There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding the Hawks’ possession troubles this season, specifically as it relates to the deployment of their defensemen. But maybe, just maybe, there might be a path by which they can solve this thing once the playoffs roll around, and it will once again have to be on the back of their instantaneous Hall of Fame defenseman.
PUCK DROP: 7:30 Central
TV/RADIO: NBCSN, WGN Radio
GOIN’ CRAZY OUT BY DA LAKE DERE: Hockey Wilderness
The Hawks get to round out their tour of Central Division jobbers tonight with a home date against the Green and Red from the Twin Cities. Even though the Wild are going to have scrape and claw to just get the last playoff spot over the Avalanche, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been a total headache for the Hawks this season. It’s something you’d think the Hawks want to set straight, but at this time of year we’re never certain where the Hawks focus is.
Game Time: 7:00PM
TV/Radio: NBCSN, TVA-S, SportsNet 1, WGN-AM 720
Stare Into The Lion’s Eyes: Broad St. Hockey
As the above headline will indicate, Flyers Twitter is a weird and amusing place to dwell in for even a short amount of time. Perhaps it’s their championship drought despite having numerous good to great teams over the last 40 years that’s driven them batty, or their often times confounding management. Or maybe it’s the fact that by and large those fans live in a dyspeptic cracker hellscape of a state with two of the most abhorrent accents in any English dialect; a place that until recently had a legitimate thoroughfare officially labeled on maps as “The Road To Nowhere”. And of course, Travis fucking Hughes still hasn’t paid us our cheesesteaks going on six years later.
And those denizens have had plenty to be excited about lately as the Flyers have unexpectedly surged into the playoff conversation in the Eastern Conference.
You’ve probably written this wrap in your head before you even get to this. The Hawks aren’t great, Crawford holds a deluge of shots and chances at bay, Hawks get enough from the power play and a couple mistakes from the opponent to make it look like an easy win. I don’t know how many of the Hawks now 41 wins would fall into this category, but it’s gotta be approaching 40% or 50%. It matters not, he is your king.
I thought the Wings would try and come out a little more conservative than they did on Wednesday. Shows what I know, Detroit was even more aggressive this time, though it led to a bad pinch for the first Hawks goal and a penalty for the second that each came on Hawks rushes.
But after that… well you could safely say the Hawks were rolled. From the time Keith scored in the first until Anisimov scored in the 3rd period the Wings had 43 attempts. The Hawks had 20. The Wings constantly buzzed the Hawks defense down low, causing a gaggle of turnovers and mistakes. Their defense held the line and the Hawks couldn’t get past them. They couldn’t play at the Wings’ speed, but it didn’t matter because Crawford was in net. You don’t take advantage of dominance like that, you’re asking for it when playing a team like the Hawks. Sure enough, Hawks get a PP in the 3rd, ballgame. It’s just that simple.
To the bluffs!
PUCK DROP: 4pm Central
TV/RADIO: CSN, NHL Network, WGN Radio 720
PIZZA!PIZZA!: Winging It In Motown
A rare Sunday late-afternoon start will see the Hawks and Wings wrap up their now miniature season-series, because their fans were tired of having to stay up past 11pm or something. It’s not what it was, but the limited engagements does make them feel special in a different way. Beauty is not in permanence, it would seem.
PUCK DROP: 7pm Central
TV/RADIO: NBCSN, WGN Radio
EVERYBODY’S GONNA LEAVE THEIR SEAT: Winging It In Motown
It’s the second to last visit to the Joe for the Hawks (no Wings fans I don’t think you’re going to make the Final, why do you ask?). I feel like that should mean more to Hawks fans, because most of our nightmares have taken place in that concrete blister on the river of the damned. The only good one I remember is Game 6 in 2013 when Frolik’s penalty shot caused a primal scream I was certain was going to force the neighbors to call the cops. Other than that… well, I don’t think there’s a Hawks fan anywhere who’ll be sorry to see it go. But that’s probably a discussion for next season.
PUCK DROP: 11:30am Central
TV/RADIO: NBC, WGN Radio
CALLING TED KENNEDY GAY: Japers Rink
As if there wasn’t going to be enough buzz in the building, at least as much as there can be on a Sunday Morning Coming Down, with the NHL-leading Capitals invading the United Center, the Hawks will be showing off some of their new toys as well. Not all of them, as Dale Weise is awaiting visa clearance and Christian Ehrhoff is going to need to prove to Q that he should be in the lineup (and it’s anyone’s guess how long that could take). Still, Andrew Ladd’s appearance alone would have the place jumping, and he’ll be joined by Tomas Fleischmann.
Because Stan Bowman apparently has a functional set of eyes and a basic understanding of arithmetic, his trade deadline work continued today by shipping Rob Scuderi back to Los Angeles and getting Christian Ehrhoff in return, perhaps two years too late.