Hockey

vs

Game Time: 7:30PM CDT
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network, SportsNet 1, WGN-AM 720
Royal Oil: Copper ‘n Blue, Oilers Nation

As the homestand nears its halfway point the Hawks still find themselves winless on the season, and the schedule has done them zero favors with a very early season tilt against the suddenly shit-hot Oilers and arguably the fastest player in the history of the game.

Hockey

It is kind of amazing that in the NHL, that no matter how stupid and bad a contract, it always ends up getting moved somehow. We just saw it last week when the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, adding a level of farce to their longstanding rivalry, decided to swap headaches in Milan Lucic and James Neal. We’ve seen Patrick Marleau moved along this year, though his deal was only for three years and only turned bad for one. The list goes on for a bit, though it generally ends with someone being LTIR’d into death.

Still, it was harder to find worse deals than Milan Lucic’s and James Neal’s. If you’re the Oilers, you must be delighted, because there’s a small chance that at least for a season or two, Neal can just stand still and shoot and get you 15-20 goals. He shot just 5% last year, which is less than half of his career mark, and again, if he does nothing else that should rebound. He might get buried possession-wise, he might cost you more goals that way, but at least they can point to something and say, “Well he’s doing something. Is that oaf we traded for him?”

As for the Flames, they can…well I haven’t any idea what they can do. It’s just an inexplicable decision from them, especially for a team that got exposed as not fast enough when Nathan MacKinnon Sherman March’d their ass to the golf course over five games.

But it leads one to ask, if these two contracts can be moved, could Brent Seabrook’s?

No. No it can’t. And the differences are why.

For one, there’s a difference from having $5.2M and $5.7M on your deal, as Lucic and Neal do, and fucking $6.8M on it (you’d think I’d have developed some sort of mental scar tissue to protect myself when reading or writing that, but no, still wince and get queasy every time). Second, Seabrook was 32 when this public health crisis kicked in, and Lucic and Neal signed their deals either at 30 or even younger, when they were at least somewhere near whatever their “prime” was. Both Neal and Lucic are now 31, which is a hell of a lot different than 34 in hockey, as Seabrook is. Seabrook also has five years left on his, whereas Neal and Lucic only have four. So not only did he sign it older, it takes him to an older age.

But most of all, the Hawks haven’t poisoned the water around Seabrook, even if that is an underhanded tactic when done on purpose. Neal was a healthy scratch for the Flames in the playoffs for a game. He was scratched a few times during the season. He was deployed on the third and fourth lines. The same applies for Lucic. He has been healthy scratched, demoted to the fourth line and back again.

In both cases, the teams made it clear those players no longer had a fit on their teams. While still collecting a big check, these are still proud athletes with little wish to be on a team where it’s clear they weren’t wanted or would not be used. In Neal’s case more so, he still feels like he can contribute. After all, he’s only a season removed from being a 25-goal scorer on a Cup finalist. He didn’t feel the need to clean up whatever scraps Bill Peters deigns to toss off the table to him.

The Hawks have done no such thing to Seabrook. He’s only been healthy scratched once in the last two seasons, and that was by Joel Quenneville who’s no longer here. In fact, they’ve bent over backwards in some cases to make sure he doesn’t turn on their new an very fragile coach (or the coach’s very fragile hold on the team, to be more accurate). Seabrook has rarely lost playing time, still getting time with Duncan Keith and taking the top assignments at various points. It was only this past season that Seabrook’s average ice time dipped below 20 minutes per game, even though his play warranted that for a couple seasons, and even then it was still 19:04. At worst, that’s solidly second-pairing minutes. Among the d-men it ranked fourth behind Keith, Gustafsson, and Murphy.

Hell, the Hawks just moved out a kid who reasonably should have been taking most if not all his minutes to avoid upsetting the applecart…er, nacho-cart. Considering he was punted for nothing (GET THAT TASTE OUT YO MOUF, FEATHER!), if Jokiharju’s value was so low a properly run organization not still trying to cash in on nostalgia would have let him play on the third pairing all season if only to build his trade value.

So Seabrook hasn’t lost any playing time or influence, so why should he agitate for a move? Every mistake in the NHL gets cleared up somehow, but the Hawks haven’t really prepared the ground for that. He still gets to play, and he still gets power play time, and he still gets to feel like he wields the axe in the dressing room and organizationally, because he does. Brent Seabrook can get their coach fired if he wants, and if they fire that coach then you’d have to believe the GM has to go to, which might mean the president does as well, and it could be a total house-cleaning.

