by Vince Maranto on 01/09/12 at 01:15 PM ET
It’s hard to believe that only a couple weeks ago, that the Hawks had the BEST record in the NHL and the BEST home record. However, when you only pick up 3 out of the last possible 12 points, with 5 of those games being at the United Center, things are sure to change. The Hawks are now in 5th place (In late October I posted that Shoot Out points are nice, but too many of them will come back to haunt you in the ROW -Regulation / Overtime wins-column). The Hawks, Blues, and Red Wings, all have 53 points, but it’s the ROW that drops the Hawks down to 3rd in the division..
Since the last time I wrote, the boys lost to the Av’s 4-0 and then lost in Overtime to Detroit last night, 3-2. The reasons are simple and I am truly getting tired of writing the same thing over and over, but here we go.
1) Leaving guys open and untouched in front of the net. The goalie should not have to make 2 or 3 saves (I know, control rebounds, but that’s not always possible) especially on the same player, while no one touches him.
2) Failure to score on the Power Play. You have basically 5 All Stars on the first unit, what’s the problem?
3) The inability to hold on to a lead AND starting & finishing periods. By that I mean allowing goals in the 1st and last minute of a periods.
4) And finally, dumb turnovers in your own end.
The lines for the last couple of games were somewhat juggled.
1) Frolik, Toews, Hossa. -AVS / Toews, Kane, Stalberg - Wings.
2) Sharp, Shaw, Kane -AVS / Sharp Hossa, Frolik - Wings.
3) Bickell, Bolland, Stalberg- AVS / Bickell, Bollnad, Shaw-Wings
4) Brunette, Mayers, Hayes, both games.
The 3rd defensive pairings continue to change on a nightly basis. Scott/ Olesen - AVS / Montador (back from injury) and O’Donnel - Wings.
In the Detroit game, the Hawks scored twice in the first 5 minutes. Bolland and then Sharp on a close up slap shot. Sharp however, left the game and as of this writing, his status is unknown, Detroit made it 2-1 later in the first. It stayed that way even after a Jimmy Hayes (his 1st in the NHL) Penalty Shot. In the 3rd (you saw this coming) after a scrum in front of the net, the Wings tied it In OT, Detroit then won it. As I said the last time these 2 teams met, this was a very fast paced and exciting game to watch.I thought that the physical battle was won by the Wings also. Carcillo cannot be the only guy that you rely on to finish a check. (Legal ones, anyway). But, what else would you expect from these two teams. They’ll do it again, on NBC, Saturday (I love those games!!) afternoon.
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