Not a whole lot to say about this one. It wasn’t the most exciting game to watch and there was the feeling that it was just a matter of time until the Hawks blew by the Canadiens, even after their powerplay goal. They owned the puck all night and dominated in almost every area.
In the end it was one of those games where the Hawks didn’t have to exert a whole lot of effort to win. That’s not to say the Hawks didn’t work hard, they certainly did but this was one of those games where the Hawks’ superior talent and depth really allowed them to prevail. And sometimes that’s ok. Its spares everyone the exhaustion.
A win over the Canadiens doesn’t mean much these days, but at least the Hawks did it in convincing fashion. They’ll certainly take it going into the Christmas break and I think we all will to.
Some quick thoughts:
– Going into the Christmas Break the Hawks lead the Western Conference and the league with a 22-9-4 record for 48 points. Granted, most teams have games in hand but its a good feeling to have. Consider it an early Christmas present.
– In his first game back since December 5th, Corey Crawford looked stellar and made some really, really good saves. He didn’t show any rust, his positioning was excellent and if it wasn’t for a the lone powerplay that he can’t really be faulted with, he could have had his first shutout. However I don’t want to get too excited. One of Crawford’s problems before his little break was inconsistency: one game he was terrific, the next he was horrific. We’d better wait until he has 3-4 more starts before we start making claims about whether or not Crawford has regained his form from last year. At this point, he had a great game. That is all.
– Viktor Stalberg once again used his Viking blood to throw together a monstrous game in which he was all over the puck, generated a number of quality chances and put the game away in the third period with his 7th of the season. I’ve always marvelled at Stalberg’s speed, but he’s finally starting to show some skill and finish to compliment it. Earlier in the season I was of the mindset that the Hawks should trade Stalberg to bring in someone more reliable, however over the last few weeks, especially the last two games, he’s made me rethink that idea.
– I would really like to see the time of possession for the Hawks at even-strength. My guess is those numbers would have been outrageous.
– Brandon Pirri had an excellent game. He’s a player that has developed very well and could probably be a very marketable trade piece this season, as the Hawks probably already have their future second line center in Marcus Kruger. Jeremy Morin played well. While his skating still has a ways to go, no one can question his skill and work ethic. He played noticably hard in both games. Both Pirri and Morin were reassigned to Rockford today, which likely means that both Kruger and Carcillo will be ready after the break.
– I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here because I think it is a shame to see such a historic and respected franchise like the Canadiens in the condition they’re in.Their nucleus, if you can call it that, is full of old, underacheiving and vastly overpaid players and their supporting cast isn’t nearly good enough to make up for it and their defense is like Frankenstines monster: a hideous creature made up of various parts that barely functions. The Hab’s management needs to face a very gruesome reality: their team sucks and its time to start over from scratch. They have some really good young players that they can build around (Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Kostitsyn, Plekanec) but they have some very tough years ahead.
– The video of the Hawks’ Christmas album is absolutely hilarious.
The Hawks don’t play again until Boxing Day. In the meantime, I’ll be covering a number of different topics, particularly the World Junior Championships, as well as some league news. Thanks for reading and have a great and safe Christmas everyone!