What better place than here, what better time than now? Quite simply, the Hawks have to win today to have any confidence heading into what looks to be the toughest week of the season. San Jose, New Jersey, and Van-cooter all come in next week, so the two points are vital today.
The Hawks showed enough spirit and effort to win most games on Friday night. They were let down, once again, by shaky goaltending that couldn't bail out the mistakes they made, and the bounces that went against them. Khabby must put an end to that today. If he doesn't, than Q's plan to give him the bulk of starts at the end here may get scrapped, and we'll be back to not knowing who's our #1. The Hawks success early in the year was built on stellar play in net, and they won't get back there without it. Sharp is returning today, and Hendry's been called up. Expect a swooning McClure in section 319. About Sharp, not Hendry. Both Barker and Walker missed practice, but Barker missed practice before Friday's game and was a go. Expect Walker to be "hurt". We'll get to find out if Aaron Johnson is still alive.
When the Kings were last here, they had made a pretty good push to be close to the playoffs. It's all gone wrong since, and they're below .500 and well out of it. Still, this team gives the Hawks fits. They win all the draws, finish their checks, and never give the Hawks any time or space to breathe. We finally managed to beat them last time, but it was a game that didn't feel comfortable until Bolland put the Hawks two up with a minute to go. The Kings still possess Frolov, Kopitar, and Brown, who all murder us. If the Hawks are still defensively shaky, those guys will punish them.
That being said, if the Hawks play as hard as they did Friday, they'll get out of this, and probably this afternoon. God do we need to see it.
UPDATE: Vancouver lost last night, so a win would put the Hawks back in fourth. Also, Eager was suspended 3 games for his hit on Reddox