The Hawks careen in into the All Star break hosting the Canucks and Wild tonight and Wednesday respectively, with their date last night against the Blues having been rescheduled as a part of the NHL revamping its schedule on the fly to accomodate COVID postponements and the resultant lack of participation in this coming weekend’s Olympics. Coincidentally, the not so dearly departed Jeremy Prinze, Jr is now tasked with coaching Team Canada after Claude Julien sustained a freak eye injury, so it will be utterly hilarious to watch the Canadians try to chase puck carriers above the circles on the extra wide ice. And even with the NHL not sending players, that doesn’t mean the Canadian citizenry won’t feel entitled to gold and nothing less, so those hockey-birthright jingoistic psychos should be in full froth by the medal round. But back to more pressing matters on this side of the International Date Line, where the Hawks only have two more regulation wins than the laughable Habs and Yotes, and one of the Coyotes’ SEVEN wins cam against them.

1/31 – vs Canucks

Game Time – 6:30PM CST
TV/Radio – NBC Sports Chicago, SportsNet Pacific, WGN-AM 720
Ever Heard Of The Knife Alien? – Nucks Misconduct, Canucks Army

After the obligatory Boudreau Bounce, where the Canucks went 8-0-1 after he replaced Travis Green at the beginning of December, but have gone 3-4-3 since, and still find themselves well outside the final wildcard spot, even with Edmonton absolutely shitting all over itself for like six weeks straight now. As is always the case when Gabby takes over, the pace quickens and players skate like their asses are on fire, but most of the time in every direction at once. Boudreau’s limitations have been well documented over the years in this space so there’s no need to rehash them again when this particular roster won’t get him anywhere near the top of the conference playing his signature style. The thought was that Boudreau could maximize the floundering offense of Elias Petterson, who to this point only has 24 points in 44 games, which is well off his basically point-per rate his first three (truncated) seasons. Since Boudreau took over, Petterson only has 12 points in 20 games, so things have yet to pick up for him, and it’s not as if his shooting percentage has absolutely cratered – he’s at 12.2%, but that number has been trending downward since his rookie rate of 19.9% to 16.7% to 15.9% to where it is today. Even if he were shooting his career rate (this year included) of 16.6%, that’d still only result in 4 more goals on his 90 shots. His shots on goal are only down .2 a game from his career rate, so something is off here. Considering that he’s locked up for two more years and that this season likely is going result in a sell-off prior to the deadline (where the most attractive piece might be leading scorer JT Miller who is at a point-per and plays a great two way game and has another year left), it’s probably not cause for riots in the streets, but is certainly worth monitoring,

2/2 – vs Wild

Game Time – 8:30PM CST
TV/Radio – TNT, WGN-AM 720
Doublewhiskeycokenoice – Hockey Wilderness

This will be the third meeting in two weeks between these two teams, and not really much has changed since the first two other than Jonathan Toews being out of the lineup in the concussion protocol. It’s anyone’s guess when he’ll return, and the continued presence of Lukas Reichel in Rockford makes even less sense now that the Hawks are down a center and apparently Kirby Dach has given up trying to score 120 games into his career leaving the Hawks with really only one guy with any finish, and he’s headed to Vegas once this game ends. The Wild dong-whipped the Hawks on UC ice two weeks ago in a game that was never close, and then the Hawks at least kept things interesting for a bit in St. Paul before blowing multiple leads and losing in OT. In both games the Hawks suppressed shots well enough on this Wild team, something they’ve been fairly good at since the aforementioned Coach Kelvin Gemstone got whacked, but with little to no finish, and lacking the team speed the Wild have, there’s only so much that’s going to impact actually good teams, as was the case twice against the Avs last week. This game is once again on national TV, but at least this one is the late game that a national audience won’t have to be subjected to it. After this it’s the all star break, where we’ll probably take a breather here too, because this new writing schedule is so exhausting.


With the opening three games on the road going about as balls-up as could have possibly been imagined, the Hawks return home with some serious heat on them after a roster overhaul and reassurances that yet another Magic Training Camp would make things different. But things have not been different, and cries that “It’s only X games” into the season are largely meaningless when the same disorganization and bleeding of chances has been on display for nearly 200 games since almost three calendar years ago with Coach Vinny Del Colliton’s hiring. An underreported event that has somehow slipped through the cracks in all of this was Marc-Andre Fleury’s meltdown in the tunnel following getting yanked in his “homecoming” against the Penguins on Saturday night. For all the pear shaped playoff games he spat up in Pittsburgh to getting his job taken both there and in Vegas, there has never, ever been one reported instance of him losing his shit in such a fashion, and yet it took less than four periods here enduring the barrage he’s been subject to. It could just be a prideful professional feeling embarrassed in a place he called home for so long, but he hasn’t gotten the reputation as being one of the best locker room guys in the league for a generation and a half now because he takes shit like that to heart. Truly something to monitor as he makes proper home debut tonight against the Isles.

