by Vince Maranto on 02/03/12 at 03:00 PM ET
In 2 games at the Rexall Center, in Edmonton, the Hawks have given up 17 goals. No, this is NOT a misprint, for anyone reading this and thinking, “Well that can’t be right.” It isn’t right, but it IS correct. The last time the boys went out there (November 19) they fell 9-2. This time it was 8-4, so I guess things are improving….. In all seriousness the first one was a true blow out, with the Oilers leading 5 - 1 after the first period. In last nights game it was the opposite. The Hawks basically dominated the action in the first half of the game. They scored first, 17-3-2 this year while doing so and led after the 1st period, 15-1-2 this year in that category. That is what is so aggravating about this game. They had a 2 - 0 lead (look back and see how many times I have blogged that 2-0 always worries me) and then fell apart.
Some roster notes before we start. Frolik was bumped for Bickell (2 penalties, his contribution) and Scott again replaced Montador. Crawford (18-12-5) went up against Dubnyk (8-11-1). I will really be surprised if Cro gets the start tonight, but what do I know. He let in one of the softest goals I have seen in a while. It was a pretty routine glove save that went passed him. Immediately I wrote down “enter Emery” on my notes with out even looking at the TV.
Before I get into this, period by period, Gagner had the kind of game, for Edmonton, that a kid on a frozen pond or a drive way makes up. He had 8 points(4 goals & 4 assists).Pretty good for a guy who entered the game with around 20 points in 50 games. I didn’t stick around to check, but I’m guessing he was the #1 Star of the Game. Towards the end of the game, however, it seemed like he was getting a lot more shifts, If it’s true, I’m sure I’ll read about that from the Hawks players & coaching.
In the first period, Dubnyk kept the Oilers in it early with some nice saves. A quick wrister from Mayers, at 6:29, made it 1-0. Dubnyk had more impressive saves, as the Hawks dominated all action at the 12 minute break. Shaw rang one off the post (the Hawks have to lead the league in that this year) a few minutes later The Hawks had a couple of successful Penalty Kills (still, a miserable 78% , 28th in the league). I really liked the aggressiveness of the PK early. Later, a Power Play (18.8%, 10th) never really got set up. Hawks out shot them 14-9 and had (according to Pat Foley) 12 blocked shots.
40 seconds in to the second period, Sharpie scored on a beautiful one timer, from Kane, on a 2 on 1. At this point, although early, it looked good. 2-0 Hawks. Taylor Hall quickly made it 2-1. % minutes later, Gagner tied it at 2-2. The Hawks had 4 penalties in this period. One resulted in a goal. The other a shorty by Sharp - GREAT to have him back. The Hawks also had an unsuccessful Power Play. It was tied 3 - 3 going onto the locker room.
In the 3rd, Edmonton scored twice in the first four minutes. The second goal caused the exit to Crawford. Bolland, got what was left of my hopes up, on a backhander in front to make it 5 - 3. But that was it. More penalties and goals made the final 8-4.
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