Perhaps this is only for another season. Perhaps Ian Mitchell and Adam Boqvist force the Hawks into some tough discussions and decisions, and Seabrook can only handle the pressbox for so long. Maybe they figure out something with retirement, who knows? But seeing those two contracts moved, you wonder if the Hawks couldn’t as well if they really wanted to.

Everything Else

@BookofLoob is yet another creature we’ve unearthed from the darkest depths of the internet. We asked it questions, but don’t ask too many questions about it. 

The Flames are still in first. This thing has to be real now, right?
 
Nashville is finally being undone by their “I love domestic abusers and a 36 year old Finnish Mike Smith” GM, and good things are never, EVER allowed to happen to Winnipeg, so yeah, this is real. You get some goaltending and you let the fake goalie ride the pine, mix it in with a top line that’s scoring at will, plus you throw in that, aside from Garnet Hathaway, you essentially have a top to bottom roster with real, functional players, the results are going to roll in.
Power play still sucks.
 
Johnny Gaudreau is fourth in the league in scoring. And yet he doesn’t seem to get the press of McDavid or Kucherov or the Colorado kids. He should blow past his career high of 30 goals with 23 already. Why the breakthrough?
 
If we’re calling this a breakthrough, it’s only because the breakthrough has been going on for about three or four years now and progressing as Johnny H enters his prime. Gaudreau and Sean Monahan could always rack up the points together, but it used to be Gaudreau carrying his line while Monahan got the vulture goals, but in recent years, Monahan has added a few dimensions to his game as well. Having a legitimate number 1 RW on their line with Elias Lindholm doesn’t hurt either.
Or maybe it’s because Johnny doesn’t get black out drunk at Cowboy’s anymore. But it’s probably not that, because Johnny absolutely still gets blackout drunk at Cowboy’s.
 
What are the Flames going to do before the deadline?
 
If you ask Leafs fans, it’s trade Rasmus Andersson to them, but if you ask anyone rational, it’s probably just a depth move here or there. As good as the Flames have been, they’re probably not Tampa Bay Lightning tier just yet, and unless they can swing Mark Stone, not many of the rental players out there are going to bump them up to that level.
I think they’d like a backup goalie in case anything happens to Big Save Dave, because you don’t want to have to rely on Mike Smith for anything other than wearing cool hats on the bench. Ideally, if you could murder him or trade him somewhere or something, that would help. One of the big mistakes the team has done this year is bury a really effective Michael Frolik, to the point where I see him being traded sooner rather than later. Maybe there’s something there.
But goddamn how cool would it be to get Mark Stone?
 
Let’s have you bitch about James Neal some more…
 
How about something nice? He’s the first overpaid, underachieving, head scratcher of a Brad Treliving acquisition that isn’t an ex-Hawk.
At least not yet 😉
 
Finally…do you want to walk with Elias?
 
I have bought so many scarves, floral shirts, and a Fender guitar. I want everyone watching the game to silence their cell phones, hold your applause, and shut your mouths. There is one universal truth, a tenet I hold above all else. You see it when the top lines rolls over Brent Seabrook, and you feel it when you look into Cam Ward‘s eyes, his terrified, self aware that he is Cam Ward eyes. It becomes a part of you when the game is over and it’s 5-1 for the Flames and the Hawks are salivating over Jack Hughes while Calgary looks to wrap up home ice throughout the playoffs, and that truth is…. WWE STANDS FOR “WALK. WITH.ELIAS”.
Say it with me now Sam.

 

Game #45 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Tonight’s game was quite a throwback—to stupidity, dirty hits, pointless fights, everything you remember from the bad old days! This marks two games in a row where the Blackhawks have had a player thrown out, which tells you nearly all you need to know. Let’s get to it:

Box Score

Corsica

Natural Stat Trick

–The Hawks actually made it over 10 minutes without giving up a goal in the first period. This is where we’re at now, when going half of the first without falling behind is a major step. Putting aside the blackness of that reality, not only did they avoid giving up multiple goals early, they even answered the Flames’ first goal with a classic forehand-backhand by Jonathan Toews, which just de-pantsed Mike Smith. So the game didn’t get off to TOO terrible of a start, although it must be said that the Flames outshot the Hawks 18-6 in the first. Think about that for a minute. They gave up 18 shots in one period, which is bad enough, and that was a full three times the number of shots they themselves managed. What does this tell you? One, is that they barely clung to life in that period. Two, is that the only reason they did so was because Corey Crawford is unreal. He had multiple saves in the first that kept the game from getting out of hand early, including after Forsling had a bad giveaway, and also on the PK after Kunitz took Dumb Penalty #1 (more on that later). Crawford hasn’t exactly been lights out in his last few games, but none of the goals tonight can be pinned on him as bad or soft ones. He was definitely back to form.

