Hockey

See the source image VS

Records: Hawks 22-23-6 (50) Canes 34-10-7 (75)

Puck Drops: 6:00 Mon/Tues/Thurs

TV/Radio: NBCSN and WGN 720

Teuvo Time: Canes Country

 

The second to last stop on the Train to Vacationtime for the Hawks makes it’s final appearance down in Carolina this week for a threesome against the Canes. After dropping both games to the Panth last week, the Hawks have fallen down to sixth in the division sitting a mere 5 points ahead of the Scum who managed to pass the Jackets this weekend. The fact that the Wings are as bad as they are and might not get the lottery pick they so desperately need warms my cold, dark soul. I digress, however.

The Hurricanes currently reign atop whatever they call this division right now, sitting 2 points ahead of Tampa with a game in hand. They’ve been on fire lately, currently rocking a 10 game point streak (7-0-3) in that span. Nothing really has changed for them since the last time the Hawks clashed with them, as they pretty much stood pat at the trade deadline. It really didn’t matter, as even though they could’ve used another scorer the Canes continue to be top 3 in the league in CORSI for. They push the play at a more than solid 54% average, while at the same time have allowed the least amount of goals in the entire league. They’re top 10 in shot suppression and 2nd in the league in shots for behind the Panthers.

They’ve managed all of this with having James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic in net for the majority of the season, and credit where it’s due they’ve done a solid job of keeping the puck out of their own net. Having one of the better shot suppression defenses in front of them certainly doesn’t hurt, and now reinforcements have arrived in the form of Petr Mrazek who returned from the injured list earlier in April from surgery on his right thumb. He’s looked good in his return, only having one speedbump 3 starts ago against the Wings when they had one of their games when 80% of their shots go in. It will be interesting to see how Rod Brind’Amour handles the goalie workload going into the postseason. Nedeljkovic has been the better of the two between him and Reimer, and Mrazek has had plenty of time to knock off the ring rust by now.

On the scoring end of the sheet, the Canes do it from all directions. They have 7 players with 30 or more points, and Sebastian Aho has 52 of them. None of those 7 players is Our Sweet Boy Teuvo, as he’s missed over a month with a concussion served up to him by (sigh) Nikita Zadorov back in the February 19th tilt between the Canes and Hawks. If he’s back at full strength, odds are the Canes have a top tier scoring weapon on every line they roll out. Sounds a lot like the Hawks teams in 2010-2016, and it makes my eyes misty just watching them.

As for the Hawks, offensively everything looked pretty good in their last series against the Panthers. New toy Adam Gaudette has acclimated well to whatever offensive “system” it is that the Hawks run under Coach Smoothbrain, with 4 points in his first 3 games. Both Alex DeBrincat and Domanik Kubalik have the hot hand right now, with DeBrincat’s goal in the 2nd period against the Panthers standing out as a particularly good sign. Even Kirby Dach has looked less lost in the last few games.

On the defensive side, everything continues to be a dumpster fire floating down a river comprised of sewage and toxic waste. The man to man system the Hawks run simply does not work with the personnel back there. Multiple times in the Panthers series Zadorov chose not only the wrong forward to cover, but sometimes picked a player that wasn’t even on the ice or technically in the building.

Riley Stillman, fresh off signing that new paper, was directly responsible for at least 2 goals against with one terrible pass, and then giving up on the play completely when Gusev scored his second goal of the night in game 2. Why Bowman decided NOW that Stillman needed to be extended before the Hawks had seen him play a week’s worth of games is a mystery to all of us here at FFUD. The only potential positive might be that his extension pushes Zadorov off the bus, so…yay?

In net, both Kevin Lankinen and Malcom Subban continue to have a rough go of it thanks to the clown rodeo in front of them. Neither of them has been particularly offensive, but also neither has been able to steal the games that the Hawks would need them to steal to remain ahead of Detroit. Still no word if Colin Delia will get any of these final starts, but if he’s not up now I don’t realistically see that happening, when it absolutely should.

With 5 games left in the season, the Hawks should have dual goals in mind: to play the kids as much as possible and have nobody get hurt. To this end, giving DeBrincat and Kane shifts off should be considered a good idea as well as Gaudette taking more shifts in their stead. While it may seem like nothing matters anymore, it’s experience like this that will help the young players show that they’re ready to contribute next year and that they can handle the rigors of an NHL season. It’s not nearly as fun as winning games, but at this point it’s probably more important for the team as a whole.

