PUCK DROP: 8pm Central
COVERAGE: CSN, WGN-720AM
OPPOSING VIEW: Mile High Hockey
Tonight, the Hawks visit the very Hurt (get it?) Avalanche. It's a damn mash unit in Denver these days, as Sakic, Foote, Stastny, and a few others are all on the injured list. Which is a relief, if for no other reason we won't have to look at Stastny's pizza-face. Dude looks ilke a Pizza Hut delivery that's been dropped. Anyway, the Hawks are 2-0 against the Avs this season, and haven't worked all that hard to achieve that. Their first encounter in early November saw a close game until the 3rd, when the Hawks pulled away. Last month, the Avs twice took the lead at Centre de Pepsi before the Hawks finally woke up and surged on ahead.
Frankly, they shouldn't have to work all that hard again tonight either. We can't really pinpoint what it is the Avs to do well. They're around 20th if goals per game, as well as goals allowed, and power play, and penalty kill. Yet there they are, hanging around the 8 spot, only two points back. It may be time to stop believing the West is as deep as we've all said it is. It has 6 very good teams, and then a pile of blech under that. There's a definite cut-off after Anaheim.
Not sure who'll the Hawks will get a look at tonight. Raycroft won his last start, and has been ok recently, but not great. in the same category is Petr "Oh Lord, stuck in Budaj again", who also hasn't been putting the flame to the Earth either. Budaj is 0-2 vs. Chicago this year, so maybe Raycroft will get his chance. Either way, we're not shaking in our blue suede shoes.
There are no easy gam.....blah blah blah. If the Hawks come out with anything resembling their top effort tonight, they should see another two points in the donation bag. The Avs are beat up, and have had to move Wolski to center to compensate. Milan Hejduk always seems to provide a problem, the biggest one these days is that with the Avs needing an All-Star rep, he's helping to keep The Sharp-Shooter out. But honestly, Colorado is like the suburbs. "There's no There, there." Let's not cough this one up, boys.