OPPOSITION BLOG: On The Forecheck
That's what the Hawks have a chance to do to Nashville tonight. A regulation win would put a huge dent in the Preds playoff hopes, depending on what St. Louis does. Also, if Calgary wins tonight in Vancouver, and the Hawks win, that will wrap up the 4th seed. If Vancouver wins, the Hawks will still just be two points short of cinching up home-ice in the first round. There, that's all out of the way.
However, this will be a stiffer (heh, you said stiffer) test than the Hawks faced last week at the UC, and that's due to the return of Jason Arnott. The captain returned to the lineup on Saturday against Columbus with three points in a 5-4 win over the panting-to-the-finsih-line Jackets. He's always been a headache for the Hawks, and tonight will probably be no different. Secondly, this is the Preds home finale, so expect a pretty electric atmosphere in a building where the Hawks have not fared too well anyway. Thirdly, the Preds finish the season in Detroit and in Minnesota, and will probably think they have to have this one. The Hawks won't face a more desperate team than the one they get tonight.
Haven't heard who will start in net tonight for the Hawks, but judging by the way Khabby stoned the BJs on Sunday I would imagine he would get the return engagement tomorrow, so Huet tonight. But I suck at these sort of things. Troy Brouwer may return tonight as well, and that will be a small boost to a power play that has been downright offensive. He'll cause more traffic in front, if nothing else.
That's all there is to it.