GAMETIME: 7:30pm Central
TV/RADIO: WGN for both
it's much funnier when you can watch the guy with the hangover instead of having one yourself, isn't it?
The Bruins find themselves reaching for the Advil, thinking about puking, and trying to locate their shirts (no, literally, they are) as this season has gotten under way. After all the passes at B.C. coeds and the free meals in the North End, this season has come upon the Black and Gold awfully quick. And while they have got out of the starting gate, let's say they came out walking.
The Bruins are 1-3, with pretty ugly losses at home to Colorado where they were shut out, and at Carolina where the only reason they were even in the game is that the contract Tim Thomas has with Lucifer apparently still has some time to run on it. They've looked lethargic, at times disinterested, and overall just a whole lot of sloppy.
That doesn't mean the Hawks can show up and wait until they feel like playing like they did on Thursday against the Jets. Perhaps a date with those they took the Cup from will galvanize the B's tonight. Combine that with being the hulking, angry at the world team that the Hawks struggle with and it's going to be a test.
Two players who do seem to know that season has started are Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Marchand is the pimple on the ass of life to the Eastern Conference. He never shuts up, he never stops skating, and he never stops trying get the last whack in. He's Carcillo with actual hands and speed. That's what's probably so infuriating about Marchand, is that after he's done pulling all his bullshit he's just as liable to beat you with a goal.
Sometimes you forget that Seguin was the #2 pick in the draft and a lot of people thought he'd to top overall. He had a mostly ho-hum rookie season, spent on the bottom six. Oh sure, there was that flash against the Lightning (now, it's time to die!) in Games 1 and 2, but the rest of his playoffs were kind of tame. But there was that hint.
Now it's a full-blown scream. Seguin has started the year as if his nuts were on fire (and if you believe the reports out of Boston this summer, they just might be). He's got four points in four games, and is playing top line center in David Krejci's absence. He's quick, he's shifty, and he's got a point to prove. He'll be the most noticeable Bruin tonight, other than that Ent on the backend.
As for the Hawks, in the same week Rick Dipietro went down, Marian Hossa is questionable. Some things you can set your fucking watch to (who still wears a watch with cell phones anyway?). Hossa didn't partake in the morning skate but like us all is a gametime decision. If he doesn't go, it looks like Viktor Stalberg will take his place on the second line, but that devalues that unit by half at least. Patrick Kane would have to do it all himself, because Stalberg can't recreate the hands or power of Hossa in the build up.
If Hossa does go, Stals either doesn't play or takes Olesz's spot on the fourth line. Corey Crawford gets the start.
The Bruins are what the Blues have tried to be. Only the Bruins do it with actual defensemen and goalies. They're going to concentrated on pounding the Hawks D through Lucic, Marchand, and Paille. They'll probably do exactly what Winnipeg did and shovel everything to Nick Leddy's corner, and then attack him like a Financial Panther. We know how the Hawks deal with this when playing St. Louis, and it isn't pretty.
However, this B's defensive corps is getting up there in years, and isn't the quickest. If the Hawks can get out of their zone cleanly and then work to just chip it past the B's last line, they'll beat them to the puck all night. Sure, those blue liners will then make your life hell below the goal line, but that's the price to be paid. Do that, and all you've got to do is beat Tim Thomas. How hard can that be? What's that? Oh, right.
And you probably don't need to worry about taking too many penalties. The B's power play is pretty much a funeral dirge at this point.
Seems a little early for this kind of a game. But we'll enjoy it nonetheless.
-Couple notes. I've had my problems with my season distribution list this season but I think it's been sorted. I've sent out today's, if you haven't gotten it, please check all your inboxes and your spam folders before emailing me. Also, these days I'm tweeting from my NBC account, @madhousenforcer. If you're following 2ndcityhockey, follow me as well. McClure and I should have a decent back and forth going. That is all.