–And man did we need him to be. The level of stupidity tonight was really something to behold. After getting out of the first tied at one and with a tenuous hold on things through 4-on-4 to start the second, Chris Kunitz went full-on Neanderthal and elbowed Travis Hamonic in what can only be described as a dickhead play. Hamonic’s head was down, but Kunitz went high with the elbow and he was getting rid of the puck so it was both foolish and dangerous. Kunitz fully deserved the major penalty and game misconduct. And of course, the Flames scored twice on the ensuing extended power play. Those goals made the difference in the game, and they were entirely because of Kunitz being a stupid asshole. If he isn’t stapled to a chair in the pressbox for the rest of the season that will prove once and for all that the Hawks’ brass is incompetent, doesn’t understand how to win, and doesn’t care to figure it out.

–In an attempt to not be outdone in the stupid asshole department, everyone’s favorite dung heap Brandon Manning got in the most useless and wimpy fight possible with Garnet Hathaway (which btw is NOT an actual name). The two skated around each other with fists brandished like old timey boxers, and hit each other far less than that. It didn’t “change the momentum” or “send a message.” In fact, the only upside was that Manning spent most of the rest of the game in the penalty box and thus unable to offend our eyes with his playing.

–Clearly I’m not one for fighting, but I will say this: in the second period when James Neal basically stomped on Corey Crawford and Crawford came after him and nearly punched him, I was cackling with delight. If Crow wants to hit someone because he’s frustrated with this shitty team and the defense allowing him to get curb-stomped, I’ll set aside my issues and I’ll be here for it.

–The power play…it’s just so bad. And on paper it really shouldn’t be: Toews, Kane, Saad, DeBrincat and Jokiharju…this should be a functional first power play unit! But they can’t make a zone entry to save their lives. Seriously. They cannot get out of their own zone, they cannot get through the neutral zone, and they most certainly can’t get across the offensive blue line. It’s like a god damn force field, and that stupid-ass drop pass in the defensive zone has lived on in the Colliton era like a recurring nightmare. There are too many issues to cover in these bullets, but suffice it to say that the clown shoes are still firmly entrenched.

–Alright, enough doom and gloom. What was good from this game? Toews’ goal was pretty and we need the top line to keep scoring. The Kahun-Kampf-Kane line may be something that works. Their 43 CF% didn’t bode all that well but they were certainly fast (and besides, the entire team was underwater in possession). Dylan Strome had a nice goal. And once again, for the cheap seats in the back, Crawford finished the night with a .927 SV% and an assist, and had to face 41 fucking shots on goal.

Tonight was ugly, dumb and frustrating. If the Hawks had gotten blown out it would have made sense and been deserved. The Flames are playing much better, but again this could have been a winnable game—Mike Smith is Mike Smith which means there’s always a chance, and the fact that it came down to the stupidest of penalties is downright painful. But, there’s no rest for the wicked with three more games this week. Fire Chris Kunitz into the sun. Onward and upward.

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

 

Everything Else

Some creatures fascinate science in how they came into being. And then some are viewed with the feeling, “Some questions are best left unanswered.” That’s the category @BookOfLoob falls into. Don’t ask, just let be.

