Wear F***in' White & Come When We Call - Hawks 5, Leafs 4
This one is going to have to be short and sour given the Hockeenight's staff's apparent penchant for
week long heroin binges being busy with work and family. The Blackhawks and Leafs came into tonight's game as the two worst teams in the league since the month of February began. At least I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere tonight. With both fan bases expecting the worst - that's exactly what they got.
This game was dreadful from the word go. There was no structure, no goaltending and no real plan by either team except to see who could fill up their collective hockey shorts with less shit. Sure enough the Leafs had a metric unit's shit more than the Hawks as the Men in White (a rare night for the home whites) came away with a one goal win.
- Hossa and Kane showed up, finally. It was nice to see parts of the much maligned core step up and get some points on the board. Given the opposition I'll curb my enthusiasm until I see it over a stretch of games. A good example would be the tough ones coming up.
- Bryan Bickell hit Dion Phaneuf hard in another moment where everyone wondered why Bickell doesn't do things like that more often. Brandon Bollig had a scrap in his first game as a Hawk. Andrew Shaw tried to decapitate Jonas Gustavsson. There was some physicality to the Hawks game tonight. It was enjoyable at times.
- Ray Emery was great in relief of the shaky, bereft of confidence, bad, not good, needs a rest, whatever you want to call him Corey Crawford. I am one of Razor's bigger critics but tonight he entered at the start of the second period and gave the Hawks what they needed: someone who could stop a puck.
- New acquisition Johnny Oduya, despite rebounding to end the night at even, was on the ice for Toronto's first three goals with his new and now not partner Brent Seabrook. Nice start, kid. Fans'll love ya.
- Nick Leddy and Viktor Stalberg both were victims of big hits and were a little banged up. Early reports from the always happy to oblige Joel Quenneville were that they're both "fine". Promising stuff.
- Again, the first period showed the Blackhawks are just a clueless team with no real idea of what they're trying to do. They still think they're that puck possession team from two years ago and they aren't. They won't play smart unless they're forced to. Perhaps going down early was the best medicine for them - or maybe Emery just saved their asses. I don't know but either way this game was nothing to celebrate.
- If you guys think the Hawks have it rough these days, you're not wrong. But try being a Leafs fan. No playoffs since the lockout and no hope in sight. They're probably going to fire Ron Wilson at some point here soon and since they refuse to flat out rebuild, they're always finishing in that dreaded 9-10 spot in the East. As much as the rest of Canada and me as a 12 year old would kill me for saying it: the NHL is a better league when the Toronto Maple Leafs are good. So figure it out, please.
Next up, the Blackhawks will take on the Ottawa Senators and I hear Ottawa finally got an IKEA so there's that. Ray Emery will most likely get the start. Good night and go Hawks.