Womp: Part Two.
This’ll be an easy recap. The Hawks need to win faceoffs or they won’t ever win a game ever again…
Seriously though, the Hawks’ real problem is their inability to match the intensity and crispness of Nashville. Chicago was finally able to start getting chances from the slot in the third period and had a slight advantage in possession – not entirely surprising for a team down 3-0. Chicago looks much slower in all facets of the game. In game one, Nashville played very defensive, but they used their speed and skill to dominate the first two periods of game two.
There were a few times in the second period where Chicago’s forward on the right wing would get into the offensive zone and immediately pass the puck to the third forward into the zone in the high slot. This seemed to open up the ice a bit. Look for more of this in game three.
Quenneville also looked to shake up his lines to get a little momentum going. Toews joined Kane and Panarin on the first line in the third period to some success. Hossa continues to look like the best player on the Hawks, and TVR and Oduya continue to do their worst impressions of professional hockey players. Finally, I’m glad Quenneville opted to sit Tootoo for this one, but I’m not sure what the point of it is if his replacement, Vinnie Hinostroza, is going to play less than 7 minutes.
If Chicago wants to score a goal before their season is over, they need to add some movement and creativity to their neutral zone play. Too many times tonight Chicago had one forward skating straight through the neutral zone with multiple players standing still. Their far side zone entry seemed to be their best option tonight. They look like they haven’t played a real game in weeks, which is more or less true. We’ll find out soon if they can get back into form in time.