Why Bother? Hawks 0, Hurricanes 3
Well, that was terrible.
There's not much to say other than that. The game itself was lackluster, the Hawks got marginally outplayed by the Canes, but Carolina didn't really impress me. The main difference in the game was that Chicago couldn't bother Cam Ward, most of the shots he saw were unobstructed and Carolina controlled most of the rebounds.
I'd also have to question Quenneville here. Per usual, since the Hawks were losing after two periods, Coach Q completely switched up his lines. To some extent that's fine, but the Toews/Brunette/Sharp line had actually been playing well to that point, and Quenneville only succeeded in breaking up his most effective line.
Penalty Kill - The only thing that really worked for the Hawks tonight, they killed off 5 penalties, including a high-sticking double minor while giving up no goals.
Corey Crawford - 3 goals on 30 shots, the line doesn't look impressive, but doesn't tell the whole story. Crawford kept the Hawks in the game for far longer than they deserved, stopping Eric Staal on a breakaway and then an ensuing penalty shot, and making several other nice saves in traffic. It wasn't until Brendan Sutter ended up with his own breakaway in the 3rd period that Carolina was able to put a second puck past Crawford and give themselves some breathing room.
Power Play - Not all special teams are special. The Hawks power play remains the most frustrating thing about them. How can a first unit of Kane/Sharp/Keith/Toews/Hossa look so goddamn tentative? Q did try switching things up a bit with Hossa taking some time on the point instead of Sharp, but maybe its time to just try leaving the first two lines together as power play units instead of trying to build one giant SUPERVOLTRONHAPPYFUNTIME power play unit of doom. Oh, and the Hawks also surrendered a breakaway to Erik Staal which resulted in the Canes getting a penalty shot while short handed, and later lost track of Brendan Sutter coming out of the box, leading to him scoring Carolina's second goal on a breakaway.
What could be uglier than tonight's game? How about the Hawks coming home to play against the bowling shoe ugly Blue Jackets? Hopefully this loss will wake up Chicago and they'll proceed with a beatdown of Columbus.