by Vince Maranto on 03/07/12 at 06:55 PM ET
Yes, to be sure. Shots, hits, hustle, special teams, you name it.Ok, in fights, perhaps a split decision. It was a surprisingly, very flat effort put out by the Hawks yesterday as they played the Blues in St. Louis. 5 - 1 was the final as the Blues took over the number one spot in the West. Vancouver, Detroit, and Phoenix also lost, by the way.
In net, it was the #3 NHL Star of the Week, Ray Emery (14-8-2) against Halak (21-10-5) - who, with Elliot, are the best combo in the league. The lines remained pretty close to the same as the last couple of games, with Morrison & Frolik being the Scratch Brothers. No word on Toews, but Montador & Hjalmarsson are skating. This is going to be needed if Lepisto’s leg injury was as serious as it looked. He left during the second period and never returned.
In the first period, new call-up Brandon Bollig and Ryan Reaves threw down the gloves at center ice with the puck deep in the zone. About a two and a half minute slug fest occurred until they both called it quits. Less than 2 minutes later a TJ Oshie redirect made it 1 - 0 Blues. The only real run of the game came with around 7 minutes left in the period. An organized attack, featuring Sharp going of the post was about it. There was an unsuccessful Power Play (16%, tied for 22nd), the first of MANY. There was also a Penalty Kill (78%, 26th) that kept the score the same. Then, with 27 seconds left—how often have we seen this—a shot off of Olsen’s skate made it 2 - 0 going into the locker room. The Hawks managed only 4 shots on goal to the Blues 14.
On a Hawks PP, a shorthanded goal made it 3 - 0, less than 2 minutes into the second period. Halak, had some great saves and it didn’t look good at all at this point. The Hawks had 2 more PP’s, but the best scoring chances came from St. Louis. The Hawks managed only 1 shot on goal in those back to back penalties. Shots on goal evened out a little more with the Blues having 21 to Chicago’s 15.
Brunette (who has been REALLY quit since late January) redirected one past Halak to put the Hawks on the board, 3 - 1. The Hawks then wasted another Power Play opportunity, their 5th of the night. You’re not going to beat anyone with an 0 for 5 on the PP. There was a successful PK later on in the period. McDonald made it 4 - 1, and that was it. No, I’m Sorry, AGAIN with 15 seconds left in the game, the Hawks let in another goal to make it 5 - 1 for the final.
It’s the Rangers, back at the United Center, on Friday.
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