FACEOFF: 7pm Central
TV/RADIO: CSN Locally, NBCSN not locall, WGN Radio 720
WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLAINY: St. Louis Gametime
WHERE WE’LL BE FOR IT: A.J. Hudson’s (Ashland and Grace here in the city)
Well, you tell me what we’re going to see tonight. It’s hard to imagine that the Hawks would just lie down for a game against the Blues. But then again it was hard to imagine them waving their hand at the thought of overcoming the Wild at home last out in the 3rd when a single point would at least lock them into 3rd. The Hawks aren’t out of danger of falling into the wild card slots, though it’s not clear if that matter or if they care about it. And I don’t know either.
Ok, we’ll do the lineup thing. Kyle Baun Baun Kyle Baun Baun looks like he’s going to go again tonight after a serviceable debut. Corey Crawford is starting, and you’d believe Q’s only goal was to just get out of this one alive it would be Darling starting. Maybe he’s going in Colorado. Marcus Kruger will not play as he’s sick, which is a loss for sure so Desjardins will slot into center which he can play, giving the Hawks three combined centers (Shaw and Desjardins each counting for a half) while another center plays on a wing. And it was ever thus.
Kimmo Timonen also didn’t make the trip, which means you get more of Rozie and Rundblad in this one because I know you were asking for it, causing Q to break up his dominant Swedes so everyone can play babysitter. I guess if the Hawks really didn’t value this one it would be Paliotta’s debut tonight, but I don’t even know anymore.
For the Blues, their absentees are all the same when they were here on Sunday, as Steen, Tarasenko, and Disco Bortuzzo (he’s got ouzo for two-zo) are all out. With a good portion of their offense in street clothes tonight, expect the Blues to be just as tight in their own zone as they were on Sunday, meaning the Hawks are going to have to figure out something else than just winging pucks from the point with two or three Blues staring at them directly and blankly. The Blues can clinch the division if they win and the Preds to lose to Minnehaha, so it’s all there for them tonight.
The Hawks are in a strange position tonight, if you think they were trying to slot themselves against Nashville on Tuesday (which I’m not convinced of, but I also have no idea what was going on on Tuesday either with 32 and 5 on in the last minute and the game on the line). If the Hawks win, they just might pull the Blues into the 2-3 matchup with them. If they lose, they may force themselves to slip right into 4th in the division and get the Blues anyway in a 1-4 series. You fucking figure it out.
It really could be anything tonight. I’m guessing with the division there to be grabbed, and wanting to win the season series against the Hawks, as well as their usual bubbling looniness that’s always on display when the Hawks go down I-55, we’ll see the usual Blues experience. Pucks deep, finishing every check, hoping for mistakes (otherwise known as “Rozsivals’). Especially without Tarasenko and Steen, the Blues kind of need some help to create offense. They usually get it through their forceful ways.
It would appear Jay Gallon has seized the #1 job from Brian “Terminal Case of Being Brian Elliot” Elliot, as he starts again tonight. He’s been the better goalie of late, and god knows they’ve put this kid through the ringer before they let him have the #1 job he’s been groomed for for like three years now. He was pretty good on Sunday but wasn’t made to work all that hard as the Hawks were kept to the perimeter.
In order to get inside the circles and to the front of the net better tonight, the Hawks will need a high level of want, and no one has any idea how seriously they’re taking this one. The Hawks will try and stretch the Blues D so that there’s a gap between them and the furiously forechecking forwards. This is actually when their stretch-pass happy ways would serve them well, to either get behind the Blues D or to open up space in front of them once the Hawks break cleanly out of the zone. If they break cleanly out of the zone, which can be a real trick against this collection of shaved apes and sewer alligators.
Kick the weekend off early and join us at Hudson’s for this one. If the Hawks don’t care, you’ll have plenty of people to hang out with and throw a few back. If they do care, all the more fun. Hudson’s has a signed Hjalmarsson jersey they’ll be raffling off tonight, and we’ll see what other fun we can come up with. And you can hit Killion with a fish.