Let’s Go Hawks

 

 

 

Hockey

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Well that looks more in line with what’s to be expected. The Hawks play an obviously better team, keep it close for long enough through a couple of highly skilled plays including a flash from a kid, while the deeper truths about how far this team has to go are ultimately revealed. It’s not that losses are good, except when they are. It’s about the results matching the output, and the Hawks have been mauled for three straight games at times, and only once by a team with any kind of hope whatsoever. To the bullets.

Hockey

VS

Gametimes: 7:00 Both Nights (2/2 and 2/4)

TV/Radio: NBCSN and WGN 720

Rod Brind’Amour’s Nose: Canes Country

 

Ahhh yes, the Carolina Hurricanes. The team that is essentially Stan Bowman’s own personal A Christmas Carol. You know, the classic story that tells the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge. A hockey GM of middling talent and the backing of a liquor distribution magnate who is forced to reckon with the ghosts of his failures past (Teuvo), present (whatever this team is), and what he wants his future teams to be like (the Canes).

The Canes arrive at West Madison after handling the Dallas Stars pretty easily in their last 2 games out and bring a 5-1-0 record to the madhouse. That 5-1 record was compiled with the loss of various players at various times due to COVID protocol restrictions, but they seem to be getting healthier as the season goes along. Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin and Teuvo are all planning on returning to the lineup tonight, leaving only Jesper Fast by himself in the COVID restrictions list.

That group returning to the active roster does not bode well for the Hawks defense and goaltending. The Canes forward corps is one of the fastest and most creative groups the Blackhawks will see this season outside of Tampa Bay. The Canes currently sit atop the Possession Metric Mountain, with an average of a 56.76% CORSI per game according to Natural Stat Trick. They’re able to control the play, and keep the puck in the offensive zone for minutes at a time. Teuvo, Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov were a doomsday line last season, but coach Rod Brind’amour has split them up out of necessity thus far this season. Also one of the Staal brothers plays here. Jordan maybe?

On the back end, the Canes getting Jaccob Slavin back from the COVID list should further shore up what is a pretty solid defensive core. They’re a mobile group, created to flip the ice at a moments notice and send the play toward the opposing blue line. They also have one of the best PKs in the league, 2nd only to Colorado.

Really the only glaring weakness for this squad showed up suddenly the other day when goaltender Petr Mrazek got run by his own defenseman Max McCormick in the first game against the Stars. He came up from the collision clutching his blocker arm and it’s now said that whatever it is might require surgery. This leaves the bulk of the starting duties to James Reimer, who’s been a slightly above league average goaltender in his career, with stretches of above average play. He’s prone to hot and cold streaks, so if this Death Star of a hockey team has an exhaust port, he might be it if caught on the right night.

As for the Hawks, the Canes aren’t the only ones getting reinforcements tonight, as Alex DeBrincat and Nicolas Beaudin return to the lineup from their Rona Retreat. Getting Top Cat back in the lineup would most likely send Highmore back to the pressbox and move Janmark to the 3rd or 4th line, but we will see if Coach Smoothbrain wants to break up Janmark, Kurashev and Kane which as a whole looked pretty dangerous against the Jackets.

Kevin Lankinen gets the net tonight, and should probably be getting the bulk of the starts from here on out until he proves that he doesn’t deserve them. The top ranked Hawks PP will have their work cut out for them against the 2nd ranked PK unit of the Canes, but one sample size is considerably smaller than the other because of canceled games due to COVID.

This 2 game series is a stout test for a young group of Hawks forwards, and should be a nice benchmark to see the progress they’ve made. With the speed the Canes have, expect to see the Hawks D pinned in their end for considerable periods of time. Mistakes need to be limited, because Carolina thrives on taking those and making you pay for them. Any Hawks counterpunches need to be buried in the net behind Reimer, because the chances are going to be few and far between. If the Hawks play like they did against Columbus, they stand a chance at taking a few points from this series.  Strap in, grab a few beers, and let’s light that lamp.

 

Let’s Go Hawks.

