The biggest news for this one is the most troubling news. Sharp isn't making the road trip with the team with a "not serious" lower body injury. Missing Sharp is obviously a big problem for the Hawks as their major slump timed up pretty well with his initial knee injury this year. The Hawks two much more complete scoring lines when Sharp's involved, but with him out it'll be time for Kane or VERSTEEG! to step up a bit more. Those two have only 6 points combined in the last 10 games.
Though Kane has a two-game point streak going so he could be snapping out of a cold streak, especially now that the pressure's off to make the playoffs. It's seemed a bit like he's trying to make the flashy play instead of making a smart play.
According to Chris Kuc though, the injury to Sharp is his left leg, not his right knee that kept him out before. So it still seems like the rest might be more of a precaution which means we don't have to panic.
The Blue Jackets are a pretty big surprise this year, they're 3 points away from locking up their first ever playoff appearance. Of course, they're being led by the practically sure-thing for the Calder - Steve Mason
|2008 - Steve Mason||56||3352||32||18||5||6||124||2.22||1521||1397||.918||10|
Put him in front of Hitchcock led team and you've got yourself the next Minnesota Wild... ahh fuck. This is boring, I'm bored now.
The Blue Jackets have been playing fairly consistent hockey all year but have never been spectacular. Their longest winning streak is only 4 games, but they've done it 3 times and have a few more streaks of 3 in a row. In their last 5 they're 2-1-2 which includes a loss last night to the Preds in a skills competition.
With a longer game last night and an earlier start today the Hawks should look to keep the tempo of the game up and tire out the BJs. Of course, keeping things exciting against a team led by Hitchcock is asking a hell of a lot.
Here's some other good news (for some of us anyway). I'm listening to Eddie-O call the game for the Scum/Wild so Steve Konroyd should be in the booth with Pat. Which means at least for today we could possibly blame any of Pat's mistakes on him getting lost in Steve's mesmerizing eyes.
The Canucks lost to the Oilers last night after an exciting 3rd period (6 goals in the third alone) and the Flames are off til tomorrow. So two points tonight puts the Hawks even more out in front for the final home-ice spot.
Lets Go Hawks