Our Men of the Four Feathers are tonight in the land of banjos, country music, and overgrown goaltenders to face off with the Nashville Predators.
The big question around Chicagoland lately has been “What the hell are you guys doing?” Blackhawks Down Low editor and slacker-of-wrap-ups Andrew whipped up a post yesterday asking just that. Instead of me rehashing all that, please just read it. It’s well done and nails most of the key points right on the head.
Nashville is coming off a shootout win 3-2 Thursday night over the suddenly cooling-off St. Louis Blues. Since the Preds are off after tonight until Tuesday, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see Pekka “I’M AN OGRE” Rinne in net tonight. After a strong start this season, the Preds are now sitting at 13th in the West and last in the Central (although, point-earning-percentage wise, we’re right there with ‘em) with a record of 6-5-3. Most their problems seem to stem from not getting the quality team defense that they’re used to. Nashville will never be a scoring team (and they aren’t at 26th in the league with 2.36 G/G), but the defense and goaltending is expected to keep games close (16th in the league at 2.86 GA/G).
Our Stanley Cup Champions are sitting at 9th in the West and 4th in the Central (yes, even Columbus is ahead of us, even having played three less games) with a record of 8-9-1. The Hawks are sitting at 24th in the league in points percentage (points earned / total possible points), so that should give us an indication how badly they’ve played this season. We’ve pissed away nearly a quarter of the season and it’s time for players to do their damn jobs.
The lines as posted from yesterday’s practice are as follows:
Brouwer – Toews – Sharp
Kane – Bolland – Hossa
Stalberg – Pisani – Kopecky
Bickell – Dowell – Skille
The defensive pairs will also stay jumbled up like last game, but mercifully, we’ve seen (for now) the end of John Scott at forward. On the flip side, it means we get to see John Scott at defense. Joy.
The Hawks’ main issue of late has been focus and give-a-fuckery. Against Nashville, even in November, you need plenty of both to generate offense. We’ll see how Q’s addressing of the Hawks’ issues goes tonight, because if the Preds start to frustrate us, we’ll blow up unless Q cured our case of rectum-head (as Sam Fels of Second City Hockey so put it yesterday).
Oh, and it could be worse, we could be suffering this season without this:
LET’S GO HAWKS