Everything Else

 vs. 
Game Time: 6:00PM CST
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, ESPN+, WGN-AM 720
Taking Their Talents To South Beach: Litter Box Cats

It took damn near til Christmas and halfway through the season, but the Hawks are riding their first three game winning streak of the season, and have an legitimate opportunity to extend that to four tonight at home against the equally struggling Florida Panthers.

Everything Else

Todd Little is the sole proprietor of LitterBoxCats.com. You can follow him on Twitter @toddlittle827. 

Been a disappointment for the Panthers this season, who some thought could make a playoff push. Is it just down to goaltending or is it more than that?
It’s kind of been a chicken and egg thing between the goaltending and the defense being the main culprit in the Panthers maddeningly slow start. There are times the goalies, James Reimer, in particular, let in Charmin-soft goals, but with the way the defense turns the puck over and yields countless high-quality chances to the opposition, one wonders if any keeper could shine in Florida’s crease right now. In addition to that mess, the only thing the Panthers have been consistent at in 2018-19 is being inconsistent.  Depending on the game or period, they look like one of the better teams in the league, and at other times they look destined for a top-five pick in the draft. One wonders if the Cats made the right choice in hiring the inexperienced Bob Boughner. His system and game management have both been called into question and it doesn’t look like the effort is there all time, and on top of that, players are allowed to make the same mistakes over and over with little to no consequences.
On the bright side, Jonathan Huberdeau is on pace to shatter his career high in points and assists. What’s been the difference there?
Now 25, Huberdeau is more mature and has worked on getting stronger the last couple of offseasons. Huberdeau got off a decent enough start while on the second line. Once he was reunited with Aleksander Barkov on the first line, along with new acquisition Mike Hoffman, was when he really caught fire and has put up 23 points in the last 13 games. If Huberdeau can keep this torrid pace up, he might be looking at his, and the franchise’s, first 100-point season.
What’s the deal with this blue line? Dale Tallon fought hard to keep some of the younger players, which obviously, frustratingly cost the Cats Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault. And yet it’s hard to see why. Fill us in. 
I wish someone could fill me in on this. The way that Tallon handled the expansion draft still has many of us scratching our heads. Sure, they wanted Vegas to take Reilly Smith’s contract, but exposing Marchessault was just plain dumb. There had to have been a better way. None of the defensemen they protected was worth doing so and that is becoming more and more obvious, painfully so, as time goes on. The Panthers defensemen don’t seem to have much interest in playing proper defense and are lacking in physicality. Not quite sure if the meat of the problem lies with the players, who are individually talented, or Bob Boughner’s system, but something is seriously amiss with this group.
How much has Vincent Trocheck’s injury been a culprit?
Before he was hurt, Trocheck was having a bit of a tough go of it. He was collecting points on the power play, but struggling in other areas. That said, Vincent is one of Florida’s better players, a true gamer, and it was just a matter of time before he turned things around. They miss him badly and will be a better team when he comes back.
So what does the rest of the season hold? And beyond?
The rest of the season likely holds more of the same. The Panthers have shown no sign of being able to win or even play well on a consistent basis. The five-game winning streak in early November looks like it might end up being the high point of the season. Throw that streak out and they have only won back to back games once… that’s right, once. Beyond that, hard to say. The Cats have serious issues on defense and in the net, not sure how that get fixed anytime soon.

 

Game #39 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

  vs.

RECORDS: Panthers 8-9-3   Hawks 8-10-5

PUCK DROP: 6:00 p.m. Central

TV: NBCSCH

Lift and Sift: Panther Parkway, Litter Box Cats

If all you ever read were press releases and interviews with front offices in denial, tonight’s tilt between the Panthers and Hawks would be as must-see as a hockey game at six o’clock on the Saturday after Thanksgiving could possibly be. We’ve gone over the tipped-over porta-potty that is John McDonough’s “remodel, not rebuild” philosophy for the Hawks, and the Panthers seem to find themselves in a similar mind-set for different reasons.

Since that 103-point campaign and first-round playoff loss in 2015–16, the Cats have missed the playoffs twice, though last year was by the skin of their ass. Yet, you can’t help but wonder what this Panthers team would look like if they hadn’t gone Biff Tannen and replaced their analytically minded front office with HOCKEY MEN. This year has been even worse than expected for the Panthers, and after a 2-4 road trip, they return home to host the Hawks much worse for wear.

