Well it’s been a while since there have been games for the Hawks that have needed to be covered, two full weeks in fact since they last played in Dallas, wherein they earned point in overtime after falling behind very early, thanks in large part to a hit from Brett Connolly on Hawk Legend Tanner Kero that landed Connolly four games on top of getting 5 and the gate. Since then it has been a whirlwind of cancellations and changes in protocols across all sports and real life as Omicron burns through the unvaccinated countryside. It even led the NHL to pull out of the Olympics in China in February, and while a few players wet their pants over it, it’s probably the right move given China’s far stricter covid measures and the number of games that are going to need to be rescheduled during that break. In any event, the Hawks are back at it tomorrow afternoon while everyone rehydrates, as the Winter Classic is now smartly placed in prime time in Minnesota. Whether any of these games actually take place remains to be seen.
1/1 – at Nashville
Game Time – 1:00 PM CST
TV/Radio – NBC Sports Chicago, WGN-AM 720
David Poile Has Always Been A Scumbag – On The Forecheck
In the penultimate game before the pause, the Nashville Predators were already pretty well besieged by covid and still manage to rub the Hawks’ ass in moonshine pretty much the entire game on the shot and possession ledger, with the Hawks only getting a point thanks to Marc Andre Fleury’s necessary acrobatics. And while the Hawks by and large have stayed clear of the covid fray, Flower still has yet to test out of it, and it’s unlikely he’ll be available for the New Year’s Day matinee. The Preds have already played two games since the restart after Christmas, losing in regulation in Washington, which happens, and then losing in a shootout to Columbus, which probably shouldn’t happen to a serious team. Though having Roman Josi out in protocols certainly isn’t helping their cause, as he’s their leading scorer (again) from the back end with 29 points. Colton Sissons is also currently out, but that could all change at a moment’s notice. As is going to be the case for probably the next two or three weeks, these games are still going to be completely slapdick in terms of roster availability and how that affects outcomes.
1/2 – vs Calgary
Game Time – 7:00PM CST
TV/Radio – NBC Sports Chicago, SportsNet, WGN-AM 720
Dangerous Minds – ScorchStack
The Hawks had better hope Flower passes his PCRs or whatever soon, otherwise they’ll turn their lonely gaze towards Swedish child Arvid Soderblom to take the second half of the back to back and make his NHL debut, instead of Colin Delia whose ass is likely going to be stuck in the drive through at Beef A Roo for the rest of his life. Soderblom has a .915 in nine games for the Piggies, so it’s fair that he at least gets a look so the Hawks know if they have anything before they inevitably have to ask MAF where he’d like to be traded. Being listed at 6’2″, 188 lbs is probably generous for this taut pre-teen Swedish boy, as his draft mugshot last year made the rounds last year to a chorus of “christ almighty”. The Flames won their first game back last night in Seattle, and are avoiding a stopover in Winnipeg (hooray) prior to coming here. They’re mostly healthy right now, and dong whipped the Hawks at the Saddledome in November, so this could be TRIAL BY FIRE (GET IT) for young Arvid.
1/4 – vs Colorado
Game Time – 7:30PM
TV/Radio – ESPN+/Hulu (bullshit), WGN-AM 720
Loud Pack – Mile High Hockey
The Avs clearly aren’t where they would like to be standings-wise right now. They had a ton of nagging injuries even before this latest bout with pestilence gripped the league, though at the moment it appears that they don’t have anyone in protocol. However Bowen Byram, who was supposed to announce his presence to the league this year has yet to do so consistently, and is currently on IR. But regardless of what the Wild might be doing in the division at the moment, it’s still all about the spring for the Avs, as they still have the firepower to come out of the Western Conference if not win the whole fucking thing, and have yet to get past the second round since their proverbial window has opened. Though it seems like nine years ago already, the Avs absolutely embarrassed the Hawks and the previous regime on national television on opening night for TNT’s first broadcast, so it will be an interesting measuring post to see if even the slightest bit of structure and home ice can keep this game competitive for even 40 minutes.
Happy New Year Everyone.