What has new coach Bill Peters changed from Glengarry Glen Gulutzan last year? And why should it work better than it did in Carolina?
Outside of the team being able to do anything on the power play, effective players being frequently scratched for reasons like “shrug” and “felt like it”, goaltending ruining any chance of anyone ever dying happy, and being constantly reminded by his presence in the lineup that Garnet Hathaway is in fact a real person, everything is different.
It was nice to see Peters shed the mantra of “Old Ass Idiot Hockey Man” by actually making expensive, shitty Michael Stone ride the pine in favor of both Jusso Valimaki and Rasmus Andersson (who is perfect), and the team is generating so much sustained pressure offensively that Mike Smith really has to try hard to lose the game for them.
Which he is absolutely doing.
How’s that Dougie Hamilton trade working out?
You invited me to do this just to ask me that question knowing it would make me cry. Rest assured I will get you for this. (We feel it’s important that Floob express his emotions. -ED)
The short answer so far is “Mixed Results.”
Noah Hanifin, it turns out, is not that good, especially relative to what I believe is a Top-10 defenseman in the NHL in Dougie, but at least he’s not, and this is off the top of my head, Brent Seabrook. Everyone’s kinda hoping he can turn this around soon, and seeing as he’s 21 and it’s still early, he probably can, but underwhelming has been a word I’ve had pop into my head a lot whenever he’s on the ice thus far.
I will not make a museum joke. Much like most Calgary Flames, I’ve never been in one so I wouldn’t know where to start. (What about Amsterdam? -ED)
Elias Lindholm, however, I will walk with that guy forever.
Why does Peters hate Michael Frolik?
I don’t know, but give me two minutes with him and I’ll make him see the light.
There’s a weird thing going on with both Frolik and Austin Czarnik. Both are quality players. Both players have been scratched or benched frequently by Bill Peters. Both have last names that end with “ik”. But when either of them are in the lineup and getting a regular shift, they are on the ice with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, who are heavily relied upon to play the toughest minutes every game, and both Frolik and Czarnik thrive on the 3M or MMA line, whichever it happens to be that game.
Essentially Peters trusts them entirely, or not at all. I don’t really care, he’s not Bob Hartley, so they aren’t benched in favor of Kevin Westgarth and Brian McGrattan at the same time
James Neal, on pace for 12 goals.  So that’s going well. 
Do you guys want James Neal? You still owe us for Brandon Bollig.
Would the Flames be a playoff team if David Rittich took over the starting goalie role?
The only goalie I trust less than Mike Smith is Cam Ward, and he died 16 years ago, so I never have to worry about seeing him in a Flames jersey. I made a joke earlier this season about everyone being afraid of Mike Smith’s save percentage, because .789
Everyone had a good laugh at that because there’s no way an NHL goaltender in this day and age would ever be that bad. Then he let in four goals on like three shots the other night against Colorado and for a good chunk of the game it was literally .789. Life is hell.
They say if you have a good team, you only need league average goaltending to make any noise. David Rittich is my hero and I am building him a house on top of Mike Smith’s car, but he hasn’t played enough for us to know if he’s a league average goalie yet.
But I think this team looks good enough to win a bunch of games if the goaltending is only kinda bad, so even if that’s the bar Rittich needs to clear, I’m willing to retire his number right now. Best goalie since Chris Osgood.

 

Game #15 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

You can’t distill the Knights to just one surprise. They’re all over the place. At least Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith had flashed previous NHL scoring ability. Marc-Andre Fleury had been a good goalie before. Erik Haula had scored big goals in Minnesota. We could go on.

But it’s probably safe to say no one saw William Karlsson coming.

Karlsson was a second round pick for the Ducks, so he did come with some pedigree but not like top-10 stuff. He was a useful player in Columbus, a third- or fourth-line center who did enough to stay in the lineup. But he never threatened to rise above Alex Wennberg or Brandon Dubinsky in the pecking order. When it came time for the expansion draft, due to no-trade clauses and standing the Jackets basically had to choose between Boone Jenner and William Karlsson. Seeing as how Jenner has a 30-goal season on his resume, it didn’t seem like there was much of a decision.

So off Karlsson went, and 29 goals later the Jackets might just be wondering if they hadn’t fucked up royal.

There’s no point in going any further in discussing Karlsson without mentioning his shooting-percentage of 25%. That’s simply ludicrous and shouldn’t have even been sustainable this long. And that’s not even power play boosted, as that’s his SH% at even-strength. If the Knights think this will be the norm from here on out, they’re going to be sorely mistaken and sorry they’re tossing god knows how many millions at Karlsson. We’ll circle back to this.

Certainly, there are leaps in all of Karlsson’s numbers simply because he’s playing top line minutes and assignments. He’s starting more in the offensive zone than he ever has, which makes sense because you want him, Smith, and Marchessault near the other goal as often as possible.