In the crease, the Panthers made the superb decision to entrust 39-year-old Roberto Luongo with the bulk of the starting responsibilities. Bobby Lu has been hurt a lot more than not, but even when he’s been healthy, he’s been wildly inconsistent. In his first four games back from his opening-night knee injury, Luongo posted a sparkling .951 SV%. He then followed that up with a .826 over the next four, good for a .902 overall. Not great, Bob.

And he hurt himself again last night, leaving James Reimer in charge of the crease. James Reimer is not someone you want in charge of the crease if you have playoff aspirations. While his .920 at evens is good, Reimer has gotten hosed on the PK to the tune of .791. The Panthers have given up the sixth-most goals on the PK despite playing the least amount of PK time in the league this year.

On the forward lines, there’s some on-paper potential for the Panthers that can never seem to get over the hump. After brain genius Dale Tallon cut Jonathan Marchessault loose for literally nothing last year, he had to go out and find himself a new scorer in Mike Hoffman. Despite the high school drama that brought him to Florida, Hoffman has been the Panthers’s most consistent offensive weapon, with 20 points on the year (10 G, 10 A) through 20 games and a recently ended 17-game point streak. He, Aleksander Barkov, and Evgenii Dadonov round out a formidable top line despite their lack of possession as a unit (48+ CF% together).

After that top line, things start to get dicey. The Panthers lost the well-rounded Vincent Trocheck earlier in the week after his ankle took the road less traveled. Trocheck did a bit of everything for the Cats and played consistently on both the PP and PK in his 18 games. That leaves you with a second line of Nick Bjugstad, the talented Jonathan Huberdeau, and, fuck, Denis Malgin? Frank Vatrano? Any of these names doing anything for you?

After that is a veritable who’s-who of what ifs, maybes, and retreads. Jared McCann has a ton of two-way potential, but tends to defer. He might end up tossed onto the second line to fill in for Trocheck at some point. Troy Brouwer plays on this team. The fourth line includes the name-generated Dryden Hunt and Colton Sceviour, who are both fine and perfectly suited where they are, but don’t really provide the much-needed scoring Florida lacks beyond the top line.

The Cats’s blue line hinges on Aaron Ekblad, who turns the ice at a 53+ CF% despite a 47+% oZ start rate. He’s done it primarily next to Mike Matheson, who after a slow and plodding start to the first year of his eight-year, $39 million contract has turned up his offensive contributions, with five points in his last five games (all assists). Still, Keith Yandle takes the mantle as the Cats’s most offensive D-man, with 19 points over 20 games. After that, you’ve got Alex Petrovic—who is definitely “a guy,”—fucking Bogdan Kiselevich, something called Mark Pysyk, and young MacKenzie Weegar, who looks exactly how you’d imagine a guy named “MacKenzie Weegar” would. That’s a whole lot of #6 D-men spread across that blue line.

For the Men of Four Feathers, Colliton ought to consider kicking his Marlboro 72 habit before New Year’s, because Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have looked like dogshit together. Though there’s not much to work with on the blue line—remember when Brandon Manning was StanBo’s BIG DEFENSIVE SIGNING?—the one thing that seemed to work best was Keith–Jokiharju. Keith might not want to play mentor, but too fucking bad. Henri Jokiharju the best thing they have, so Colliton needs to put the kibosh on his “We’re sitting him for his development” bit and let him breathe. Erik Gustafsson’s spurs have been jingling and jangling far too often, Gustav Forsling still looks lost in this own zone, and Jan Rutta blows. So fuck, I don’t know, 2–28, 56–7, 42–44? Somehow, it looks even worse when you write it down.

You probably won’t see too many changes up front, though we probably should. Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane sounds nice, but the chorus we’ve been singing is “If they aren’t dominating, split them up,” and after last night, it would be hard to describe them as dominant. We’re still waiting to see 12–8–88 at some point, and what better time than tonight? The FortinKampfKahun line is at least fast, but you’re tempted to see Anisimov centering it and just having Fortin and Kahun aim for him instead of the net. Suckbag Johnson, Chris Kunitz, Andreas Martinsen, or John Hayden will round it out on the fourth line because someone has to.

