Thank you, Dale Tallon. Thank you, Trent Yawney. Thank you, Martin Havlat.
These people are getting thanks not because of a 1-1 start, but because there's excitement back on the ice. How long has it been since we could say that?
The Hawks began the season with memorable home and road openers. It wasn't the best hockey -- certainly not on D -- but it was exciting hockey. Dramatic hockey. Fun hockey. High scoring hockey.
Frankly, I'd rather lose 5-4 then 1-0. Nothing wrong with a 1-0 game, but when you are without something for so long -- namely, offense -- you start to crave it. And unlike a pond in the desert, I don't think this is a mirage.
During Trent Yawney's post-game rant on Saturday, he didn't once say or imply he was going to "reign it all in" because the Hawks could not play that open style. Instead, he put the onus on the defense to shape up or ship out. I like it.
How 'bout Trent Yawney!? It's game two and he's calling out his players like they're in a 10-game losing streak. As fans, you must love it. As players, you're not sure, but I guarantee you the ones with tons of integrity -- like Marty Lapointe -- love it as well.
Why was Yawns more upset than any time last year? I think it's because he knows, without a doubt, that they can play better, and if they do, he has a very decent team. Havlat's heroics in Nashville will go down in opening night lore. He did nothing in game two to think it was a fluke.
I am still convinced that the defense will be a strength on this team. I say that in the face of averaging 5.5 against so far; but there's too much talent and heart back there not to be better. There's depth down in Norfolk (why isn't Dustin Byfuglien here now??), so the six here now should be weary.
The bottom line is that the Hawks are in the mix. That's a start. Dale Tallon did what every executive should do: ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES AND FIX THEM. He did that and the result so far is an exciting hockey team that can put the puck in the net.
Now, if Nik can stop fishing it out of his own, then we'll really have something to talk about. In the meantime -- win or lose--enjoy the return of exciting hockey to W. Madison.