It's odd to face a team from the east twice in just over a week, isn't it?
At least this will make me feel less guilty about really half-assing this preview. You know what to expect from this team because we saw it when we watched Brodeur break Roy's record (or as same put it in The Committed Indian tonight "fatso breaking douchebag's win record").
The same team that played on that Tuesday night now gets to face the Hawks in friendlier territory. Playing on the road is tough, I'm sure. Playing in front of a packed house that wants to see their home-town hero break an all-time record... yeah that might make it a little worse. Thank god Brodeur took things a little easy though over the past week or the Hawks could have potentially seen him go for breaking the shutout record too.
Obviously last time the teams faced off the Hawks were in a stretch of playing some of their worst hockey all season, while the Devils had won 3 in a row. Now the tables have turned a little as the Devils have dropped two in a row to the Bruins and Flyers.
They should be getting a boost with the return of Patrick Elias. This is good news for the Devils as it'll boost their special teams play, which has been horrible, 5 power play goals against in the last 2 games. One man can't do everything though so the Hawks should look to draw as many penalties as possible and jump on any chance they can get.
Khabby is getting the start again despite his somewhat shaky play recently. That's no big surprise since Q has all but come out and said he's now #1. What is interesting is that Crawford was up from Rockford yesterday to skate with the team while Huet undergoes an "assessment". It doesn't sound like any of the beat writers got a chance to talk to him though so who knows what's going on..
The same post from Kuc makes it seem like Walker will continue to sit - so we can all rejoice in that.
The Hawks remain 2 points up on Vancouver but the Canucks play the Avs tonight so it's very likely they'll go into Sunday's game tied in points if the Hawks can't pull it out tonight.
There were a lot of bad breaks in Wednesday's game but overall the team looked like they were finally coming out of their slump. Things aren't perfect yet but they're looking up. The Hawks will need a big game from their power play teams and desperately need Khabby to step up his play. Soft goals can ruin any night but it's doom against a team like the Devils this year.