Everything Else

And so it begins anew, and the braintrust of the NHL gets what they ultimately want again with the divisional playoff format with a perennial occurence of legacy NHL rivalries along with an effort to fabricate new ones. The Hawks and Blues will meet in the first round for the second time in three years, with the Blues once again having home ice advantage thanks to their usual solid regular season. But even the florid, toothless cretins along the river are beginning to realize that that type of success and $2.50 gets one on the bus.

Because everything the Blues does is predicated on the prevention of quality chances against, it’s appropriate to take a look at their back end of the blue line and their goalies first.

Everything Else

bluestrumpet_jersey vs evil empire

Game Time: 7:30PM
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Toasted Ravs, Man: SLGT

Tonight’s game between the Hawks and Blues is being labeled a playoff preview by all of the flapping heads around the league, and in one sense, that’s not accurate at all given the number of injuries on both sides that will surely answer the bell this time next week, as well as the fact that this first round matchup is anything but a foregone conclusion. And in that respect tonight already is a playoff game unto itself. Should the Blues gain a single point, they will clinch some form of home ice and the Hawks will be locked into third in the Central. However a Hawks regulation win still keeps them in position for home ice if not the division, depending on the outcome of Stars/Avs. The Hawks would still need some help from the Preds and/or Capitals on Saturday, but they still have to close out their regular season home schedule properly tonight to give themselves a chance.

Everything Else

bluestrumpet_jersey vs evil empire

Game Time: 6:00PM Central
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, NHL Network, TVAS, WGN-AM 720
Army Corps Of Engineers Got It Right: SLGT

After a three game southern mini-road trip, the Hawks return home for a brief one-night stand at the UC before heading back down to Carolina prior to the All Star break. It will also be the Hawks’ last home game for two straight weeks, with four straight away from the west side spanning either side of the break. Their guests for tonight’s one off will be the anthropomorphic carbunkles from West East St. Louis, the Blues.

Everything Else

Though things around here have been quiet for over a month, with the Hawks retaining their key young restricted free agents in Nick Leddy and Marcus Kruger, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Stan Bowman’s actions in building his team are the exception and not the rule. Bowman got burnt badly in the past when the Niklas Hjalmarsson signed an offer sheet with the Sharks, and if a couple teams around the league aren’t careful, they might find themselves in a similarly compromising position with this year’s diminished cap.