What’s interesting about Karlsson’s season is that he’s not really averaging more attempts per 60 than he did in Columbus. He’s just out there more, so there’s more shots. He actually averaged more shots per 60 in his rookie year in Ohio. What has gone up is his individual expected goals per 60, which means those shots are coming from way better areas. That number has leapt up by 50% from the previous season. That wouldn’t excuse a 100% increase of his career-high shooting percentage, or a 500% increase from last year’s, but an increase would scan.

To be fair to Karlsson, he is facing by far tougher competition than he ever has, as you’d expect. And yet he keeps scoring. And it wasn’t one binge. He had 16 points in November, 10 in December, 11 in January, and four so far in six February games. He’s not riding just a hot start or a month of anger or something.

What the Knights have to figure out is how much of this is a mirage. Karlsson will be a RFA after the season, so they have all the leverage. Karlsson’s agent will point to what looks to be a 60-point season, his age of 25, and say he’s due $6 million or something. But the Knights don’t need to, nor should they, pay him that. If anyone needed a bridge deal, it’s probably Karlsson. If you’re the Knights, you have to know what he looks like when he’s not shooting 25%, a mark that comfortably leads the whole league by three percentage points. No one’s coming with an offer sheet, we know that. The Knights need to slow play this.

Not that the Knights don’t have a ton of cap space, or a wealth of guys they need to pay. They’ve locked up Marchessault. But other than Karlsson only James Neal and David Perron are due new deals, and neither figures to be around when the Knights are doing this for a real (yes, the bubble will pop next year. It simply has to). We’ll see what George McPhee has in store, which is probably something dumb.

 

Game #57 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier run SinBin.vegas. They were kind enough to take the time to answer our nonsense. Follow their work on Twitter @Sinbinvegas.

So like the crusty old hockey guys we are, seriously we only drink Molson now, we’ve scoffed for a while at the Knights success. But it’s getting time to get past that, obviously. What is the key here? Gerrard Gallant? A unique style? As lots of people will be seeing this team for the first time live, what should they be looking for?

Boehlke: The biggest thing is their depth. The top line is clearly a cut below every other team’s, but the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are better than pretty much every team. Plus, their defense pairings can hang with anybody and are pitching in a ton of offense. They all play a quick brand of hockey and no matter who is out there at any given moment they are dangerous in transition. You turn the puck over in your own end or in the neutral zone (or even near the blue line) the Golden Knights will be in front of your net getting a scoring chance in a hurry. Defensively, they play the simplest game you’ve ever seen in the NHL. Simple fast decision making usually has them breaking out of their own zone easily and quickly (except last night against St. Louis). Gallant is the ultimate players coach and deserves a ton of credit, but there’s more to his style that’s any different than anyone else. He just has this calming effect on the players and they seem to really want to play for him. Finally, what should they be looking for? Well, quick decision making, great transition from their own end to the neutral zone into the attacking zone, and a bunch of odd-man rushes. They don’t do anything you’ve never seen before, but they are good at doing things you have. That was a long answer, but that’s what you get when you ask seven questions masqueraded as one.

Pothier: 

The Golden Knights play a relatively simple game. Limiting mistakes, pushing the tempo and maintaining possession are a few reasons why Vegas has 56 points in 39 games. Vegas plays smart, makes quick decisions and keeps their foot on the gas. They’re also very balanced, getting impact production from their offense and defense. Plus, Vegas has gotten steady goaltending all season. Lastly, Head coach Gerard Gallant is the perfect leader. His roster came together quick and believed they could win. He’s not a cheerleader type, but a coach that allows players to trust their instincts. Gallant won’t mess with his lines often, and gives players opportunities to work out of funks. His assurance with the players has created a fun, loose environment. One that’s perfect for winning. 

William Karlsson never had more than 25 points in a season, now he’s got 33 in less than half of one. What’s the deal here?

The main thing is usage. In Columbus he was a third or fourth liner who was normally asked to concentrate on his defense. He’s an excellent defensive center, but now the Golden Knights are giving him a bunch more offensive zone starts and have put him on a line with Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault who have made him into an attacking star. He’s just an all around stud player and his success is as much an indictment on the Blue Jackets not knowing what they had more so than the Golden Knights utilizing him properly. This guy is a stud and is going to be for a while. He may not score 30 goals every year because that shooting percentage is preposterous, but his 200 foot game isn’t going to change as time goes on.

