RECORDS: Blues 1-1-1 Hawks 2-0-2
PUCK DROP: 7:30pm
TV: NBCSN Chicago
THE CALL OF KTULU: St. Louis Gametime
I’m not sure exactly what’s up with NHL scheduling, other than it’s designed by the NHL so inherently it’s boneheaded. Last year, the Hawks and Blues crammed in all of their matchups save one from March 1st on. This time around, they’ll meet three times in the season’s first 16 days.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have a nice long break from dealing with all the horseshit that comes with anything St. Louis, but you’d think you’d want to spread these out a bit. Or maybe it’s like what your dad told you about getting booster shots. Just go, swear loudly while it’s happening, and get it over with. And then you don’t have to do it again. Or was that just my dad? Except I’d probably rather have a booster shot than be in St. Louis. Luckily for the Hawks, they aren’t in St. Louis tonight. They’re in the cavernous confines of home on Madison St for the first visit from the scourge down I-55. Quite the Mr. Saturday Night Special.
Clearly, not that much could have changed in the week since these two last did “DUCK-SEASON-RABBIT-SEASON.” The Blues picked up their first win of the season on Thursday, taking advantage of the Flames’ insistence that Mike Smith is in fact not a reanimated corpse and pumping five past him, including a hat trick for Jabba’s parasite, David Perron. That give them a mark in each standings category.
It being early hasn’t stopped Mike Yeo from going totally Mike Yeo. The return of Joel Edmundson, who didn’t play last week, caused some decisions to be made on defense. So Yeo treated his young d-man like everyone thinks Joel Quenneville treats young players but doesn’t, and healthy scratched Vince Dunn. Even though Dunn is their only other puck-mover besides Colton Burpo in the lineup. Edmundson has joined Alex FineAndMellow on the top pairing, which is a far better situation than having Jabe O’Meester’s wandering gangrene. One would expect that Dunn returns tonight, unless Yeo really needs to see Disco Robert Bortuzzo and his Ouzo for Two-zo or whatever in the name of John Wayne’s ass a Jakub Jerabek is.
Up front, there’s only been rearranging of the furniture. Perron has moved up to the second line with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz, though the latter will miss out tonight with a leg injury. Likely that moves Alex Steen up. And Jordan Kyrou has slotted down with Alex Steen (or whoever replaces him on that line tonight) and Tyler Bozak, who needed an injection of anything that could move at more than a glacial pace.
So that’s their story.
The Hawks’ remains the same. Cam Ward took the morning off but certainly is the starter tonight. It could be the last one before Corey Crawford returns on Thursday against the Yotes (no connection to their being good seats still available for that one), though why Crow wouldn’t need a start or two with the Piggies to knock off some ring rust is an answer I don’t have. Anyway, Crow was at the morning skate and taking the starter’s share, so whatever it’s going to be it’s close.
There’s no indication that Brandon Davidson will replace the other Brandon or Jan Rutta in the lineup, so it’s probably the same as it was Thursday. Alex Fortin looked springy on Thursday so should stay in the lineup ahead of SuckBag Johnson. Other than that, the talk yesterday was Brandon Saad being moved to the fourth line with John Hayden slotting up, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m not all that convinced it’ll be long.
There’s not much of a breakdown here. The Hawks are going to be an adventure pretty much every game. They can’t keep teams locked down for 60 minutes. Fuck, we’ll settle for 40. Q will probably do his best to have Toews or Kruger out against Ryan O’Reilly as much as he can, just in the hopes of winning a faceoff every now and then. Still, Yeo would be reluctant to get into a track meet with the Hawks, which Bruce Boudreau was all too happy to on Thursday. He lacks a sense of whimsy, that one.
So basically either the top two lines come up with four goals and Ward doesn’t completely fold in on himself, or the Blues win. Fairly simple.
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