I'm not calling tonight a must-win. It just wouldn't be my style to go all alarmist on everybody. But it would certainly be nice to get a win here. That would mean the Hawks would be 1-1 at home and only need to win 1 in Vancouver to take back home ice advantage.
I know game 1 felt like the end of the world. The Hawks got outskated up and down the ice all night. That's in the past now.
Coach Q and all the players have been guarding the secret of tonight's lineup like they're auditioning for the DaVinci Code II. (Yes, I know what Angels and Demons is. Now go away, you nerds). There's been speculation that Buff could be moving back to defense, which I'm not completely opposed to. I think inserting Burish at forward will bring a spark (and possibly herpes). Hendry looked brutally out of place on Saturday so maybe he should sit this one out. I feel like Burish is just much less of a liability when on the ice than Hendry. So if Buff moves to D, the honus is on TKO and Brouwer to play big and drive to the net.
Niemi will be back in net. I like that Q didn't hesitate to say that in the post game. The last thing we need is for our goalie to be questioning his #1 spot while trying to stop the Canucks. He plays best when he's loose, confident, and challenging shooters. He was on his heels last time out and spit out some "buxom rebounds." That crap has got to go. You can't expect the goalie to steal all of the games for you, but he is going to have to step up at some point in this series and keep the defense from pooping away a game.
Sadly, I'm not even sure if I'll be able to watch this one. I have two finals tomorrow that I'm freaking out about. I'll do my best to catch as much as I can. (Honestly I'll probably watch the whole game and pull an all nighter, but I'm trying to avoid having to sleep-deprive myself again.) After today, my only other final is Monday, so don't worry, I'll be back for the rest of the series.
Let's Go Hawks!