Karlsson’s offensive stats are hard to ignore, but his overall play is what’s more impressive. He’s became a lockdown center effectively playing the full sheet of ice. His neutral zone decisions have created countless odd-man rushes for his linemates Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault. Like many Golden Knights, Karlsson has benefited greatly from more ice time. The Swede is averaging four minutes per game more than his career average. Columbus couldn’t promise the same opportunities. Now that Karlsson is on the ice more his skill is more defined. The Golden Knights have a core two-way center that has a knack for finding the back of the net.

It’s the same thing with Malcolm Subban. He was never that impressive in the AHL with the Boston organizations, and is now rocking a .922. Is that just maturity and experience or a huge spasm of luck or something in between?

All the credit in the world goes to the Golden Knights goalie coach Dave Prior for Subban’s turnaround. He hit the waiver wire and Vegas pounced on him. Why? Because Prior knew it would only take a few simple fixes to turn him from a bum to a the 1st round talent he was when he was drafted. He’s a lot quieter in the net and he doesn’t take nearly as many risks. Prior has taught him to stay standing a bit longer than normal and with his elite reaction speed and big frame it’s made all the difference. He seems to be the real deal, but I still want to see how he responds to getting lit up. It’s been all positives here. That wasn’t the case in Boston and Providence. Can he keep his head on straight after giving up five or six goals? If he can, he might be the future for the Golden Knights, if not, maybe Oscar Dansk is.

Subban has played above anyone’s expectations, including the Golden Knights organization. In Boston, there was internal pressure because he was a first-round draft pick. His role never developed in the AHL and the Bruins were left waiving him. He’s incredibly athletic, strong and humble. Subban has refined his skills with the aid of Vegas goalie coach Dave Prior. Which could be a big reason why he’s playing so well. All that being said, it’s still early to declare Subban as the goaltender of the future. Vegas fans will be happy if he is. They really love to cheer “Soooooob” when Subban makes a nice save. 

So the goalposts have had to shift now, yes? Where George McPhee might have been tempted to do some selling at the deadline to get long-term assets, he can’t really do that now, correct?

Absolutely not. The only thing he can do in regards to selling is “selling to buy.” If he flips one or two of the UFAs (Neal, Perron, and Sbisa) he’s got to bring back a long term piece that can also help now. No longer are 2020 2nd round picks a valuable commodity. My guess is McPhee completely stands pat at the deadline and just lets this team ride it out, but he’s not afraid to make a splash trade so who knows. But I will tell you this, every time he’s asked about the deadline he runs the same line, “I’m not going to sit here and derail anything.” So, if you take him for his word, he’s not going to sit here and derail anything.

I’m not fully counting out roster movement at the deadline. The Golden Knights GM has continuously said he won’t derail the momentum. However, he carefully reminds fans that it’s too early to plan for the playoffs. Which in my mind suggests McPhee is more concerned about building the future. Is it still possible that McPhee trades a player like David Perron for a prospect or draft pick? Of course, the only problem is disrupting a first-place team. McPhee can’t do that, his boss Bill Foley would be livid. 

With the incredibly surprising start, as well as the novelty, how has the first half-season gone over in Vegas? Are they in the news and such? Buzz?

It’s everywhere. Literally the only thing people in Vegas talk about. It’s kind of a euphoric state in which everyone can’t believe how good they are and therefore there’s very little actual hockey talk. Instead it’s just a bunch of hyperbole and disbelief about how awesome it is to have a team that’s not awful. It feels a lot like a college town where you have to know what’s going on or you are basically a social outcast. That doesn’t mean anyone actually knows what’s going on, cause they don’t and not enough people know about my website, but they certainly know what happened in the last game. It’s cool and it’s only going to get better when the real games start in April and hopefully May and June.

The Golden Knights are the talk of the town, and righteously so. However, to my disappointment the local radio and tv stations haven’t fully committed. The NFL, Raiders, NBA, and UNLV continue to lead the local airwaves. During some local programming it sounds as if the Golden Knights were never created. It’s not the fans fault. Vegas fans are loud, passionate and enjoying this fairy tale inaugural season. The entire city is amped for the second half of the season, and possibly the postseason

 

Game #40 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

 vs 

Game Time: 6:00PM CST
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, WGN-AM 720
Mike Ribeiro Is A Sex Criminal: On The Forecheck

It seems like every single year the Hawks manage to have played more games than anyone in the first half of the season, with the entire rest of their division having games in hand up until the final week of the season. This year is no different, and what better way to pile on than with three games in four nights, all at home.