My apologies, this should have been up yesterday but I’ve been having trouble with my wireless the past week or so. Anyways I’ll keep it brief, I know this is very late and I’m sure everyone is extremely busy around this time of year. Its hard to believe Christmas is just a few days away.
Anyways let’s get to it.
The Hawks really dominated the Flames from start to finish on Sunday. It was another complete effort. The Hawks opened the scoring with a dominant shift from the fourth line and a great feed from Jamal Mayers to Steve Montador who blasted a shot past Kiprusoff for his 5th of the season. Whipping boy Niklas Hjalmarsson had his first of the season. The Hawks closed out the Flames with a couple of very nice powerplay goals from Kane (who broke a small scoring slump) and Hossa.
I was a bit disappointed to see the Hawks give up a couple of late powerplay goals after their penalty kill had been so good the previous few games but overall I was really impressed with this game and I’m very impressed with how the Hawks are trending. Scoring is starting to come from everywhere and that helps build team confidence.
I’ve definitely been in the “glass half empty” category of Hawks fans when it comes to their inconsistency and defensive struggles. But I will give credit where credit is due: the Hawks are rolling right now and are playing the kind of hockey they’re capable of playing. Let’s hope they keep doing it because its fun to watch and its sure fun to win.
Some quick thoughts:
– Congratulations to Joel Quenneville on getting his 600th win. Q is just the 10th coach to get to 600 and he’s the second fastest coach to do so, doing it in 1,114 games, just behind the legendary Scotty Bowman, who did it in 1,002.
– Niklas Hjalmarsson had another great game. Efforts like this will go a long way in repairing a very strained relationship with the Hawks’ fanbase. He’s tied for the league-lead in blocked shots with 89. Keep it up Nik.
– Rene Bourque’s hit on Brent Seabrook was flat out dirty and is the kind of crap that can cause serious injury. I’m sure you all know by now that Bourque was suspended 2 games for the hit. I think he got off a bit easy. Personally I thought 3-4 games would have been more appropriate, but 2 games will suffice.
– Jeremy Morin played alright. Personally I thought he looked a little bit slow out there, but made some nice plays and finished his checks, which the Hawks could definitely use. I don’t exactly know what the Hawks plans are for Morin. Its likely they are showcasing him as a trade piece.
– The Hawks are now 7-0-1 in December and recently topped ESPN’s weekly power rankings. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.
I’ll be back later tonight with some thoughts and comments. Merry Christmas and enjoy the game tonight.