Well, here’s my first period report.
It was a war.
And a war is what we wanted. The hell with the fancy-dancy BS. We need a war to get us back in it.
Predictably, the Hawks came out doing the Paso Robles.
We have none of it. We are in road mode. We are conservative and counter punching. Hard.
Eager is all over the ice. He hits Bieksa. Juice dishes to Kesler. Kesler has an obvious one timer, but is hit by Eager and dishes to Raymond…in the net! Eager hit everything in sight, except for his man. We leave the period up one nothing.
The second period continues the war, but we are forcing turnovers. We refuse to quit and unsung hero Steve Bernier cashes in with an Edler rebound that sneaks through the Bulin wall.
We are up by two.
But we don’t sit back and we don’t trap.
But we do counter punch. Again, hard. This time it’s Henrik that benefits from a heads up Edler play and the twin sneaks one through the Bulin Dyke.
We are up by three. But anyone who’s watched this series knows that three is not enough.
Brian Campbell finally puts one past Lou on a PP and it is three- one. And then the Hawks come hard. We bend, but stay strong. As a matter of fact, we get the best chance on a two on one with Wellwood feeding Bernier.
The Hawks continue to muster an attack and the hockey is good old end to end. But they cannot penetrate the box that our D sets up. Havlat gets a decent chance, high to the stick side. But Lou directs the rebound to the corner. The period ends with Raymond tapping one in just as the horn blows.
We are up three one after two. We’ll find out what we’ve learned in this series by the end of the third.
What we learned was to take nothing for granted.
We learned that the big hit, if it puts you out of position, doesn’t win you the game.
A road game is, by its very natrure, a conservative, grind it out effort.
Winning the little battles. And that’s what we did. Character players played a character game. A team game.
And we won.