10/19 vs. Islanders

Game Time –  7:00PM CDT
TV/Radio – ESPN, WGN-AM 720
Profane Geometry  – Lighthouse Hockey

The Isles hit the West Side tonight looking for their first win as well, though their losses came against actual teams in the Canes and Cats, and on the road, as they wait for their brand-new non-charming-scum-bucket arena at Belmont Racetrack to get the finishing touches on it prior to its grand opening. One time Hawks flirtation Anders Lee is back after missing all of their second consecutive ECF run with a torn ACL, and Lou has brought in the remnants of Zdeno Chara and Zach Parise to do….things. And while the Islanders have more skill than their reputation indicates with Mat Barzal, Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, and Kyle Palmieri who will give you 22 goals whether you need them or not, the story as always here is the structure in which Barry Trotz has this team playing, as they will rarely beat themselves. What’s been uncharacteristic so far has been their goaltending allowing 5 goals in each of the first two games, with Ilya Sorokin getting off to a tough start. They’ll be looking to correct that this evening.

10/21 vs Canucks

Game Time – 7:30 PM CDT
TV/Radio – NBC Sports Chicago, SportsNet Pacific, WGN-AM 720
Diaper Time – Nucks Misconduct

After the back half of last year’s abbreviated season had the team absolutely beset by covid running wild through their dressing room causing the team to hilariously play meaningless games after the playoffs had started elsewhere, this Canucks campaign threatened to start equally as auspiciously with Young Go-Hards Elias Petterson and Quinn Hughes not getting their second contracts signed until camp in Vancouver had already opened. But after much rending of garments in the streets, both were ready to be in the lineup on opening night. This is another team that got an overhaul that likely isn’t going to accomplish much, with long time blue line fixtures Chris Tanev and Alex Edler (and his elbows) now gone in favor of whatever might be left of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Conor Garland also came over in that deal, and was likely the centerpiece of it and taking on OEL’s increasingly smelly contract was the cost of doing business. In the process they were able to jettison Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel, so it kind of all comes out in the wash. The Pacific division is a complete moldering corpse, so this team might make it in by default, but it will certainly help their chances if JT Miller continues to play at a Selke level to take some responsibilities away from Petterson. However, this team did most recently lose to the loose conglomeration of the Detroit Red Wings, so anything is possible.

10/24 vs Red Wings

Game Time – 6:00PM CDT
TV/Radio – NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network, SN1, WGN-AM 720
This Is Me Breathing – WIIM 

Speaking of which….those same Red Wings come to town on Sunday night. In a perpetual rebuild that has somehow not yet cost Jeff Blashill his job, the Wings once again have next to no expectations this year, and still basically only have Dylan Larkin to be concerned about. That being said, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of blowing this Hawks team’s doors off in terms of burying them in shots as they did a couple times last year and as recently as a couple weeks ago in Detroit. The blade sharpens….



Game Time: 9:30PM CST
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Chicago, SportsNet+, SN360, WGN-AM 720
Slaying The Dragon: Nucks Misconduct, Canucks Army

After a thoroughly embarrassing performance in Edmonton last night, the Hawks have no time to regroup as they continue their Western Canadian tour in Vancouver tonight against the Canucks, and just in time for Sedin Twin Night as 22 and 33 go into the rafters at Rogers Arena.

Everything Else

It could’ve be more fitting of a situation than for the Blackhawks to play well against a few decent/good teams (or at least teams in playoff spots in the West) when I don’t have to pay a huge load of attention, only to then take a dump all over all 200 feet of ice when I am on wrap duty. No, this isn’t about me, but something about them playing their worst game this month when the most pro-tank FFUD writer is locked in is kinda hilarious. And yeah, up until the last 8 or so minutes, this might’ve been one of the worst performances of the year for this team. Let’s do it, and see if I can find much to say:

– The Hawks really were lucky to be down one for as long as they were in this one, because they were getting killed by Vancouver for nearly the entire first 50+ minutes. Even when the Hawks were on the power play at times, it didn’t feel like they had the advantage. Vancouver just looked like the hungrier team, kind of being everywhere defensively, which was really the extent of their gameplan – defend well and hope to sneak shit in when the chances come. Not coincidentally, the Hawks are built to basically do the opposite, so it’s a smart gameplan from the Canucks. And in the end it worked. They should’ve had a bigger lead and were unfortunately stuck with just a 1-goal lead for most of the game, and forced to play an unnecessary overtime against a Hawks team that got a point from this one that they didn’t deserve.

