Lets be clear on something - these next two games don't really matter one bit. The 4th seed is locked up and game one of the first round will be played at the United Center no matter what happens.
The Hawks can't even do any real favors to other teams (like they'd even want to). Detroit can't catch San Jose and it's up to the Blues, Ducks and Jackets to determine who is going where at the bottom of the order.
But then again... it's Detroit. And I fucking hate these guys. So nothing would make me happier than for the Hawks to come into Detroit and kick their asses and then do it again tomorrow.
The Hawks are obviously without Sharp and VERSTEEG! which isn't going to make it easy but the Scum are without Hossa who has a groin injury. VERSTEEG! could be back for tomorrow's game but I'd rather see him sit again just to be on the safe side.
The Wings are suspect defensively and especially in goal. The Hawks have taken advantage of that this year, scoring 13 goals in 4 games against them (lets just ignore that shutout). The problem is that the Wings have scored 21 in the 4 games. So the Hawks will need to focus on their defense, the addition of Sammy Pahlsson should help with that. If he, along with Ladd and Buff, can shut down the Wings top lines the Hawks can easily win these games. A goal I'd like to see for the Hawks - is keeping Datsyuk from getting his 100th point. He's at 97 for the season now.. much easier said than done though.
Alpo summed up things nicely too - check out his rant.
Keep an eye on the Vancouver/Avalanch game while the Hawks play too - if the Nucks win or even lose in OT/SO, they win the Northwest which means the Hawks will get the much more favorable match up of the Flames in the first round.
OK - off to the whirlaway soon. Have fun kids.
UPDATE: G.S. Glam mentioned it in the comments - and it's true. Pahlsson isn't playing today because of "personal issues" - hopefully nothing serious. Dowell has been called up to replace him. Here are today's lines:
Kane - Toews - Havlat
Brouwer - Bolland - Eager
Ladd - Dowell - Buff
Johnson - Fraser - Burish
Keith - Biscuit
Hammer - Campbell
Barker - Walker
Lets Go Hawks