Hello everyone. First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Cody Pugh and I’ll be the new lead writer here at BlackhawkUp. I’m a passionate and opinionated Hawks fan and a university student with way too much time on his hands (I’m just that smart) so I expect I’ll be posting quite a bit, so make sure you check in everyday, two or three times a day. Seriously.
As I said I’m a pretty opinionated guy, so I’m sure that some of you will disagree with what I say in my posts. But just remember that no matter what: I’m right and you’re wrong.
Just kidding. Actually I really encourage discussion and debate and I welcome criticism, so if any of you disagree with me, please don’t be afraid to comment and tell me how stupid and wrong I really am. It makes things interesting.
Just to give you a heads up on what I plan to cover here in my tenure at Blackhawk Up. I’m not a big fan of game previews (you can get everywhere else) so I won’t be doing those but I will give you guys thoughts and comments after every game. Also I will be posting “Hawk Thoughts” (lame I know) in which I will discuss my thoughts about the state of the team, certain players etc. Finally, I’ll occasionally give updates on what’s going on around the league, Hawk prospects, trade rumors etc. So there will lots of good stuff coming so make sure you check in everyday, two or three times a day. Did I mention that already?
A few quick thoughts about last night’s game.
Last night was one of those losses that really stings because the Hawks did so much right: they were good defensively (certainly better than what we saw last weekened. I still don’t know what that was), goaltending was good, offensive opportunities were there, Hawks dominated play most of the game. So so how do we explain the loss?
It’s simple. The Hawks ran into a goaltender they couldn’t solve, which really shouldn’t be surprising. Niemi has had their number ever since he joined the Sharks. This quickly got them frustrated and took away from their ability to sustain any kind of attack, particularly late in the game.
This is where the Hawks are guilty. How do you solve a goaltender that is clearly in the zone? You throw pucks at him and crash the net hard. You bump him, you you rattle him, you throw him off his game. The Hawks didn’t do much of that, especially in the third period when they really needed to. Instead, they settled for perimeter shots. You won’t beat a goalie like Niemi that way. The Hawks should know this better than anyone.
You can’t control how a goalie is going to play in a game, but you can control how you respond to him. And the Hawks didn’t respond well. The Hawks haven’t faced many hot goalies so far this season. Let’s hope the next time they do, they respond better.
Some quick bullets:
- Duncan Keith had a nice rebound game after two disastrous outings last weekend
- Jonathan Toews was really fighting it last night. You can tell that he’s not happy with his and his team’s recent performances
- Marian Hossa was his usual self (aka an absolute beast)
- Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik looked sharp, generated some chances and did a nice job of shutting down Jumbo Joe. I hope Quenneville keeps them together for another game or two to see if they can get that chemistry back
- Nick Leddy may just be the Hawks most consistent defenseman this year
- Marcus Kruger continues to impress me. His craftiness with the puck is amazing. I’d like to see him get more minutes
- The Sharks have really, really nice jerseys
While we can say last was a better effort than the games against Calgary and Edmonton (and it certainly was) it was a loss and that’s now three in a row. The Hawks record finally reflects, more accurately, where this team is at. They are a team that has yet to really come to together and play to their maximum potential. Its a good thing that they racked up all those points when they could because the rest of the West is catching up. San Jose, Detroit and LA have all found their groove. Lets hope the Hawks do too soon.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with my first “Hawk Thought”.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!