– Let’s talk a little bit about what led to some of that Vancouver dominance. Primarily, this question – why are Brent Seabrook and Gustav Forsling on the ice at the same time ever? To have those guys on the ice together at any time is inexcusable, and at one point it led to a very-extended offensive possession by Vancouver in the second period that resulted in a few good scoring chances, though no goals. Had it not been Crawford back there, they would’ve been murdered for it. You can’t have the blind leading the blind in your defensive zone with a long change.

– Another important defensive question – why is Erik Gustafsson the defensman of choice to be the solo-dolo blue liner on the ice with Kane and Toews in the overtime period? I understand the idea of trying to generate offense, but that’s basically what you have Daydream Nation out there to do. And sure, the pickings are slim in terms of capable defensemen who are capable of playing very good defense in OT, but if you have 19 and 88 together, you don’t need 56 to generate anything. Put Murphy back there and shore yourself up in case you lose the faceoff and face a rush – oh shit, that’s what happened! Gustafsson got burned and Crawford got beaten by a shot he wouldn’t have had to face if his defenseman could keep his shit together in the zone.

– By now if you pay attention to the bylines (or just the opening to this) you know that I, Adam, am of the mind that the best thing long-term for this team is being not good. I’ve written it in back-to-back years, basically advocating for a tank I knew wouldn’t and couldn’t come. I think losing and maximizing the draft selection is the best route forward. With that being said, watching this team play like complete garbage after a string of good performances is beyond frustrating. I have never thought they were a very good team, and their last really meaningful win over a truly good team was in January. But shit, when you know that they are capable of competent, good hockey, watching them play incompetent, awful hockey, is difficult. Let’s just win the lottery, draft Jack Hughes, sign Erik Karlsson, and be good next year, okay?

Everything Else


RECORDS: Canucks 30-32-10   Hawks 32-30-9

TV/RADIO: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network, Sportsnet, WGN-AM 720
SEA TO SKY TOILET: Canucks Army, Nucks Misconduct

Every season in every sport takes on a complexion of its own, for better or for worse. Water finds its own level, and certain truths are exposed over a large enough sample size whether they make sense or not, and they seem wholly confined to within the context of that league year. So it’s with that being said, that despite the two teams tonight being objectively horseshit, it is a critical, must-win, FOUR POINT game on West Madison for both the Hawks and Canucks.

For the visiting Canucks, this is precisely where any right-thinking fan of theirs (and there are about six of them, admittedly) does not want the team to be. Sure, they are bad, but they aren’t fully bad enough to put themselves in the best position possible to draft a transformational forward (whose brother just happens to be in the Canucks’ farm system), and they aren’t at the tail end of any window with any aging veterans who could realistically justify a go-for-it mentality, or at least not anymore, with the last remaining holdover from the “glory” years of nearly 10 years ago now being Alex Edler and his elbows. Sure, they have the likely Calder trophy winner in Elias Petterson, who has been sensational and leads all rookie scoring despite a) being hurt a significant portion of the year and b) basically doing it with zero help, as Brock Boeser has been hurt just as often as Petterson has.

At 60 points in 61 games, Petterson is the Canucks’ leading scorer in all three categories, and has all the tools one would ask of a true superstar in the making – he’s fast, he’s an elite stickhandler and passer, has a quick shot, and has great scorer’s instincts. He’s currently centering the aforementioned Boeser and his huge shot, along with fellow prospect Nikolay Goldobin, who has taken a slight step back in his first full season in the NHL with only seven goals in 62 games after eight in 38 last year. It could be a bout of bad luck as he’s only shooting 6.7% this year while getting more shots on net, but even still he’s good for 1.67 per game in all situations, as opposed to Boeser’s nearly three per game.

