2 goal performance- scored the game winner. Stalberg was the number 2 star of the game, Kane, of course, was the number one star of the game, much to the delight of the costumed crowd.

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