Just once this year, I'd like to see the Blues and Blackhawks play a full 60 minutes where they're both at their best. I think that'd be a truly great game. Tonight, the Blues were great for one period and then very 2007 for most of the next 40 minutes. Last Tuesday, the Hawks looked listless and tired and lame and got run. The previous meeting, that Sunday afternoon snoozefest, was a weak effort by both squads.
But I guess that's picking at nits, isn't it?
Bulletpoints for your consideration:
- The Blues get one point and now have 98, so there's that. Of course, with three points available and the Blues out playing the Hawks for only one-third of the game, that one point seems about right.
- It baffles me when the Blues decide to try to sit on a lead, especially when they decide to do that starting with about 38 minutes left in the game. If neither Hawks goalie saw the portion of the game they did not play and they were asked to write an essay about the team they just played, Corey Crawford would describe a disorganized, listless team while Ray Emery would describe an offensively overcharged superteam.
- This rivalry means a lot to both teams. Just watching how excited guys get when they score, even in the shootout (someone check Patrick Kane's pants - they may need a good hose-out) and how much trash talk is going on let's you know both sides want these wins.
- Who's dumber: Jamal Mayers for talking trash after he got motored on a clean hit, or Bradon Bollig who started a stupid fight after a clean hit?
- I don't want to talk about the Hawks much, but Patrick Sharp was everywhere and Marian Hossa was a ghost. Hawk fans can't be happy when Maid Marian disappears like that.
- I know it's a sign of a successful season and all, but I really hate these streak statistics. They become the focus of too much attention and as they fall it becomes a false reason for worry. Fifty-one consecutive power plays killed. Great, that's helpful, but it then becomes a stress point too as we all (and presumably the players) start to think too much about the numbers. Same goes for the "Blues wins when scoring three goals" streak. It's a sign of success, yes, but it becomes a thing onto itself. It points to a team playing well, but it doesn't mean anything when it's broken.
- The Hawks' power play has been struggling, but no team, regardless of how long their penalty kill streak is, can afford to give them six attempts to score with the man-add. The Hawks are a seriously thin roster, but the PP allows them to put their five good players out there all at the same time. Of course they're going to score if you keep giving them the power play.
- Defensive zone clearing was a glaring problem tonight. The Blues got away from the puck possession game they usually start in their own zone, making lots of short accurate passes as they build up speed. They did that well in the first period but got away from it after that, constantly trying to force pucks through players, ringing the puck around the boards and oftentimes chipping it high off the glass, turning it into an automatic icing.
- It's safe to say that either the Blues started overthinking the game or that the Hawks got into their heads. It looked to me like the Blues suddenly thought it was two years ago when the Hawks were dominant and the Note was struggling. Time to get over that shit.
- Ending on a positive note, Berglund's tip-in goal was beautiful, but it can't compare to the pretty one scored by Andy McDonald and set up perfectly by David Perron and Patrik Berglund:
Your turn: let's have it in the comments and be ready for overconfident Hawk fans to chip in their two cents.