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Hawks Skid Continues

I don’t even know where to start? I have a lot of notes, but none of them are good. Oh well, the title says it all…. The Hawks fell to Colorado at the Pepsi center on Tuesday night, 5-2. Both teams entered the contest with a 0-4-1 record in their last 5 games. During that stretch, the Hawks had 10 goals for, and 22 goals against. That should tell you something right there. The team (except, of course Carcillo) is in tact, so injuries cannot be used as an excuse. I do, however, doubt that Toews is anywhere near 100%. He just doesn’t seem right.

It looks like it’s Ray Emery’s job to lose in the net. Emery (11-4-2) got his second straight start. He faced Giguere (12-9-2).  It is easy to blame the goalies - Hawks with 163 goals against, second worst in the West. Only Columbus is worse. But, last night’s game featured at least 7 odd man rushes for the Av’s with 5 or 6 of them being 2 on 1’s!  I don’t recall the Hawks having any.

The line ups were announced as 1) Shaw, Toews, Kane (which I liked but rarely saw).  2) Sharp, Bolland, Hossa 3) Kruger, Morrison, Stalberg 4) Brunette, Mayers, Frolik. For once, I was surprised NOT to see Bickell. I thought he had a pretty good previous game. Leddy continues to be paired up with Montador on the 3rd D-line.

The first period opened with the lines, as I hinted towards earlier, being juggled. Too much micro-management by Coach Q? The Hawks go a Power Play (12th @ 18.2%) opportunity around 6 minutes in. I don’t believe that they we even credited with a shot on goal. An this P.P featured a 2 on 1 for Colorado. Emery came up with a lot of nice saves from very early on. With around 20 seconds left in the period, the Av’s had their third 2 on 1 of the game, already. The frame remained scoreless headed into the locker room. Each team had 9 shots on goal.

In the second period, Seabrook again, for the second game in a row, pinched in down deep to score. This happened about 30 seconds in. Emery looked sharp in this period UNTIL, yes, another 2 on 1 tied the score at 1-1. 35 seconds later, a 3 on 2 (seeing a pattern here?) made the score 2-1. It was Mueller, then Jones, respectively.Time out, Chicago. Kane, then scored on a tough backhander form Sharp as the line juggling continued. It was only Kane’s 12 goal of the season. It was nice to see him shoot more in this game. A trend that needs to continue. The one thing I always liked about his shot in the past, is that they somehow seemed to find a way to the back of the net, no matter how impossible it seemed. 2 -2 headed into the locker room. All four goals, by the way, were scored in the first six and a half minutes of the period. Colorado out shot the Hawks 14-10.

In the 3rd period, iIt was Colorado’s turn to score quickly. 40 seconds in, a quick wrister by Landeskog, broke the tie. 3-1-Av’s. Despite two more Power Plays by the Hawks, BOTH featuring 2 on 1’s the other way, the score remained unchanged. Good chances by Hossa, Bolland, Toews & Sharp could not convert. Later, a breakaway by Jones made it 4-2. The always aggressive Coach Q pulled Emery with a little over 2 minutes left. A zone clearing bank shot off the boards found it’s way in 5 - 2, final.

Next up, sharks and Coyotes. It doesn’t get any easier, does it?

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Comments

Ajax19's avatar

Any thoughts, comments or insights on Adrian Dater’s claim that “There are some issues going on in Chicago. Some chemistry issues”?

Posted by Ajax19 on 02/08/12 at 04:32 PM ET

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I don’t think it’s a chemistry issue, I think we need a better goalie.  Emerey is a good backup, but not a starter.  Crawford apparently was a flash in the pan.  Team confidence starts from the net out.  If they don’t have faith in the goalie to make not only the big saves, but the routine ones as well, then the Defense starts making mistakes trying to cover for him.  Then the forwards start making mistakes trying to press too much.  That’s when the defense starts making more mistakes trying to cover for the mistakes of the forwards and it goes on and on.  Duncan Ketih and Brent Seabrook having a bad season doesn’t originate with them, it is them trying to cover for errors elsewhere.

We’re going to have to give up a forward to get a quality goalie.  It will cost us and it will hurt, but if we throw in Crawford, a couple decent prospects and a startiing forward, we can have someone like Miller.  That would turn this team around almost instantly.  I just hope they don’t try and get Bernier from L.A…....Waaaay over-rated, or settle for that sieve Nabokov.

Posted by sean_o_sean on 02/08/12 at 04:58 PM ET

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I have faith this team is going to compete eventually, but there are some subtle differences from the Stanley Cup team as well as the team that could have made it to the Stanley Cup finals a year ago. I agree with the Sean o Sean, the goalies are not solid. We have seen this year what a difference Niemi can make when the team needs a key save. Crawford has some real flaws in his glove hand, and NHL caliber players have been exploiting it.
The defense seems to be the bigger issue, though. O’Donnell is a huge liability and has been coughing the puck up in his own end badly of late. Brian Campbell vs. O’Donnell? No brainer. Duncan Keith gets a lot of ice time, and I don’t know if he is tired, but he has not been as solid this year. He has been getting beat more than in previous years.
Vince writes that Coach Q might be mixing things up too much, but hockey is not like football with specific positions for players. I don’t blame him for trying to find a spark. What does he have to lose?
Offensively, they still have a lot of weapons, but they are not gelling right now, and the main guns look tired like Duncan Keith. I don’t understand Bickell being in the bigs. He looks and plays like an AHL player.
I hope the Hawks get their mojo back before the spring, but how do you improve the goalie situation?

Posted by Jack Mack from Palatine on 02/08/12 at 11:13 PM ET

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