Do you have the testicular fortitude?
TV/RADIO: CSN+, VS. (JIP), and WGN WIND-560
Call of The Enemy: On The Forecheck
I feel like Mr. Okerlund is going to be the patron saint of these playoffs for us. The Canucks, Scum, and Sharks (what everyone agrees are the main challengers) all showed they have balls in their respective Game 4's, two of them on the road. Can the Hawks follow suit? Can they put all the crap they've been getting and producing behind them and show up for one game they pretty much have to have and be the team we've watched for most of the year and the one we think they can be? If the answer isn't yes, it's going to be a very, very long summer.
I could sit here and try and break down x's and o's. I could speculate what the lineup changes might bring and what they might hurt. But in reality, it's all a question of want-to. The Preds aren't going to change radically from what they've been doing. Why should they? If they came out and wanted to go all firewagon hockey it would be suicide. There isn't a player here who's causing us heartache. It's not a goalie who's standing on his head (though he is playing well). The Hawks simply have to show up and work as hard or harder than the Predators. Simple as that. North south. Get it in and go get it, and work your ass off in doing so. Chip and chase out of their zone, and use your speed to get the puck ahead of pinching d-men. Do they have the balls to be patient? This game could be 0-0 for a while, will the Hawks crack? Evidence from this series suggest they very well might. Recent history suggests they won't (*cough* down 1-0 to Vancouver for 50 minutes in Game 4 last year *cough*). Frankly, I don't know. I haven't seen this "I'm not bothered about getting dirty" look from the Hawks in a game that mattered as much as Game 3 did. I just don't know how they'll come back.
What do I think? I think Captain Marvel comes out with a bunch of chewed glass in his mouth. I think Marian Hossa continues working as hard as he's been lately and gets rewarded from the chemistry he had with Sharp at center. I think Burish is actively slobbering on his jersey on his first shift. I think the Hawks score a power play goal again.
That's one thing we haven't mentioned yet. For two games straight the Hawks have forced a period of play where Nashville couldn't stay out of the box. I see no reason that can't continue, because past Weber and Suter the other d-men on the Preds have had moments when they've struggled. It's time to make them pay the ultimate price for that. Sadly, last game's stretch only canceled out the Hawks stretch of piss-stupid play, and that cannot happen tonight. They can't get themselves out of rhythm in the 1st by doing the conga line to the box (keep your fucking elbows down, Kris).
The particulars are that every sign points to Brian Campbell playing, although it's anyone's guess how much. The Hawks can use whatever he can give. if it's 15 minutes, that's 15 minutes that Buff isn't trying to fire the puck blindly around the boards or struggling to carry the puck out of his zone. It's 15 minutes of having one d-man who can bust a trap with his own stickhandling or is smart enough and fast enough to chip it in and be the first one to it. I'll take what I can get.
It isn't going to be pretty, in no way will it be any fun whatsoever. That's why you should join us in the misery at Whirlaway (Fullerton and Kedzie). We'll all be chewing glass together (at least until I faint).
The period threads will launch automatically at the beginning of every one just like Game 3. Just wait for them.
Let's. Go. Hawks.