Game Time: 7:30PM CST
TV/Radio: NBCSCH+ / WGN 720
Amy Jones’s 2nd Favorite Fan-Run Hockey Website: Defending Big D
The Hawks were two minutes away from scraping a point out of their game against Pittsburgh on Sunday, but the likelihood they will be so lucky against Dallas tonight is pretty fucking low. The Stars are sitting pretty at the very very top of the Central Division, two points ahead of even the mighty Avalanche. Oh, and the Stars are just coming off a 3-2 shootout win against Colorado on Monday as well. So…a win is pretty unlikely for the Hawks.
The secret to the Stars’ success this year if you ask any fan in Dallas is that they have the GREATEST LINE IN THE NHL: Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and yes, 38-year-old Joe Pavelski, are wreaking havoc against seemingly every opponent. They are the top three points-getters of the team, with Robertson being their main goal scorer and on a 12-game points streak, or something. (He had two goals in Monday’s win.)
The Stars are also seeing a recent resurgence of some of their long-time guys—Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are still anchoring their 2nd line, except now Benn is on track to score more points this season than at any other time in his career, or something. And he can still pass like a motherfucker at age 33. And for all sickos out there who still love fighting, Jamie Benn does that now apparently, albeit poorly.
The Stars organization really just said fuck it and threw out a line of kids right around Lukas Reichel’s age or younger, as Matej Blumel, Wyatt Johnston and Ty Dellandrea find themselves perhaps being the Stars’ future. I’m not sure what that says about this organization, except that Tough Guy Culture permeates in Dellandrea’s game and Blumel has like 1 point, so maybe it doesn’t say too much.
The secret to the Stars’ success has certainly been thanks to special teams, in which Dallas is a top-10 leader in both. Their powerplay is at a deadly 29.63% right now, which is 3rd in the league, so good fucking luck on PK1, Jake McCabe. And the craziest part is that the Dallas Stars take penalties like there’s no tomorrow but somehow kill them off 82.7% of the time, good for 6th in the league. If the Blackhawks could figure out their penalty kill, that would be the way for them to win, but I don’t find that likely.
As for the Men of Four Feathers, unfortunately the likes of seeing Ian Mitchell slotting in tonight are slim, as Amy’s Eldest plans on returning to play in his HOMETOWN of Dallas, albeit with a splint on his broken finger. This will bump Amy’s Youngest to the 3rd pairing, the pairing where his talents would be maxed out in the best possible scenario. And don’t forget it is also his HOMETOWN as well, as they are brothers. And so it is thus, that Ian Mitchell will be scratched and the defense will only marginally approve with a probably-not-fully-healthy Seth Jones back in the lineup.
The rest of the lineup on paper isn’t really changing too much, and also isn’t much to write home about. While Kane still leads the team in points, he has only 4 goals to his name so far this season and has evolved into more of an assist guy once he realized nobody was talented enough to get him the puck on this roster. Toews was on a more resurgent streak earlier on in the season, churning out goals in a way I thought I’d never see from him again. Max Domi is right up with them in points, although that will happen to anyone benefitting with being on Kane’s line.
You squint and see what will likely be a decent offensive player in Philipp Kurashev, but I’m not sure if he’s somebody you can build your team around. Jason Dickinson is having a decent offensive season so far, looking to blow his previous seasons’ goal and assist totals out of the water, but someone on this God-forsaken team has to score. I’d update you on Lukas Reichel if he was on the Hawks roster but he’s still toiling away in Rockford, which is just over a .500 team this season by the way. Gotta develop him somehow?
At least Arvid Soderblom is young enough to get better and improve.
Like the recent Bruins game, this one could be ugly. The Hawks are very easily outmatched by teams at the top of the standings, and the Stars will be no less difficult. We’ll see what happens, but I won’t be surprised if Hawks fans skip this game in light of getting ready for holiday festivities here in America.