I was about halfway through putting off packing for my trip back home today when I realized I'd foolishly volunteered to do today's preview. I looked at the time--it's at 9:30pm Central--and looked up the team--Kings, to complete the Circus Trip from Hell--and that's really about all I could come up with for today.
Nah just kidding, here are some facts you should know about tonight's match-up:
- The Kings are back in the playoff picture ("If the playoffs started today...") after a bumpy late October/early November. They're doing somewhat better now in the last few games, certainly better than the Hawks have been, but considering some of those wins have been against teams like Anaheim and, well, Anaheim, maybe they're still in struggle mode.
- I honestly can't tell you what to expect of the Hawks team tonight. They played poorly in Alberta, got everything but the point in San Jose, and fell back to lackluster play against Anaheim until the Captain and the Alternates decided fuck it, let's just win. So what team is going to show up tonight? I really can't tell you. When the Hawks are good they're really fucking good, but when they're not it's worse than watching a baby vampire crawling out of its human mother's womb...
- The problem, so far, is our defense. I'm not sure what the hell is going on with Crawford lately, because while normally some goals against are due to some positioning errors by the blueliners, you also can't say that the amount of goals he's given up is all that reasonable. Have teams figured him out? Is this just a rough patch? We're lucky at least our scoring seems to be going, I guess.
- Another problem that needs fixing on our end is the putrid play of our special teams. The second PP unit has been pretty impressive, but what's going on when a unit consisting of Sharp, Toews, Hossa and Kane can't figure out how to enter the zone or spend more time passing the puck around so it's ripe for turnovers?
- Granted, the running joke is usually that our either one of our special teams is clown shoes, but that's usually mitigated by the fact that the other is doing well. Not so this time. The fact that our kill is at 73.2, our man-advantage at 17.4, and we're still somehow 9th in the league with a 0.630 winning percentage means the law of averages might soon be upon us. But does this mean our winning percentage trends downward, or do our special teams trend up? We've got all season to find out I guess.