You figure Cam Ward gets the nod tonight after Corey Crawford chose to finish out last night’s game rather than sit after the first.

With the Blackhawks in the denial stage and the Panthers teetering toward anger, this game will be a case study in grief. With Reimer in net and Trocheck out, the Panthers look eminently beatable if the Hawks can shut down their top line.

Let’s go Hawks.

Game #24 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

In yet another litmus test between old school hockey red asses and the computer boys, the Florida Panthers chose to revert to entrusting their future once again to the former in the person of this site’s namesake, and all it got them was sitting at home again in the spring once again. For the most part the Cats have remained quiet this off season in part due to financial constraints and also due to the fact that aside from the big ticket item that came to the division, the free agency market mostly sucked out loud. But given the landscape of things within the division and the conference, being judicious still might not be enough.

’17-’18 Season: 44W-30L-8OT 96PTS 248GF 246GA 18.9%PP 80.2%PK 49.19%CF 7.63SH% .9236SV%

Goaltending: Roberto Luongo enters this season having just turned 39 in April, and even at this age, still posted a .929 overall save percentage propped up by a .933 rate at even strength. Borat’s longevity has now become another attribute on what is a surefire hall of fame resume, playoff collapses be damned. However, unfortunately for the Panthers, he started 33 games last year due to a variety of aches and pains commensurate with being able to soon qualify for AARP. James Reimer got the bulk of the action and was slightly below average with a .913 overall and a .915 at evens, which simply isn’t going to cut it in the modern NHL. Reimer is capable of more, as his career mark at even strength is .925 even factoring last season’s dip, but it’s any guess how much he’ll be asked to play given Luongo’s health status or if his play understandably drops off this late into his career. The Cats are carrying a third goalie this year in the form of one-time New Sensation Michael Hutchinson after Connor Hellebuyck finally took the full time gig in Winnipeg. Hutchinson at this point is going to be a career backup but has been known to find the Devil Inside on occasion (particularly against the Hawks), but if he needs to be relied upon too much Florida is going to need a serious Kick elsewhere in the lineup.

Forwards: Over the past few years, the Panthers have compiled a very solid group of forwards that seem to produce both on the score sheet and territorially, and none of it ever seems to make a damn bit of difference. They added to that corps this year by trading for another player like that in Mike Hoffman, fresh off the drama behind the scenes on the set of The Real Housewives of Ottawa. Regardless of who is to blame in that sordid affair, the Panthers added another solid scoring winger to a group that already has the positionally dominant-if-ouchy Sasha Barkov and running mate Jonathan Huberdeau, and one of the more unhearalded #2 centers in the game in Vincent Trochek, whose 71 points nearly earned him a spot on the All Who-Gives-A-Shit team. The Panthers get solid contractual value out of all of these guys as well, having committed them all to reasonable long-term paper, but there’s no transcendent star here, and this is more of a star driven league than most observers are willing to admit. Nick Bjugstad certainly has all of the tools and the behemoth size to become one, but he hasn’t put it all together yet, and the questions are now beginning to get louder regarding if he ever will. The bottom six features a smattering of bums and has beens such as Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn and Micheal Haley, and of course franchise fixture and GRITHEARTFART captain Derek MacKenzie. If a forward grouping can manage to be top-heavy while also lacking gamebreakers, it’s this one.

Defensemen: Obviously this group begins and ends with former #1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad, who is entrusted with the most difficult assignments and zone starts and expected to also produce offensively. Ekblad was below the team rate in shot attempts for the first time this past year at 48.01%, but he spent the vast majority of his time covering for the cowboy tendencies of partner Keith Yandle, who can still slightly outscore his positional deficiencies, but at 32 as of tomorrow, his wheels could soon not even get him to the places he wasn’t sure he needed to be in the first place. The Cats are high on both Alex Petrovic (as evidenced by letting Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith go in the expansion draft to be able to sign him) and Mike Matheson, but it’s not exactly clear what either of them do, and Matheson somehow just received nearly $5 mildo against the cap for eternity to ply whatever his trade is.

