Game Time: 8:30 PM
TV/Radio: CSN, TSN / WGN Radio
The Nemesis: Benched Whale
"Are we giving a fuck yet? Guys? Guys? Wait, this isn't what I meant..."
As it turns out, the Hawks' idea of a response to curb-stomping the Oilers is to be shellacked by the Flames. That's 5 steps forward and 7 steps back. They're running out of time to turning on that mythical switch that's supposed to bring them back to last year's form. As it is, the strictly-.500 team is now 3 spots out of playoff contention despite playing 4 more games than the rest of the league. If the boys need to work out their kinks, they need to start soon, and the road ahead doesn't look too palatable, what with matches against the Sharks, the Kings, the Blues, and another match-up with the Canucks, who they face tonight.
Considering the ass-whooping the Hawks have given the Canucks in the last two seasons, it's not hard to imagine the boys of the Orca not getting up for tonight's game, and oh boy, if you thought getting whooped by the Flames and the Oilers were embarrassing...
Such has been my wangst at the Hawks' recent play that I have barely paid any attention to anything else recently. (Well, that plus I just came back from vacation.) The Canucks are faring a lot better than the Hawks as far as I'm aware, although they do have little hiccups like this that we at Hawks Nation are fairly familiar with...
Not that we can expect to see a lot of that tonight. The Canucks don't really have as stellar a blue line as they boast, but the Hawks have struggled to score against weaker defensemen. Add to that, they still have offensive weapons in the Sedins and Kessler, as Burrows has battled some sort of injury and was out of the lineup for a couple of games. And of course, some day we hope to eventually see Luongo at his best. Without Buff, that may happen tonight.
As for the Blackhawks? You and I and everyone we know are well aware of what this team's best players are capable of. We've seen this year's "depth" pull their weight the best that they can. Hell, Skille's been fairly consistent despite only denting twine very recently. There's no more that we need to ask of them, because our bottom 6 at their 100% is not going to be enough. We need our top 6 to play their best, and if they aren't at 100%, they're either battling injury or a lack of interest. The only stat I'd like to see through the roof tonight is this one:
Everything else will follow.