Game Preview: Hawks at Jaws

First off, a Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Or at least to those below the 49th parallel.  Those of you above got greedy and had yours early.  Anyway, the Hawks have blessed, or cursed, us with a late start tonight--which either greatly enhances or inhibits your holiday-eve plans.  Either way, it's a must see game, as the Hawks take on the THE POWER of the Western Conference (once again, Scum fans, I've called the Sharks the team to beat in the West, do your worst).

Last time these two teams met was a barn-burner of a game.  The Sharks won 6-5 after the Hawks just couldn't get enough of the view from the box.  The Hawks were shorthanded 6 times, and the Fins only cashed in on a measley four of those.  Surprisingly, at least before that game, the Sharks PP hadn't been setting the world on fire--firmly in the middle of the pack league-wide.  Could have fooled us that night.  Since that game, Coach Q has straightened out the bunch and the Hawks haven't drawn more than 3 penalties in the three games since.  Long may that continue.

But it will take more than discipline to beat the Sharks.  Notthing short of divine intervention may be required.  The Sharks are 11-0-1 at home, which is stupidly good.  Tha Hawks haven't beat the Sharks in 13 attempts to boot.  Obviously, the Sharks an awful matchup for Chicago.  Their forwards are too big for our small-ish defense, and the site of Thornton, Marleau, and Setoguchi running a continuous cycle will be enough to make me vomit up the Goose Island Christmas Ale I've been imbibing.

The Hawks can't outskate the Sharks either.  But if they remain disciplined, and catch a rusty Nabokov, who'll be making his return from injury tonight, there's always a chance.  This is definitely the bonus game of the Circus Trip.  If the Hawks get this one, well, it'll be a very happy holiday.