Outlook: While it’s unclear whether or not Bob Boughner is a Moron or Not yet (and his playing career would heavily suggest the former), what is clear is that he’s going to need to get a lot more than the sum of the parts that he has here to threaten for a playoff spot let alone advance. Counting on a nearly 40 year old goalie to continue to defy his age and mileage is also not a long-term recipe for success, but that’s never been something that’s been synonymous with the Panthers anyway. The same thing that always happens will more than likely transpire this year, where the Cats will make it interesting in mid-March, but ultimately miss out on the post season by the hair on their ass once again.

 

Everything Else

 vs. 

RECORDS: Panthers 12-14-5   Hawks 14-11-5

PUCK DROP: 7:30pm

TV: NBCSN Chicago

I’M OLD AND I’M COMING BACK: Panther Parkway, Litter Box Cats

The Hawks got three games against the remedial class of the NHL to set back their five-game losing streak. It hasn’t been pretty, but they got the four points required against the Sabres and Coyotes, and the last of the set is tonight agains the Cats. The Florida Panthers aren’t quite the same overly-medicated cases that the first two are, but they’re still under .500 and still very much the Florida Panthers. The Hawks will also catch them on the second of a back-to-back, having beaten another fellow jacket-with-mittens-pinned-to-them-year-round crew member Red Wings last night in overtime.

Not much has changed too much for the Cats since you last saw them Thanksgiving weekend. There are four real forwards here in Huberdeau, Barkov, Trocheck, and because I’m in a good mood Bjugstad. Dadonov is hurt. The rest of the crew is just a bunch of reclamation projects and very young kids. So the top line can kick your head in for about a third of the game if they’re on song, and Trocheck can usually conjure something, but they just don’t have the depth to take that over a full 60.

It’s kind of the same story on the back end, where you won’t complain too much about a top pairing of Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle. But beyond that… same story. Matheson and Weegar (my fellow babies) are kids, and Petrovic has been around long enough to fully label himself “a guy.”

The Cats haven’t been helped by Roberto Luongo’s injury, as he was excellent before going down for what looks like a while. Optimus Reim, James Reimer, has been the opposite. And because he played last night, the Hawks might be getting a look at Harri Sateri tonight, which we are told is an actual name and not a condition. He hasn’t played in the NHL yet, so don’t be surprised if Bob Boughner rolls out Reimer two nights in a row. Especially as the Panthers are far enough behind and have enough teams to climb over to get into the playoff spots that they can’t really be pissing away any more points.

For the Hawks, one lineup change that appears to be on the cards is Richard Panik being scratched for Ryan Hartman. While Panik hasn’t scored since Purim, it feels a little harsh on him because the rest of his game has been ok. But then there’s this from Q:

So clearly Q isn’t thrilled with his work when he gets the puck, and I can’t really argue with that. It’s almost as if he’s… Richard Panik? The guy who couldn’t crack the Leafs roster two years ago? That one? Could it be?

Anyway, Hartman is running out of time to actually be of use this season before he’s permanently demoted to the Q Doghouse, and we know trying to escape from there is like trying to escape from a black hole. Playing with Hinostroza and Sharp should at least make for an active line, even if it doesn’t have the slightest clue where to be and when. If you combine Hartman and Hinostroza… well, you’d still have a player that has no idea how to be a center.

The rest of the lineup remains the same, though no word on if Saad and DeBrincat will remain on their off-sides as they were on Sunday. Hope so. Jordan Oesterle remains in the lineup, and Michal Kempny continues to stare straight ahead and wonder what might have been while being unresponsive to anything going on around him. Suddenly the lyrics to “One” make a lot more sense to him.

This is still a honey part of the schedule for the Hawks. Yes, the Jets are pretty spiky right now but after that it’s the thoroughly mediocre Wild, Stars, Devils, Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Rangers, and Knights. In fact, the Hawks don’t face a team you’d consider “definitely good” until January 12th against the Jets again. So take advantage.

 

 

 

Game #31 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

 at 

Game Time: 6:00PM CDT
TV/Radio: WGN, NHLN (US), WGN-AM 720
Panther Like A Panther: Litter Box Cats

With the season coming around the final turn, the Hawks find themselves nearly completely clear of divisional and conference play with 10% of the schedule still remaining. Of the eight games left, only one is against a Central opponent, and since it’s Colorado it doesn’t even really count anyway. And the first five of that stretch are all against eastern conference opponents, beginning with a Florida trip starting tonight in Sunrise before swinging up to Tampa on Monday.