Hawks fall 5-3 to Wild
In what has to be classified the sloppiest game of this year, the Hawks were defeated by the Minnesota Wild at the United Center Saturday night. The Hawks took five penalties and the Wild had seven penalties. Each team scored a power play goal.
There was little to get excited about in this game for Hawks fans. The effort was there but the performance was uninspired and this game was something that most Hawks games are not - dull.
The Hawks had a chance to come back from a deficit and show why they are the reigning Stanley Cup champs but unlike last year’s team they were unable to mount a comeback. The game had way too many penalties and unlike last year’s penalty kill this year’s PK has yet to hit its stride like most everything else with the team.
Some disturbing trends and bad habits are being formed by the Hawks which, will probably be addressed by the coaching staff. There seems to be an uncharacteristic lack of finish and killer instinct with this team so far this year.
Bad decision making particularly in the Hawks own zone or the center ice area resulting in giveaways and pushing bad positions has been biting the Hawks. What it all adds up to is that solid defensive team game that the Hawks lived on last year has not only yet to surface it is holding the Hawks down. The Hawks are also not winning board battles and play behind the opposition net.
The one good thing is Bryan Bickell seems to have found his goal scoring touch as he scored another goal in his fourth straight game. Jeremy Morin made his debut in a Blackhawks sweater. The line of Bickell, Shaw and Morin had a lot of jump and could be a great 3rd line with more time together.
The power play is back to looking as frightful as a Halloween fright fest although one goal was scored on the power play and it was a beauty of a give and go between Toews and Kane. The zone entries in general on the power play are atrocious and there is no sustained pressure in front of the goalies and the finish is just not there.
The other Hawks goal was from Marcus Kruger his first of the year but by that point it was too late in the game.
Luckily the Hawks do not have long before they face Minnesota again to take out their revenge and put this one behind them. The Hawks can also take consolation in that they are not playing their best hockey by any means and are still 6-2-3 but need to get back to a tighter defensive game quick.
Three Stars of the game:
1. Jason Pominville
2. Nick Backstrom
3. Ryan Suter
Next game will be Monday, October 28, at 7 p.m. CDT from Minnesota. Tune in to CSN in the Chicago; or listen via WGN 720. In Minnesota watch on FS-N