As a continuation of my Braveheart theme vis a vis the Hawks' tilt with Detroit last night, the title is my way of saying: right metaphor, wrong battle. Like the Scots at Falkirk (not Bannockburn), the Hawks fought valiantly, but were outnumbered, and in the end succumbed to a superior foe.
Hats off to the Wings. They came out fast and focused and put the Hawks in an immediate hole. And that's a tough position to be in when you're trying to beat what is arguably the best team in hockey.
All that said, I liked the effort from a diminished Hawk roster, and were it not for a couple of soft-ish goals early on, the Hawks played well enough to win, even with an injury-depleted line-up. One player in particular who I thought played an inspired game was Tuomo Ruutu.
I've posted this before elsewhere, and I'm even more convinced of it now, the Hawks should yet again be "sellers" leading up to the trade deadline. And the guy they should really be looking to move is Nikolai Khabibulin. If a Cup hungry team needs a proven goalie who's been there/done that in the playoffs, the Hawks should take whatever they can get in return. The Wall's skills are clearly deteriorating. He still has some good nights. But by the time the rest of the Hawks are ready for a long playoff run (say 2009), he won't be.
On to La Belle Ville de Montreal (my second favorite city in North America) tomorrow night. The Hawks are slowly getting back to health and there's no reason to believe they can't get back on a solid, winning track the rest of the season.
Though, to me, the playoffs do not seem like a realistic goal. And I don't foresee any trading partners right now who would give the Hawks necessary pieces to improve without taking back something the Hawks need right now to compete. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
St. Pierre C