President Cup Champs 6, Hawks 2

Sometimes the b'ar eats you.

For the first time this season, the Hawks lost at home in regulation, falling 6-2 to the heretofore struggling Vancouver Canucks. The worst thing about the game was the listless third period. Some games, you’re just gonna get beat pretty good, but at least, when it happens, at home, how about givin’ ‘em something to remember?

It was a generally poor performance. And, other than singling out Dave Bolland, who may be getting caught up in the cult following he has sparked, rather than remembering what generated the cult following in the first place, I will leave the vivisectioning of last night’s performance to the ample blogospheric crew that relishes such a task.

I will mention that getting curb-stomped by the Canucks, right in the ole United Center, is not a novel experience. I distinctly recall at least four similar games over the past three years. It happens, especially with a good team like Vancouver, and especially especially when you play them as often as the Hawks have (31 times the past three seasons, including playoffs.) The sky is emphatically not falling.

It was pretty amazing to see what was among the top penalty kills in the NHL get scorched on 5 of 6 opportunities. And while the refereeing was, I thought, questionable at times, it had zero impact on the outcome of the game.

Finally, through 11 games, the Hawks had allowed 28.5 shots and 2.45 goals per game. The past three games, they have allowed 37.7 shots and 4 goals a game. Something’s missing, but I just can’t put my finger on it.

I jest. Of course, I’m talking about Duncan Keith, a hockey player who has endured a lot of heat over the past season. Prior to the past three games, Keith missed one game in 2005-06 and five games in 2008-09. And that’s it. I have long contended that his critics might benefit from seeing what this team looks like with Keith out of the line-up. As far as I’m concerned, call the experiment off. Anyone who doesn’t get it at this point never will.

Tags: Dave Bolland Duncan Keith

  • cliffkoroll

    So this is what it’s come to- commenting on your own post. So sad. Anyway, interesting take Brian. I’ve noticed a lot of “hair on fire” undude reaction out there among HawkNation. Useful perspective here.

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      LMAO. I knew if I held out, you’d write a comment like this.

      Bah, you must have mailed it in – we want to see some heads rolling!

      But your email put it in good perspective. It really comes down to what one thought of the team prior to the season. After such a hot start, maybe we’re all expecting too much, especially w/o D2K in the lineup.

      • cliffkoroll

        @ChicagoNativeSon Yeah. After 14 games, the Hawks are “on track” for 111 points. Last year, I’m pretty sure there was no point in the season when they were sitting so pretty.

        All this “FIX IT NOW!” crap is silly. Keep chugging along, picking up points, don’t really care about playoff seeding so long as they get in without needing a year-end push.

        Stan is collecting data- apparently, the “missing top-6 guy” issue has been accompanied by the “missing top-4 defenseman” issue. I don’t think the Hawks can fill both, but it would be nice to fill one of these. I still think they should be looking for a forward, but, then again, defense wins championships, right?

        Mulling the Hawks today, the name “Dylan Olsen” popped into my head. You were the first to put me on to this guy, a long time ago, and I thought he was head and shoulders above the (admittedly crappy) other AHL d-men we saw in pre-season.

        If March rolls around and a lot of problems remain unfixed, I’ll start banging the “FIX THIS!” drum, but not before then.

        • DaleHalas

          Hawks don’t seem to have a left side defenseman capable of stepping up to the top 4 after an injury. Maybe Olsen might be that guy later in the year.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          @cliffkoroll I was thinking the same thing today. This team isn’t yet complete. LOTS of cap space for two solid additions. Remember, if they bring in two new players, they’re also gonna dump/trade two off the roster. So 3.8M in cap space is really already more than $5M. And then the whole per diem stuff.

          So the Hawks could actually go out and get a $3.5M player today and still have enough left to sign another one at the deadline (and yes I worked out the cap math on this).

          The biggest issue will be finding said player(s). Lots of bidders out there.

          Side note. Q seems to be shaking up the lineup, so maybe the happy medium on the “concern meter” is somewhere between you and me.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          @DaleHalas Yeah, I think it would take a serious injury to force them to add anther rookie to the defense.

        • DaleHalas

          So, I try to be supportive and look where it gets me.

        • cliffkoroll

          @ChicagoNativeSon@DaleHalas anther? another? either way, I don’t understand. Leddy =/= rookie.

        • cliffkoroll

          @ChicagoNativeSon “The biggest issue will be finding said players.” Ding ding ding. Shopping was so expensive last summer, the Hawks were right to sit it out, but it is a gamble. As the season shortens, I’d be prepared to “overpay” for one guy (either forward or, scarcer, quality d. you listenin’ Rusty?) rather than add multiple middling pieces, which is itself better than doing nothing. I mean, look what $2.75 million gets ya. I may be crazy, but I think in most phases of the game, Leddy is better than Montador today, so…

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          @DaleHalas I agreed! Olsen=injury replacement.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          @cliffkoroll@DaleHalas Leddy still hasn’t played a full season. You know what I meant smartass.

  • cliffkoroll

    And I meant what I said about Bolland, who has been particularly bad lately. I don’t think his new-found status as a “fan favorite” is doing him any favors, and I’d just as soon he stopped being quoted in the papers along the lines of “I got this” when it comes to the Sedins etc.