Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: WGN, 97.9 The Loop
Glorified Trailer Park: St. Louis Game Time
Thus ends the 48 game prelude to the portion of the hockey season that truly matters. And there are fewer ways more satisfying that how the Hawks are doing so today, by sauntering down I-55 with a troop of kids to take on the Blues in a game that means nothing to the Hawks, and quite a bit to the Blues.
At the start of today’s action, the Blues currently reside in 4th in the Western Conference, and can seal that up with a win of any kind tonight. Should they do so, they’ll start the playoffs at home against the victor of tonight’s Kings/Sharks game at Staples. They’ll have to do so tonight without crybaby T.J. Oshie, and toilet baby Barrett Jackman, both of whom are being held out as a precaution until Game 1 next week. Brian Elliott will get the start in net for the Blues, though Jaroslav Halak is on the mend and has been dressing.
As for our Men of Four Feathers, pretty much all the names that matter will be watching the game at home tonight, as Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Viktor Stalberg, and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Yes, you read that right. So it’s pretty much the Winnebago County Skatin’ Bacon making the trip down to St. Louis, determine for yourself whether Rockford-to-St. Louis is considered an upgrade or not. There are some names to watch like Pirri and Morin and Optimus Grind Ben Smith, but nothing they accomplish in one game is likely to change their respective trajectories within the organization.
Carter Hutton will also be making his NHL debut tonight in net, so this could get out of hand quickly. Though the Blues are in fact stupid enough to run around like assholes trying to pile drive a bunch of AHLers to prove a point and lose the game, which would be the absolute pinnacle of hilarity, unlikely as it may be.
The far more entertaining option tonight will be watching the menage-a-troi of mediocrity between the Wild, Scum, and the Jackets, as their playoff lives hinge on victories tonight, and will determine the Hawks’ opponent next week. With Minny taking an absolute moon shot from the Oil last night to the tune of 6-1 on home ice, they travel to Denver to take on an Avs team that Hawks fans have first hand knowledge of their capability to be a turd in a punchbowl, and could end up on the outside looking in. Scum will be hosting an eliminated Stars team, who might find some way to screw this up as they always do during the final days of the season. The Jackets will be hosting a lowly Preds team in their final Central division matchup. Scum and Minny control their own fate, and the Jackets will need help from either the Stars or Avs, as they are on the wrong end of the ROW tiebreaker. One way or the other, the Hawks will have a dance partner by night’s end.
Even with all of the Hawk aristocracy sitting on their couches, this is still bound to be a chippy affair, as some of the Pigs will likely try to catch the eye of Hawk management in the exact wrong way. Actually going out and giving the Blues a shitburger to eat in a game that matters to them would be far more satisfying. Strap yourself in for trainwreck theater. Let’s go Hawks.