Whither Dave Morris?: Hawks 2, Senators 1
The Hawk played in Ottawa tonight, and won. That's your introduction - let's get to it.
A win - the calendar says March, which means that every win is good, I don't care what it looks like. The Blackhawks could have won on an overtime goal that ricocheted into the net off Alexander Daigle's nutsack - all that matters is they came away with two points. They're now in the sixth playoff spot, 4 points ahead of San Jose (although they've played 3 more games)
Brandon Bollig - you know what I liked about Bollig? He's not John Scott. He played just over 5 minutes as the left wing on the 4th line and managed to look like an actual hockey player. He's going to fight if he needs to, but not do anything stupid in the interim and he's not going to take up a valuable spot on defense leaving the other 5 guys (who am I kidding, Seabrook and Keith) to pick up the extra minutes. Yeah, Frolik is a better player, but if Q's going to insist on dressing an enforcer, at least it's a guy with passable skills.
Andrew Brunette - Bruno had 4 shots on goal and got robbed by Sean Leonard on nearly every damn one. I like what he's doing out there.
Ray Emery - For the second game in a row, Emery bailed his team out in the third period. I'm not sure how long they can count on this, but I'll take whatever I can get.
The Third Period - In each of the last two games, the Hawks have taken a lead into the third period and gone into a shell. They've laid back, let the opponent take control and been content to corral rebounds, skate them out to center ice, dump the puck and change. For a team whose defense has been suspect the entire season, this strikes me as a terribly risky strategy. The 2011-12 Blackhawks are an offensive team, and I'd rather see them taking advantage of an opponent pinching their defense by trying to pad their lead than having them try to kill the clock with some four corners stuff. Because it really isn't working. Plenty of shots are getting through, and Ray Emery is a major reason they hung onto the leads in the last two games.
The injury list - Cripes, Toews, Hjlamarsson and Montador all basically out indefinitely. This is scary stuff.
Also, I am watching Air Force One while writing this up. I had forgotten that Gary Oldman, Glen Close, William H. Macy and Dean Stockwell were all in this. How the hell did so many good actors end up in a mediocre Harrison Ford action flick?
Up Next - SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! Hawks vs. Red Wings. Bring it.