The Hawks start their season with their first losing streak of the year, and they're doing everything they can to make sure to scare away any one that may have been curious about what this whole hockey game is about and tuned into the first WGN broadcast in 30 something years.
The game started off amazingly well - 26 seconds in Havlat hits Toews in stride going out of the Hawks zone.. Toews bounces the puck off the boards to Versteeg who goes five hole on what had been a pretty weak Theodore. The rest of the first period goes well.. the Hawks seemed to be passing better and getting their shots on net. Halfway thru the first period Skille gets the puck down low and bounces a shot off Theodore then puts the rebound thru his legs to take a 2-0 lead and the game was looking good.
But then another lapse on D near the blue line and Steckel is able to skate down the ice with little to no pressure and get it over to Bradley who knocks the pass into the net. Walker didn't get the pressure on Bradley he should have and someone (Sopel?) let the play develop too far. You can't let the 4th line make you look that bad... playing at the end of a shift isn't an excuse. The theme of not getting enough pressure on the Caps would be a recurring one...
Buff looked good in front of the net and seemed to be pissing off the Caps D and Theodore but he seemed to disappear later in the game.. The box score says he played 11:42 but I barely remember seeing him out there.
Scary break away when Campbell miss plays the puck at the worst time.. as in.. when Ovechkin was right next to him and went on a break away.. Seabrook is able to get a stick in at the last second and take Ovie off his balance.. good penalty..
10-6 advantage in shots after 1... at least they were putting them on the net.. Like Byfuglien those seemed to vanish after the first though
Five minutes into the 2nd Ovechkin shows that you can't give him chances and expect him not to come up big. Sharp misplayed a puck in the offensive zone and Ovie picked it up skated into the Hawks zone.. let Campbell give him too much space (any space is too much for him) and then he rockets it past Khabby.
Towards the end of the Second the Hawks finally started getting some power play chances and the passing looked a lot better than last night, but they still failed to convert Versteeg had a wide open chance but that dreaded ping denied him a goal.
After getting decent pressure on Theodore in the first the Hawks only managed to get 6 shots on the net in the second.
In the third the Hawks started playing the way we've seen too much.. really wild and sloppy. Passes weren't as crisp, they didn't generate any chances and they didn't clear their zone when they needed to.
Ovechkin had a great give and go.. and beat Khabby.. but it hits the post.. they shine a spotlight on him anyway as he skates away from the play.
After a scramble in front of the net.. Khabby grabs the puck out of the air but the Cap start to celebrate - no signal on the ice and play stops... time for our first Toronto War Room Review.. WGN doesn't show any good views of it.. but the signal is goal... Caps take the lead..
A few minutes later Ovechkin gets the puck at the red line and is given all the space he needs to work his way into the zone.. get to the middle and just rifle a shot post Khabby who seemed to be screened by his own players for the second time on the Russians' shot. Any argument someone would have with the third goal is erased.. doesn't matter
Some good chances with Khabby pulled.. but the caps clear.. that was game. Only 5 shots in the third period and the Hawks are outshot 34-21 even after they had taken an early two goal lead.
The good news.. which isn't really all that good depending on how you look at it.. is that Khabby was solid in the net. The first Ovechkin goal was a little weak but he still came up huge in several parts of the game and kept the Hawks in it once they forgot how to shoot. He was quick with the glove and got some big saves. So now what does Savard/Tallon do? At the very least, Khabby seems to have improved his trade possibilities.