-As Kills posted last night, Brian Campbell has a broken collarbone, and could be gone anywhere from 6-12 weeks. It kind of galls me that we lose an important d-man for possibly the rest of the season, and I'll frankly shit myself is Ovechkin gets suspended even a game. I've watched the replay a couple of times now, and I don't care how red, white, and blue-tinted your glasses are, it's a straight-up dirty hit. But Ovie will flash that "I'm just an exuberant" guy routine, and skate. But whatever, that's not what I'm here to discuss.
-I'm sure there are some people who can't tie their shoes on Hawks messageboards who are claiming the Hawks won't miss Campbell at all. They probably have never gotten over the size of his paycheck. But this is a major, major problem. Will it affect the Hawks seeding? I don't think so. After this trip, the schedule is basically all non-playoff teams, aside from Phoenix and Scum on the last day (I don't care what St. Louis has been doing recently, they'll have cooled of by the time we get to them). Yes, the pitter-patter of little Canuck feet is starting to get a little louder, but again, the Hawks schedule coming up. We also saw this last year, and oh by the way did you catch the neat trick San Jose pulled this weekend? Yeah, lost to Florida at home and then Anaheim. They're also on the road for the next five.
So, where does this really come into play? Well, it depends on who you get in the playoffs. The Hawks should be able to get past any first round opponent they draw with Campbell or without. But what if Vancouver is waiting in the 2nd? Soupy played his best hockey in that same round against that same opponent last year. He's our main trap-buster, as he's better with the puck than Keith. Or what if it's Phoenix? Same problems, less talent but more discipline.
And assuming you clear that and then have to deal with Detroit/San Jose/Washington/Pittsburgh? You need to be able to get up and down the ice, and 51 Phantom is a huge part of doing that for the Hawks. Maybe he could be back by then, maybe not. Quite frankly, I'm worried.
-So what should Q do? Well, I have no doubts that he'll never consider this, but it would seem the perfect time to split up Seabrook and Keith. Your two best d-men right now are Keith and Hjalmarsson. Keith's game is not dissimilar to Campbell's, so I doubt there'd be much of an adjustment for each of them. Plus, when the game's in the last minute these days, who do you trust more to keep the opponent out, Seabs or Hammer? Move Seabrook down to the 2nd pairing with Johnsson, who has enough mobility to mostly cover for Seabrook's abstract decisions. Then hope and pray with Sopel and Hendry/Boynton/Cullimore/ohmygodithinkimightkillmyself.
Sadly, this all means Keith will not get the minutes-break he probably requires. Will he wear down again like last season? Kim Johnsson is going to play more minutes than was intended. So will Hammer, who's going to get crushed a lot. It means more of Sharp/Buff/Bolland on the point on the power play, because that's so much fun. Aye aye aye.
Let's see, Saturday night road game with no Sunday home game following it, meaning I don't have to work, and neither would McClure on a weekend....you know what that means:
Yep, we're breaking in a new, bigger space for our blog-watches, and debut The Bottom Lounge on Saturday, upstairs. It's at 1375 W. Lake. It's pretty easy to get to via CTA, I think the Clinton green/pink line stop is your best bet, but Ashland wouldn't be too far either. It's also got its own parking lot for those driving, and there'll be drink reps -- which means free and discounted booze for far too many people. The food's pretty good too, so you can come by and have dinner too. There might be some giveaways and goofy stuff as well, so please come on out, because as everyone knows, Saturday Night's good for getting a little action in.
Note: Forklift and McClure have requested that we finally call out The Fifth Feather to show themselves at one of these things. You think you're so much better than us, Bob and John? Well, actually you are by a wide fucking margin, but the point remains....