Sharks bleed Hawks 5-3
We are now past the midway point of this nine game road trip. Thank goodness for that. The Hawks are now 0-4-1 so far on the nine game road trip and keep losing ground in their division as every team in front of them picks up points. Detroit picked up two points against Anaheim last night.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I found myself watching this game with my lucky Seabrook jersey and my lucky Hawks charm near me. The results however were the same. The truth of it is no matter how we want to help this team break out of this slump only they can do it.
I knew this would be a tough one for them for several reasons. The loss of Hjalmarsson and Montador couldn’t help an already a shaky defense. I will add though that young Sami Lepisto and Dylan Olsen held their own. Olsen was just called up from Rockford and didn't even have a chance to practice with the team.
The other reason the Hawks would be going against their old friend now enemy Antti Niemi who always brings out his best against his former team.
The San Jose Sharks have a very solid power play. I knew in order for the Hawks to be successful they needed to stay out of the penalty box and of course they could not do this. In fact we were only 1:58 minutes into the game when the Sharks went on a 4minute back to back minor power play when Frolik committed high sticking call of course the Sharks’ Braun scored on what appeared was poor positioning by Hossa leaving the point too open.
Then it was a repeat when the Sharks’ Boyle scored again on a power play 2-0 Sharks. Again Hossa’s positioning could have been a little better. He is giving up to much space and time to the opponents. This penalty was after the may lay at the benches between the two captains and Duncan Keith stepped in to help his captain who it seems is being targeted lately. The first period was all Sharks. The Hawks had their chances with power plays of their own but of course could not convert which is why this game was lost. It was the special teams both the Penalty Kill and the Power Play.
The second period saw two goals by Marcus Kruger because he was positioned in front of the net where usually only good things happen. The first goal came off a rebound on Leddy blast from the point and the second from a Seabrook blast from the point which had Niemi giving up rebounds that Kruger was able to capitalize on. 2-2 tie. Unfortunately the puck took a bad bounce over Keiths stick which, lead to the Sharks 3rd goal by Joe Thornton 3-2 Sharks. Stalberg made a poor pass to Keith. Even though the period ended with the Sharks ahead I think this was the best period I have seen the Hawks play in a while and can build off of this period.
The third period was all Sharks again. It started with a nice goal by Bickell which was beautifully set up by Bolland behind the Sharks net. Ferriero scored an even strength goal to put the Sharks ahead 4-3 which as it turns out is all they needed. The Hawks could not stay out of the box and again their PK let them down when Shaw took a needless penalty and McGinn scored on the power play. Three out of the five Shark goals were on the power play which was the story in this one. Nine Hawks penalties for 26 minutes is way too much. The Hawks had three opportunities on the power play but could not cash in.
- The Hawks need to continue to work on their special teams which, aren’t so special in fact they are not even average. The team has got to dig in this area because both the pp and pk are costing them games.
- I’m no goalie but Crawford’s lateral movement needs some work or Crawford needs to stay in his crease and not give up so much area with coming out so much. It seems he has too much space to make up and can’t get there. I think he is trying to help the defensemen out but in the process is giving up to much space.
- Everyone needs to watch their spacing and positioning. This is the NHL and these players are too good to give time and space to because if you do they will make you pay. All it takes is one mistake and it seems the Hawks can’t recover.
- When your PK is struggling stay out of the box especially against teams with good power plays.
Call me crazy, but I think the Hawks are getting closer to breaking out of this funk. They are fine five on five they just need to work on their special teams and they will be all right. This team is too talented to not snap out of this. I know they know how to win hell the core won a Stanley Cup. Luckily they won’t have to have the bad taste of this one for very long as they have a quick turnaround with the Coyotes.
Three stars of the game – 3) McGinn 2) Burns 1) Braun
Hawks play again tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes which can be caught on WGN or WGN Radio 720. Start time is at 7:30 pm CT
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