So at least with those three forming a top line, GM Jim Benning can get a good look at what the future might hold while deluding himself that his team is in a playoff chase. Behind them however, things are far less interesting. As of last night, Bo Horvat is centering whatever is left of Loui Eriksson and Leafs castoff Josh Leivo, and Adam Gaudette is getting another look at the show with bottom six minutes between the suddenly well-traveled Tanner Pearson and Zack-Kassian-Cosplayer Jake Virtanen. Big free agent acquisition Jay Beagle still patrols the fourth line, just more expensively now, and between the likes of the other Granlund no one cares about and Fifth Feather’s favorite guy Tyler Motte.

On defense the Canucks are even less conspicuous, with the aforementioned Edler being about as default a #1 defenseman as there is in the league. He’s paired with the potentially useful Troy Stetcher, but it’s difficult to say how useful he could end up being considering he’s only ever been on teams that’ve gotten their dicks kicked in. And when looking at the rest of this blue line its easy to see why Quin Hughes would want to take his time getting here, unless 21-year-old former 3rd round pick Guillame Brisebois getting his first taste in the league or the corpse of Luke Schenn excites you, which it shouldn’t.

In net tonight will be another prospect after Jakob Markstrom made 44 stops in a shootout win in Dallas last night, Thatcher Demko, who might have the worst name in the sport. After two years in Utica, Demko has spent most of the year hurt, with four appearances for the Canucks and 16 in The A. He hasn’t been particularly impressive to this point, with an .895 overall and an .892 at evens, which is always impressive when the EV mark is lower. But Demko has consistently put up solid numbers at every level when he’s been healthy, and given the far more protracted growth curve for goaltending, none of this should preclude him from future success.

As for the Men of Four Feathers, getting four points in regulation against Toronto and Montreal when they weren’t expected to get any kind of makes up for shitting their pants against the Kings and failing to capitalize on the Avs and Stars a few weeks back, but not fully. And Corey Crawford throwing up a shutout in his home town (where he always performs well) is certainly a bonus, but everyone involved would have preferred it not taken him 48 stops to do so. Granted, the dam didn’t break until the Hawks went up two early in the third, but 48 shots is still 48 shots. He’ll get the call again tonight, as all of the sudden Crawford’s posted a .929 overall in March.

In front of Crawford the Platoon of Ineptitude between Slater Koekkoek, Carl Dahlstrom, and Gustav Forsling is likely to continue, though Forsling has managed to stay in the lineup by some act of god. There’s nothing really that can be said about this unit, they’re historically bad and they’re not going to stop any time soon, so just duck and cover and try to get out of each 60 minutes alive.

Up front, the Brendan Perlini Debutante Cotillion continues (just as Fifth Feather sooth-said on the podcast), as on top of his insurance marker on Saturday he’s just today been named the NHL’s second star of the week with five points in three games. It’s all well and good, and certainly playing with the Otter Boys maximizes his obvious tools, but he’ll need to continue this output if the Hawks are going to keep this charade of playoff hopes alive.

Whether anyone likes it or not, this game has playoff implications for both teams, such is the fetid state of affairs in the Western Conference this year. Even that context aside, given the rosters of both teams and the fact that the Canucks were on the road last night and took the maximum time necessary to come away with two points, the tale of the tap says that the Hawks should walk away victorious. But this team has found new and exciting ways to trip over its own dick when encroaching on competence multiple times this year, so to assume this game is a gimme would be stupid. In any event, six is better than five. Let’s go Hawks.


Game #72 Preview Suite




Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick


I don’t even know what’s up with this team right now. They were playing very interesting games while looking very bad earlier this year. Then immediately before and after the All-Star Break/Bye Week they were winning games that were absolutely brutally boring. And then tonight they play like shit in a relatively entertaining game and pull out a tie/OT win. What’s going on? Let’s bullet this to process:

– First and foremost, if there is any one specific thing you can point to in order to say Colliton has had a huge impact this year, it’s the power play, which is near dominant right now. They cashed in on both halves of a 5-on-3 in the first period tonight to get themselves off to a nice start, and while they weren’t playing well at evens in that period (nor did they ever in this none but we’ll get there), we know you can PP your way to a win and even do it several times, and that’s basically what they ended up doing here. With the amount of offensive talent they have had around here for years, it never made sense that the PP stunk so much for so long with Q, and this quantum leap in effectiveness is a major feather in CCYP’s hat.

– So, the Hawks had a 39.8 CF% at 5v5 tonight and lost the goal battle there 2-1, as well. And it really felt like they were being outplayed the whole time, regardless of what noted meatfuck Adam Burish said in the immediate post-game. The actual SOG count wasn’t exactly pretty either, as Vancouver outshot them 43-35. And again, you can PP yourself to a win, but getting straight up shitpumped by the Canucks like that is just downright bad. So please hold off on any “Blackhawks are BACK” posts, because I am not convinced they are.

