HOCKEE NIGHT

The Malört of Hockey Blogs

Truculence?: Hawks 3, Leafs 2

The Toronto Maple Leafs are bad.  No doubt about it.  They’ve got two very good players, and one of them the Hawks didn’t have to face tonight, as Vesa Toskala started in goal instead of Jonas Gustavsson.  The other, Phil Kessel, made the game a lot more interesting than it had any right to be.  I will say one aspect of the Leafs surprised me.  Their GM Brian Burke made a big show of how his team would be much more “truculent” this season, loaded up with tough guys, grinders, maybe some goons.  Well, for all that talk, the Leafs didn’t look like a particularly tough team.  The Hawks had no fear of them in corners, went to the front of the net with impunity, and I think the hardest body check Toronto threw was Alexei Ponikarovsky’s hit on Cristobal Huet. 

THE GOOD

Cristobal Huet:  Huet earns a good for standing tall in the 3rd period, but he also made the key stop of the game in the first period.  With the Hawks leading 2-0, the Leafs had a golden opportunity to cut the lead in half, but Huet turned back Niklas Hagman on two stuff attempts to hold the 2 goal lead.  In the end, that meant a regulation win.

Troy Brouwer:  Scored a goal on the power play?  Check.  Leveled Luke Schenn with a body check?  Check.  Pummeled Schenn in the ensuing fight?  Check.  Good night for Brouwer.

Patrick Kane:  When Marian Hossa is finally cleared to play, and Kane’s got a world class finisher on his line, hell is coming to breakfast.  NHL, you are on notice.  Kane damn near had a hat trick tonight.  Watching him play is a joy.

THE BAD

The Third Period:  The Hawks seemed to let up in the third period, and Phil Kessel almost made them pay for it.  Luckily, Cristobal Huet was the one guy who didn’t let up.  I forget, are we still running him out of town on a rail?

Luke Schenn:  Don’t get me wrong, I think Schenn’s going to be a good player for a long time in this league, but tonight wasn’t one of those games he’ll be telling his kids about.  Patrick Kane picked Schenn’s pocket in the 1st period to score the Hawks first goal and after Luke took exception to a hard check from Troy Brouwer, Brouwer obliged him by giving the kid a solid beating.

THE UGLY

Tomas Kopecky’s jersey:  I don’t like Kopecky on the VERSTEEG!/Kane line, but I for some reason I also hate the way he wears his jersey.  The “all tucked in” look just doesn’t work for the Hawks’ sweater.

Up next, Jeremy Roenick Heritage Night on Sunday for a game against the San Jose Sharks.

Updated: October 31, 2014 — 12:19 pm
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