OPPOSITION BLOG: Defending Big D
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Don't forget your SPG Picks!
Unfortunately, it doesn't get any easier for the Hawks tonight. We wouldn't be shocked if tonight's game looks exactly like the trench warfare we saw last night, though the UC ice shouldn't be as bad as the DrinkScotch Center's was.
The bigger problem is that the Hawks are facing one of, if not the, hottest team in the league. The Stars have won 8 of 11, and have surged from the bottom of the conference to looking pretty much like our first round opponent. In fact, with facing Dallas twice in a week, they could close on us pretty quickly for the 4 spot with two wins. Wouldn't that suck?
Dallas has had to deal with a lot more than comments in poor taste about Dion Phaneuf's fuck-buddy. Their best player, Brendan Morrow, has been lost for most of the season with injury, as has best d-man Sergei Zubov. They also had to deal with Marty Turco playing the first two months as if in a diabetic coma. He's turned it around, tonight will almost certainly be his 26th straight start.
As strange as this sounds, the Hawks have to watch out for Steve Ott. Yes, world class pain in the ass Steve Ott. Since being moved to the top line with Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen, that line has produced 46 points in 12 games. Ott has six goals in that time. Brad Richards has also been chipping in at a fine rate, making this team quite dangerous.
The Hawks will have to outwork this team, which will not be easy. They'll face the same tight, physical, nasty tactics they saw last night, and didn't show much of a stomach for. Dallas is also coming off a tough slog last night, a 2-1 taffy-pull over Vancouver, so there won't be any recency advantage. This will not be one for the art museums.
Stay tuned for Thor's gametime beer pick...