Game Time: 6:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Mike Krzyzewski Is A Charlatan: Canes Country
A late season road trip playing out the interconference schedule now has the Hawks taking their only swing through NASCAR country this season. And really nothing has changed since these teams saw one another three weeks ago other than the fact that the Canes are actually eliminated.
With another season of erosion on the Staal brothers’ effectiveness and Cam Ward still not providing the return on investment needed to justify paying a goalie as much as the Canes are, Ron Francis has some work ahead of him in the cash strapped market. Even with the Hawks in town, it’s a Monday during the fraud of a sport that is college basketball’s tournament in one of its mecca metropolitan areas, so expect there to be tumbleweeds in the stands tonight. Not that they can really be blamed, the only thing worth watching on the Hurricanes is Justin Faulk, who still continues to dominate in complete obscurity and anonymity. If Francis were smart they’d pull the rip cord on the season just to take a chance at getting in the McDavid/Eichel derby, but they may have been too competent post-All Star game to slip that far. Even still, a consolation prize of Mitch Marner may help.
Macro issues aside, former Winnebago County Swine coach Bill Peters has the Hurricanes playing a structurally sound and clean game as the least penalized team in the league, and they’re above water in possession. But to even call the offense pop gun would be an insult to pop guns. Yes, the Canes shoot 29th in the league rate of 6.3% at even strength. While that is comically low, they simply don’t have the guns at forward to make even a modest regression count, as Eric Staal is a long, long way off from his 100 point sophomore season.
As for our Men of Four Feathers, they once again got help elsewhere on the schedule with Scum downing River Filth 24 seconds into overtime yesterday afternoon. Even with boning Saturday’s game in Dallas the Hawks are still within striking distance of the division, sitting five points back with two games in hand and two head-to-head against the Blues. But the thing about games in hand is that they have to be won, and that’s what made Saturday so frustrating. Dallas at least had high end scoring that made the Hawks pay for careless mistakes in transition, there is no such excuse tonight.
Anything less than an emphatic regulation win is more piss dribbling down the Hawks’ collective leg. Get out healthy and move on, as the schedule gets a bit more daunting in the final two weeks. Let’s go Hawks.