Hail To The Viktor: Hawks 4, Brolumbus 1
There's been a lot of bitching this season about the Hawks scoring depth. The common refrain is that when the Hawks top six have an off night, there's nobody to pick up the scoring slack which is a HUGE problem. Except that when I look around the league, there's not a lot of teams who can roll out three consistent scoring lines. Hell, there aren't many who can put out 2 lines that score as consistently as the Hawks top six.
What am I saying? Don't fucking panic about scoring. Despite being "top heavy" the Hawks are still in the top 3 in goals scored. And don't look now, but Viktor Stalberg seems to have found some chemistry with Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland. If Bolland and Stalberg can provide some firepower for the third line while Bickell keeps doing the dirty work like he has been the last few games, then the Hawks are going to be hell to deal with come April.
And that's when it really matters.
Viktor Stalberg - Whether Stals is coming into his own, or just on a hot streak before going back to normal, his new found scoring touch and confidence are welcome. Stalberg got two goals tonight and he, Dave Bolland and Bryan Bickell are starting to look like legitimate third line.
Marian Hossa - Hoss feathered a sweet little pass to Patrick Sharp to open the scoring for the Hawks, then drove the stake through Columbus' heart with a PP tally in the third.
James Wisneiwski - Sorry, just throwing this out there on the off chance that Chris Block might be reading.
Toews/Kane/Brunette - this line just looked out of synch all night. Patrick Kane in particular seemed to be having problems settling the puck down and he and his mates didn't generated much in the way of offense all night.
The Third Period - while the shot imbalance in the first period was somewhat misleading, the third period was a different story. The Blue Jackets came out flying and dictated the play, scoring a goal and getting all sorts of chances until Chicago finally managed to draw a penalty late in the period and ice the game with a power play goal.
The Blue Jackets - Seriously, this is just a horse-shit team. How nobody from the coaching staff or front office has been fired yet is beyond me.
The power play. Until they broke through in the 3rd period, this thing was terrible. I don't think it was a coincidence that they finally broke through when Joel Quenneville re-arranged his second unit to get Steve Montador on the point and Dave Bolland down low where they can use their booming shot and play making abilities respectively. It's a Christmas Miracle!
MOST INSANE QUESTION OF NIGHT
Pat Foley while winding down the third period decided to ponder the mysteries of the universe, and the number one thing on his mind was if Rick Nash might possibly be willing to waive his no-trade clause to get out of Columbus. Let's see, this is Nash's 9th year in the league, he's been to the playoffs once while playing in a half empty building in a city that doesn't care about hockey but doesn't even have the bonus of good weather.
Yeah, why would he wan to leave all that?
Up Next - The LA Kings come to town on Wednesday.