by Vince Maranto on 09/23/11 at 01:28 PM ET
Before we get into the Hawks second preseason game (and loss) I’d like to mention a couple of things. First, the Dallas Stars have given Mike Modano a one day contract so that he can officially retire as a Star. This is always a class move by a pro franchise and, of course, in this case well deserved!!! Secondly, the NHL has already given out at least 2 suspensions (as of this writing) through out the rest of the preseason and into next season for hits on players. Personally, I’m still a little confused on illegal hits and finishing a check. Shots to the head and other obvious ones I have no problem with. However, like the NFL, I’m still not clear on some calls which just look like hard play to me. Lastly, Hossa has joined the team and has begun to skate with them,
Anyway, on to the game. The Hawks lost 4 - 1 in Pittsburgh last night. Let me first say that I really can’t remember being able to watch the first two preseason games…. ever! Tuesday’s game was shown on the internet, and last night was shown on the NHL Network (best sports package cable deal I ever got). This may seem like no big deal to some of you, but you have to remember, as a Hawks fan, I JUST started to get to see Hawks home games on TV a couple of years ago. The first period was a real yawner, with the Pens getting 5 shots on goal to the Hawks 3. Each team had a power play opportunity.
There weren’t many regulars on this trip. Frolik (talk about him in a minute) Lepisto, Scott, Carcillo. Bickell, and Leddy were among the regular season roster players. Brandon Saad, the Hawks 2011 second round and over all 43rd draft pick had a lot of playing time. The 18 year old, Pittsburgh area native showed a lot of hustle. Alexander Salak started the game and played a little more than 1 1/2 periods He stooped every shot and has now only allowed 1 goal in his 2 appearances, stopping 22 out of 23 shots on goal. Ray Emery played the rest of the game and let in 4 goals. To his defense, the first 3 were tough to give up. Close in redirects and left WIDE OPEN opposing players in front of the net counted for the first three. At one point, when the Penguins had scored their second goal of the night, the Hawks were out shot 7 - 0. This has been a 3rd period problem with us in the past, which I find really aggravating. Now on to Michael Frolik. He scored the Hawks only goal of the game with a nifty back hand to fore hand move. He also almost scored, short handed towards the end of the second period. He showed great, explosive speed. I’m really looking forward to the man who we acquired late last season and had (if I recall) .5 points against Vancouver in Round 1 of last years playoffs.
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