Cures What Ails You: Hawks 3, Flames 1
Looked like a dangerous game for the Hawks tonight. Calgary came in on a five game losing streak and just got their asses kicked by San Jose, 9-1. Meanwhile, the Hawks are struggling after losing...one game in a row. Still, I guess we were supposed to be worried about Calgary, because the Flames would be in a bad mood plus they'd want revenge for the last several ass-kickings the Hawks had handed them. Well, Chicago did what they've been doing to the Flames for the last 2 years, they beat Calgary and they rendered Jerome Iginla invisible while doing it. The only variance from the usual script was that Mikka Kiprusoff came to play this time, and he was able to keep Calgary in the game.
Patrick Kane: Kane had some extra jump tonight, and gave the Calgary defense fits. Kaner got behind the defense for a couple of breakaways in the first period (one resulting in a penalty shot) and eventually scored the Hawks first goal on a power play in the first period.
John Madden: No points for Madden tonight, but he if Kiprussoff wasn't at his best, John might have had a hat trick.
Four Lines: Joel Quenneville was determined to roll all four lines tonight, and his rotation paid off. The Hawks fourth liners turned in another excellent effort tonight, and Ben Eager ended up with the game winning goal off of it. Overall, the Hawks spent most of the game taking it to the Flames, and were much more physical tonight than the past few games.
Mikka Kiprusoff: The Hawks have owned him the last two seasons, but tonight Kiprusoff looked like he might single-handedly beat them. The Hawks had several excellent chances and Kiprusoff answered them with highlight reel saves. As loyal reader Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler adroitly observed when the Calgary pulled their goalie with a minute left: "Flames best player is off the ice".
Turnovers: The Hawks were better tonight than the last several games, but there was a stretch in the second period when they couldn't get out of their own way. There's nothing worse than watching a defensemen turn back towards his own net and then throw a blind pass towards his blue line. Gotta cut that crap out.
Cam Barker: Maybe Barker's game is suffering from the long layoffs he's had, or maybe he's not fully healed, but he just wasn't good tonight. The situation may be a bit of a Catch-22: Barker probably needs more playing time to get back in the groove, but the Hawks aren't in a position to justify giving him more playing time to do it.
The Tooth Fairy? Who the hell thought that up? That movie is the worst idea since the electric washcloth.