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Game 5: The Big Takeover - Flames @ Hawks

I'm back on the preview for this game since I wrote them for the first two games and things turned out well, McClure and Sam just messed it all up for the next two.

Without a doubt, this is the biggest game most of these Hawks have played in their lives.  And getting them to play it back at the United Center should be one hell of a boost.  So if you're going to the game, as always, be loud.

The bad news is obviously that things are all shifting over the Flames' favor.  For the most part, they've gotten better in each game.  While the Hawks haven't been able to step up their game the way they did in the second and third periods of game two.  Momentum is definitely on the Flames' side. 

Here's the thing though, momentum is pretty much bullshit.

Kent over at Matchsticks and Gasoline made this point that's worth making here.  Way too much is made of this phenomenon.  So when someone tells you the momentum is going to carry the Flames for these next few games, punch them.

If momentum meant anything, the Flames would have crushed the Hawks in Game 4 after the second period when Jokinen buried his second goal.  But they didn't.

If momentum meant anything, the Hawks would have come out in the third and put their foot firmly on the Flames throats.  But they didn't.

Look no further than the fact that every team that has scored first in this series has lost. (Don't let that fool you though, we want the Hawks to score first still)

Momentum exists, but it doesn't take much to change it.  The only way the momentum can kill the Hawks is if they let it.

So the Hawks need to come out early in this game and show they're not going to give up.  Sam mentions this in the Indian today (please buy it so they sell out and don't have to wait around in the rain forever) but the Flames are playing probably as close to their best given the injuries they're facing.  Especially with Iggy stepping up his game, a very unwelcome sight for Hawks fans.  The Hawks meanwhile have much further to go to hit their peak.  They haven't played a full game yet, not even close.

So we'll need to see who steps up, who is injured and who wilts.  Toews for probably the first time ever, was no where to be seen last game.  I don't think he's hurt so lets chalk it up to an off night.  Keith may be nursing something, but two days off hopefully helped him.

The Hawks have said they're not going to panic and they're sticking with Khabby for tonight's game.  I think it's the good move since two days rest should be enough to get him back on track.  Lets not forget that he owns the Flames. 

Anyone hoping the Flames would be horribly depleated due to injuries are in for some bad news.  Flames insider is saying Conroy, Langkow and Bourque are all back in.  They'll be far from 100% though. 

I'm way too nervous to write anymore and have been all day - I'm not even going to check if what I just wrote makes any sense.  Lets get a win tonight boys.

Lets Go Hawks