Nine Hawk-Thoughts From Game OneShareThis
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So far at their great site, I’ve written about how the lopsided shot chart had helped Montreal win, how the Bruins pain isn’t exactly going to heal, and about how the Flyers dominating win hints at a not-so-shitty Stanley Cup final.
The majority of my topic-specific posts will be up over there for the next week, and I’ll be using Bourne’s Blog for my usual scattering of random thoughts and links. More links than usual probably – in fact, here’s my column for USA Today, on the Bolland/Versteeg switcheroo. Let’s talk puck.
I gave the Sharks/Blackhawks game a good watching, and here’s what I jotted down in my phone along the way:
1) Patick Kane and Duncan Keith are just so dynamic. They have an explosive sneakiness to their game you don’t see very often (especially on the same team), and I’m starting to think that the day they had the press conference announcing extensions for Keith, Kane and Toews might have been more valuable than I originally estimated.
Everyone (including me) rails about the difficulty they’ll have with cap issues coming up, but they’ll have those three guys and Hossa for a lot of years to come. Quality parts like Burrish and Bolland are always interchangeable.
2) Kane doesn’t get hit very often, because not only is he crazy talented, he’s freaking smart. He’s one of those kids that’s a c***bag because he’s been better than you at everything since he was a fetus, and he knows it. And most people hate him for it. Well, my respect for his game is growing.
3) One thing with Kanes game I don’t like - he doesn’t stop on the puck enough. Just cruises around waiting for a chance. I’m in no position to judge…. I mean, Hi kettle, I’m pot… you’re BLACK. But it’s still the truth.
4) Hossa kind of has a bad rap, probably from switching teams to try to win a Cup, but think about the guy: A), he had other long-term offers that year, but turned them down to try to win a Cup. Sure, he was wrong, but his motives are better than a lot of players. B) He’s not a floater. So he gets all those points, but he kills PK’s (and scores shorties), plays defense, is strong on pucks, and has a good +/-. So yeah…. booooo what a loser.
5) In keeping with the Chi-town praise thing, they rolled their lines, and gave ice time to the guys that help in other ways (Eager, Bolland, Burrish etc.). A fastball is effective, but it’s sure harder to deal with when you mix in the odd curveball.
6) It’s not, technically, but…. I feel like the chin part of Niemi’s mask is a little… fuschia-ey. It just doesn’t seem like a true, solid red. Am I crazy?
7) Crap, a non-Hawk thought: of all the things guys say on the ice in a game, they can’t ever run a decent full sentence or two from a guy who’s mic’d up? They had Clowe (I think) rigged up in this game, and all you could hear were half grunts and mutters. Okay we get it, they swear…. get the complicated bleep machine out and lets hear the rest of those apparently-tainted sentences.
8} Byfuglien’s game winner (god I hate spelling his name) was the simple case of two guys caught between duties, with a lil extra blame for Blake. Heatley is heading to the goal line/wall for a low rim they’ve clearly called, so he’s not in Byfuglien’s kitchen, and Blake is protecting the net front. Unfortunately, the winger is his guy, so when they don’t have the puck, his gap has gotta be tight. Granted, Byfuglien scoring from there is like Shaq hitting a three, so I wouldn’t exactly being d’ing up too tight either.
9) Bolland’s not going to the box when he was the guy who got the penalty was intentional. Whenever the linesman isn’t sure who’s supposed to go, coaches constantly try to send a guy who doesn’t kill penalties as much. But still, it was incredible that it went unnoticed at that point in the game, and then Bolland clears the zone and redirects a shot off the net with a half-block. For more on that, again, here’s today’s USA Today column.
Okay! Busy times here for me, churning out columns like it’s my…. crap.
Have a great Monday.