Nevermind The Bollocks: Coyotes at Hawks Game 4 Preview/Pregame Thread/Colombian Prostitute Party

We_coyote_medium v. 200px-road_warrior_hawk_medium
FACEOFF: 7pm
TV/RADIO: CSN for the locals, CNBC for those not in the 312/773/847, WGN Radio
BARK AT THE MOON: Five For Howling

There's been two days of silliness, garbage, chirping, comments, replies, analysis, and whatever other thing that doesn't really matter. Tonight at 7pm, all of that needs to go out the window. It's time to get back to the hockey, because the Hawks have to get this one tonight. And they're not going to do it by complaining about suspensions or penalties, or by trying to win a dick-measuring contest after whistles, or by trying to exact some sort of vigilante justice. It's about the game on the ice between the whistles, and the only way to get even is to win that one. Literally even.

The first thing on the agenda is Brandon Saad taking Marian Hossa's spot. It's a risk, but considering the other options you don't have much to lose. Q hasn't had much faith in Jimmy Hayes since January. Jeremy Morin is coming of a ho-hum season at the A. Brendan Morrison and Brandon Pirri are centers. Me? I would dress both Hayes and Saad and have Hayes play on the 4th line. But that's just me, a simple man who likes lollipops in his mouth and....well, you know the rest.

The reason I would dress Hayes is because the Hawks have to roll four lines tonight. Fatigue has become an issue at the end of games, for both teams. Adrian Aucoin's turnover that lost Game 2 for the Yotes was because he had nothing left. The Hawks were drained in the OT of Game 3. That was because they were going nine forwards against 12 for the most part, and that just can't happen tonight. Brandon Bollig gives you nothing and he gives you that nothing for only five minutes. In the last 30 minutes Jamal Mayers is basically used for faceoffs only. A fourth line of Hayes-Kruger-Mayers could be rolled out there for ten minutes. But I'm not holding my breath.

So that leaves the kid. If you hadn't seen them, Saad put up boxcar numbers in the OHL this year and especially in the playoffs, where he dragged a middling Saginaw squad kicking and screaming into the second round. You'd prefer to bring him into a series far more open than one that could expose his lack of strength or brains at this level. It's an awfully big jump, in fact there's probably not a bigger one. But that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. P.K. Subban in 2010 comes to mind. I would expect Saad to play with Kane and Brunette, but as we all know this is going to be fluid. There's a chance he joins Daydream Nation and Sharp centers Stalberg and Brunette, which actually wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Whatever. Go get 'em, kid.

The other main story line tonight is can the Hawks cash in on the power play, and probably multiple times. Because you know how this goes: After such a controversial officiating whiff as Tuesday night, there's going to be a market correction. The Hawks are going to get a few chances with the extra man. They have to make them count. Start by swapping out Oduya, who's been a ghost this series, for Leddy. Let Leddy attack. Stop dropping the other point man below the circle. Get the Yotes stretched and open up the passing lanes you're dying for. Get Brunette and Bickell in front. And bring in an element we haven't seen in a while. That's Toews getting the puck at the goal line and taking it straight to the net. He's looked for a pass all year. Fuck that. It's Earl Campbell at the goal line time.

At even-strength, despite the caterwauling, the Hawks defensive game was better on Tuesday than it had been. Now they have to do the work at the other. They were getting pucks deep correctly, but not winning those battles. There's no formula, you just have to outwork the Yotes. I've been saying it all series, but at some point Aucoin and Morris and Klesla and Rozsival will break under the pressure of speed. Maybe that starts tonight. Ekman-Larsson's been jumpy with the puck. Up that.

A big bounce back game for Crawford tonight. That was an awful OT goal. But fortunately, the past two months Crow has backed up a poor effort with a pretty strong one. Do so again.

For the Yotes, Hanzal and Korpikoski are out again, and so is the about to live on Elba Raffi Torres. That's three important forwards they're missing. Once again, if you don't give them anything, they won't create anything.

And take from them...everything.

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