With the Hawks’ issues and trajectory pretty clearly mapped out now that the exhibition season two-thirds over, this week the focus will turn external to see what in the hell the rest of the league is doing. And today starts with the Hawks’ most direct competition, the Central Division.
Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Sons Of Flin Flon: Arctic Ice Hockey
Regardless of how long Duncan Keith is suspended for this afternoon- and he will be suspended for at least the remainder of the regular season- the Blackhawks are still in a position wherein they’re for all intents and purposes locked into their playoff spot barring losing the remaining five games or getting a tremendous amount of help from the opponents of the Stars and Blues. And while the former can’t be ruled out, the latter is still an incredibly low probability, as the schedule makers certainly did the Hawks plenty of favors by putting batting practice like the long out-of-it Jets on the schedule for the home stretch.
Game Time: 7:30PM
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Anti-Manifesto: Arctic Ice Hockey
For the second time in five days, the Winnipeg Jets will visit the United Center to take on the Hawks on the heels of a back to back. Only this time, the Hawks will be coming off a playing a game last night as well, and that term is used loosely.
Well that looks a bit more familiar. While some of the components of the roster are odd fits in their given lineup spots at best or not NHL players at worst, the Hawks were at least able to do something that they weren’t able to last year, and that’s beat Michael Hutchinson in regulation, who gave the Jets what they needed last year with a 3-0-1 record against the Hawks.
Game Time: 7:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN+ (Ch. 285), WGN-AM 720
Duck And Cover With My Yuletide Lover: Arctic Ice Hockey
In what has to be some kind of record, the Hawks will now face their fourth Canadian opponent in their last five home games, and the lone outlier in that set is Minnesota which is basically Canada anyway. Perhaps the schedule makers felt generous in giving United Center crowds bonus anthems in the Spirit of Christmas, with tonight’s game bringing the Winnipeg Jets into town.
Game Time: 8:00PM CST
TV/Radio: WGN, WGN-AM 720
God Save The Queen: Arctic Ice Hockey
Fresh off a frustrating loss in Toronto last night, the Hawks are left with no time to feel sorry about themselves as their tour of Canadian opponents continues this evening against the Jets back on the west side.
It feels repetitive at this point, but given this is the third time this month that these two teams have played, it’s not surprising that once again the Hawks and Jets followed the same template. Hawks control early, let the opposition off the mat in the second, then say “fuck this” with time to spare and cruise out with two points.
Game Time: 7:00 PM
TV/Radio: CSN+, TSN, WGN-AM 720AM
1979 Avco World Champs: Arctic Ice Hockey
Due to a most improbable chain of events, the Winnipeg Jets, at least in namesake, will be visiting the West Side of Chicago for just the second time since 1996. And it will be the second time in a row that one of their own will receive a warm welcome as a visitor from the Chicago crowd, having been a member of the previous year’s championship roster, this time in the form of Michael Frolik and his eyebrows. Strange times these are indeed.