Game Time: 6 PM
TV / Radio: CSN / WGN Radio
Next Relocation Victims: Light The Lamp
Today's lesson: lucky timing. If ever the Blackhawks needed a slump buster of a game, its now. After playing two absolutely dreadful games, the Hawks get to play against the worst team in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The BJs are coming off a 9-2 curb-stomping at the hands of the Time Wasters Flyers four days ago. Amazingly, head coach Scott Arniel still has his job after starting 2-11-1. That's 5 points in 14 games for all you non-math magicians out there. Personally I don't think its his fault that the entire roster is so bad. But one would expect the GM to fire him by now to cover his own ass.
Probably the strangest thing about the Jackets is that they're outshooting their opponents to the tune of 3 shots per game. Other than that though, they are absolutely dreadful in every stat category. Led by Rick Nash's Crushed Soul and Will to Play Hockey, the Blue Jackets are not scoring or preventing goals. You don't need John Madden (the dumb football one) to tell you that that makes for losing teams.
In net for the Blue Jackets will be Steve Mason. Mason had a pretty good rookie season a few years ago, no doubt aided by Ken Hitchcock's defensive system. But since then he has struggled. This year he's been a sieve, posting a .869 Save Percentage.
Corey Crawford gets the start for the Hawks. He'll get a chance to bounce back against the Jackets limp offense. Craw Daddy wasn't very strong against the Blues on Tuesday. He let in a particularly soft goal from TJ Oshie. But tonight is a very, very, very winnable game for him.
The Hawks lineup will look the same as Tuesday except for Dave Bolland, who needs a game off to recharge his death stare. Bolly used up all of his stare on Coach Q when he announced that John Scott will be playing over O'Donnell and Lepisto. I'm not even going to start discussing that decision because the doctors say its bad for my blood pressure and head explodey-ness. Bickell is in for Bolland.
The biggest thing I'll be watching in this game is how many minutes Scott gets. Duncan Keith still isn't 100%. If he gets hurt tonight and Scott can't function like an NHL caliber defenseman, the Hawks will be seriously shorthanded on the blue line. Thankfully this might be a game where they can get away with that.
Let's Go Hawks and remember, NO WIZ NO WINS
With the BJs record and our current play, we better not end up being their SlumpBusters. There will be hell to pay if we are, boys!
wasn't there talk of the jackets going to a trap system in the past couple of days? i can't wait to try and stay awake for that snoozefest.
Instead of "Jackets limp offense," I'd go with "Jackets Whiskey Dick offense." Meaning willing, but physically incapable.
@hattrot I don't think they even know what they're going to do. The whole Hitchcock thing was absurd. The whole organ-I-zation is a gong show.
@KellyPuckDrunk I'm not sure Rick Nash has the will to live anymore, let alone live in Columbus and try to score goals.