Get The Hell Out of Dodge: Hawks 3, BJs 2 (referee's discretion)
Last year, Columbus was a gimmee. You know, you hit a great shot onto the green and it lands withing a few inches of the hole and you just pick that right up, no problem. This year, the Blue Jackets look more like a 4 foot putt. If you concentrate, you should make it every time, but if you take your eye off cup or don't remember to check the break, you just might rim that sucker out (||).
Anyway, thank you for indulging my tortured golf metaphor and on to the hockey portion of our recap. The Hawks went into Columbus 4-0 and left 5-0. But unlike last year, the BJs didn't make it easy for Chicago. I was impressed with their toughness and the fact that they didn't simply fold up when they got a bad break. And it's pretty clear they don't miss the leadership and half-assery of their ex-captain Rick Nash. The Blue Jackets may not be real good, but they got guts. While that doesn't sound like much, it's an improvement over last year if they can sustain it.
As to the aforementioned bad break, well it was just one of those things. After playing a shit first period, the Hawks came out better in the second and found themselves up 2-1 midway through the game. Then Jamal Mayers got himself 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Blue Jackets seemed to tie the game on the ensuing power play. But for some reason referee Dan O'Rourke waived off the goal and Chicago was able to hang on for a 3-2 regulation win. I'm still not sure what O'Rourke's call was - Eddie Olczyk speculated that O'Rourke thought Corey Crawford may have been impeded in his crease, but whatever the phantom call was, the Hawks will take it.
Patrick Kane: Another 2 assists for Kaner - he completely manufactured a goal for Dave Bolland by winning the puck in the neutral zone, burning through the Columbus defense and forcing Steve Mason to make a terrific save, allowing Bolland to swoop in and clean up the rebound which was laying there for the taking.
Bryan Bickell: Bickell scored the Hawks second goal, but the reason he gets the good is the manner in which he scored it. Instead of fluttering a 30 foot wrister past Mason, Bicks won a board battle, then got his big ass to the front of the net and tipped in a Niklas Hjalmarsson slap shot to get his first of the season.
Corey Crawford: Crow made the saves when the Hawks needed him too. No particular save stands out to me, but I can't discount a .923 save percentage and 1.99 GAA. I will say the Hawks seem to have made rebound control a priority this year, as when Crawford coughs one up, one of his guys is almost always there to clear it for him.
Dave Bolland: Yes, he scored, but Bolland took two bone-headed penalties I've seen in a while. The first came in with the Hawks trailing 1-0 in the opening period. Bolland had just drawn a boarding call on Jack Johnson which would have given the Hawks a power play and a chance to tie, but Bolland went over to Johnson after the play was over and slashed him, ending up in the box himself. The second incident came with the Hawks leading 3-1 in the third period. Bolland earned himself a holding the stick penalty, which was fine, but then shot his mouth off to the ref and got another 2 minutes tacked on for unsportsmanlike conduct. This CANNOT happen. Luckily the BJs managed to commit 2 penalties of their own shortly afterward, but still: THIS CANNOT HAPPEN.
Jared Boll: Jared Boll sucks sweat off a dead man's balls.
Sheldon Brookbank: I'm not sure if Quenneville decided to play Brookbank because of the back to back game situation or just because Michal Rozsival was less than great against Dallas. But Brookbank was on the ice for less than 11 minutes and still managed a minus 1. Q, if you don't trust the guy, don't dress him.
Comcast: For some reason, Comcast was unable to display a power play clock during the game. Luckily somebody let Pat Foley know and he tried his best to remember to update the viewers on the PP time during the game, but of course in the third period the teams managed to manufacture a situation wherein Dave Bolland received a double minor followed shortly by two Blue Jackets taking penalties in short order. Which meant nobody had any idea when the various players would be coming back onto the ice.
Jared Boll vs. Jamal Mayers - Mayers objected to what he felt was a dirty hit by Boll on Marcus Kruger. So he dropped the gloves, grabbed Boll, then slipped on his own glove and got his ego bruised because Boll knocked him down. Which meant Mayers had to go looking for Boll later on so they could not fight then too.
Up Next: Hawks. Red Wings. Tomorrow. Be there.