GAMETIME: 7:30 PM
TV/RADIO: CSN, WGN 720 AM
ENEMIES LIST: On The Forecheck
Well, now that the euphoria and discussion of yesterday's events are over, it's time to get back to what matters...and talk about the cupcake draw the US got for the World Cup. Slovenia? Algeria? Let's just book that second round date with Ze Germans right now!
Right, enough of that, to the ice. The Hawks will attempt to win their 9th straight at the UC, and 10th of 12 when Smashville walks out of the visitor's locker room. The Hawks have won two of three from the Preds this year, and by the end of this month will be done with them for the season. All three games have been a brain-drip-out-the-ear, stab-yourself-to-see-if-you-can-still feel bore. That's what the Preds want. They'll play it tight, clog the neutral zone, blah blah blah.
The top line of Sullivan, Arnott, and Dumont lit up the Wild in the Preds' last game. But past that, there just isn't a whole lot going on here. But because Barry Trotz is a machine, all the Preds forwards skate their ass off, and that can get you a lot of points in the first half of the season, when not every team is sure that it cares just yet. However, Smashville has lost their last two, giving up 10 goals in the process. Ellis is apparently getting the start tonight. On the blue line, they have a fantastic top pairing of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Weber would be a Norris candidate if he played in Toronto or Vancouver. But the bottom pairs are just, well, "guys". Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein and the rest can be forced into turnovers galore with a heavy forecheck. Hey, guess what the Hawks do well?
In a vacuum, this one should be a walk for a Hawks team that is picture-me-rollin'. But games against the Preds aren't played in a vacuum. It'll be a slog, especially as there's every chance the Hawks have one eye on the date with Cindy Crosby and Gena Malkin tomorrow night.
Go get 'em.