I think we can all agree that Saturday’s game against Detroit was extremely disappointing. The Hawks looked to take a step forward and took two steps back in the process. The effort was lackluster, the fans were left disappointed, and to make it worse, they gave Detroit hope. After game one, I went over what the Hawks needed to improve upon, and they seemed to flat out miss on all points in game two. So let’s add a few more to the list.
5) The Killer instinct wasn’t there in game two. The Wings have had some bad third periods throughout the season, during the Ducks series, and even in game one against the Hawks. And yet, the Hawks did not ramp up their game in the third. Being down by one goal going into the third is not unfamiliar to the Hawks, and we didn’t see Chicago’s calm yet pressured approach. Instead we saw…
4) More Undisciplined Penalties. Unsurprisingly, if you want to get back into a game, the best way is to have possession of the puck, not by being shorthanded. I don’t care if some of the penalties were extremely soft, you can’t give the refs a reason to call anything. Bolland’s roughing penalty was useless and a detriment to a possible comeback. The PK is mind bogglingly good, but the extra and unneeded fatigue can add up and will start to wear down the players that will be needed most. And I’m sure the Hawks wouldn’t mind blocking a few less shots.
3) The other end of the special teams spectrum is the power play. I know I just complained about it, but the Hawks are too good not to be producing. This game could look completely different if our superstars could just connect on a couple of passes and shoot… I know I’m over simplifying it, but maybe they need to study Pittsburgh’s power play a bit.
2) Cheating up in our own zone was a major factor in game two. Multiple times the Hawks just stood at the boards and waited for the puck to come to them instead of taking two steps to meet the puck. On numerous occasions, Wings players just skated in front of a Hawk and intercepted the pass. After it happened about 12 times, you would think the Hawks would do something different, but no. The Hawks just were not getting it done in their own zone, which translates to a whole lot of missed opportunities in the Wing’s zone.
1) Player management is going to be key in the effort to right the ship. Carcillo and Mayers were fighting before game one. Stalberg and Q are having a dispute that no one wants to talk about. What is going on in the locker room? I have full faith in Toews as a leader, and I have some faith in Q, but those two can’t control everything. Q needs to drop the Carcillo experiment and bring back Stalberg’s wheels. The Cup is on the line, and that should be the only thing that matters. When we won the cup, Kopecky was sat until the Philly series, and when he came back, he made his presence felt. Hopefully everyone can take a step back with this loss and realize what’s at stake.
I admit that some of this is rehash from my last article, but it remains relevant and a sore spot in the Hawks’ game. Was there something I didn’t touch upon? What do you think the Hawks need to do to win game three?