– That being said, the Hawks are now just two points out of a playoff spot, and their upcoming schedule is full of some shitty teams. Moving forward, they clearly can’t get their face kicked in at evens like they did tonight and expect to win games and make up that playoff ground. But confidence is a dangerous weapon and there is potential they improve as they go and we see a playoff berth. Playing games that matter would certainly be valuable, but I am still not sure if I think it’s more valuable than adding Jack Hughes would be.

– A key part of any potential playoff push (or tank-like collapse) is going to be the play of Collin Delia, and yet again he delivered an inconsistent performance that leaves me wanting an answer regarding what he actually is. The second Canucks goal simply cannot happen, and while it was less egregious neither can the third. Those are two goals where Delia was set up well in front of the shot, and just missed. But then he makes the hard saves and gives you overall solid play. He has to fix the soft shit, cuz then there is really something here. Until then, I will feel like I need to see more.

– The connection between Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat is really something, and Strome is absolutely showing himself as a certified 2C with still some upside to maybe be more. He is so smart, his hands are so good, and he’s really using all of that to mitigate the weaknesses with his skating. Meanwhile, DeBrincat remains the third best forward on this team and really elevates Strome, and their past chemistry is definitely playing a role. They’re fun to watch and an excellent second line compliment to Daydream Nation.

– The Jonathan Toews Fuck You Tour continues. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, bitches.

Everything Else

Some combination of last year’s horrible season and all of the insane optimism I have about the Bears has resulted in an all-time low level of expectations about the Blackhawks this year, and with that it’s been difficult for me to get worked up about bad losses. So it should tell you something when I say that this loss was really aggravating. Let’s just get this over with:

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

– At a certain point Brandon Saad is going to have a breakthrough on offense this year. I feel this is a certainty. His performances have been too dominant in almost all other aspects besides actually finding the back of the net, and even tonight he managed to that, albeit in a really weird way. He almost had a second but he Maradonna’d it into the net with the kind of backheel touch I’d like to see in Man City’s midfield (yes I am a Citizen. No I don’t know why Sam still lets me write here). Overall he was probably the Hawks best player tonight, and his 70% shot share at 5v5 bears that out (though it was actually third on the team to Wide Dick and Kunitz, his linemates). It’s either gonna come together for him or continue to be the most frustrating season imaginable. Hopefully the former.

– I don’t know what kind of galaxy brain shit led Joel Quennville to a defensive pairing of the Brandons Davidson and Manning, but the results of that pair being on the ice is what Q and his team deserve for not just putting that pair together, but sticking with it all night. Manning continues to be unarguably the worst player on the ice, and his presence on this team is an affront to humanity and the sport of hockey. He almost murdered one of the Canucks players tonight (it’s too late for me to go back and try to figure out who it was) and in my opinion the only just result is that he gets banned from the NHL forever. It’s only right.

– Meanwhile, Manning was a land of contrasts tonight. There was a 30 second stretch before the Canucks second goal where he did an excellent job closing Elias Petterson out in the defensive zone, basically completely shutting the rookie down on the rush. Then 30 seconds later he seemed like he had no clue what to do with Jake fucking Virtanen as he rushed, and Manning ended up leaving Virtanen way too much room to shoot, and he burned Crow high. And then probably about two minutes later he boxed out Louis Eriksson extremely well to shut down a rush. So what the fuck? Pick a lane my dude.

– This was a really bad loss, mostly because the Hawks played so much better in the first two periods than the Canucks. But when you get brained so badly you only manage 28% of the shots in the third period, you deserve to lose. Let’s agree to never speak of this again.

Everything Else


Game Time: 9:00PM CST
TV/Radio: WGN Channel 9, WGN-AM 720
Baby, I’m An Anarchist!: Nucks MisconductCanucks Army

Because no road trips make any sense anymore, the Hawks will head to Western Canada for a return engagement starting tonight in Vancouver with whatever the fuck the Canucks are these days, complete with NHL ALL STAR 3 ON 3 CHALLENGE MVP Brock Boeser.

Everything Else

Box Score
Natural Stat Trick

During this time of year, particularly at home and against the drecks of the league, any points gained in regulation are to be taken happily. And while the parts of the second and the early parts of the third period reeked of a team taking its foot off the gas against a lesser opponent, the Hawks grabbed a win while inching the Canucks and their fans closer to the sweet release of the season ending.