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.