Clowns To The Left, Jokers To The Right: Hawks at Blues Preview/Pregame Thread/Vanity Bonfire

Hawk Wrestler vs. old_school_blue_l

FACEOFF: 7pm Central

TV/RADIO: CSN Locally, NBCSN not locall, WGN Radio 720


WHERE WE’LL BE FOR IT: A.J. Hudson’s (Ashland and Grace here in the city)

Well, you tell me what we’re going to see tonight. It’s hard to imagine that the Hawks would just lie down for a game against the Blues. But then again it was hard to imagine them waving their hand at the thought of overcoming the Wild at home last out in the 3rd when a single point would at least lock them into 3rd. The Hawks aren’t out of danger of falling into the wild card slots, though it’s not clear if that matter or if they care about it. And I don’t know either.

Ok, we’ll do the lineup thing. Kyle Baun Baun Kyle Baun Baun looks like he’s going to go again tonight after a serviceable debut. Corey Crawford is starting, and you’d believe Q’s only goal was to just get out of this one alive it would be Darling starting. Maybe he’s going in Colorado. Marcus Kruger will not play as he’s sick, which is a loss for sure so Desjardins will slot into center which he can play, giving the Hawks three combined centers (Shaw and Desjardins each counting for a half) while another center plays on a wing. And it was ever thus.

Kimmo Timonen also didn’t make the trip, which means you get more of Rozie and Rundblad in this one because I know you were asking for it, causing Q to break up his dominant Swedes so everyone can play babysitter. I guess if the Hawks really didn’t value this one it would be Paliotta’s debut tonight, but I don’t even know anymore.

For the Blues, their absentees are all the same when they were here on Sunday, as Steen, Tarasenko, and Disco Bortuzzo (he’s got ouzo for two-zo) are all out. With a good portion of their offense in street clothes tonight, expect the Blues to be just as tight in their own zone as they were on Sunday, meaning the Hawks are going to have to figure out something else than just winging pucks from the point with two or three Blues staring at them directly and blankly. The Blues can clinch the division if they win and the Preds to lose to Minnehaha, so it’s all there for them tonight.

The Hawks are in a strange position tonight, if you think they were trying to slot themselves against Nashville on Tuesday (which I’m not convinced of, but I also have no idea what was going on on Tuesday either with 32 and 5 on in the last minute and the game on the line). If the Hawks win, they just might pull the Blues into the 2-3 matchup with them. If they lose, they may force themselves to slip right into 4th in the division and get the Blues anyway in a 1-4 series. You fucking figure it out.

It really could be anything tonight. I’m guessing with the division there to be grabbed, and wanting to win the season series against the Hawks, as well as their usual bubbling looniness that’s always on display when the Hawks go down I-55, we’ll see the usual Blues experience. Pucks deep, finishing every check, hoping for mistakes (otherwise known as “Rozsivals’). Especially without Tarasenko and Steen, the Blues kind of need some help to create offense. They usually get it through their forceful ways.

It would appear Jay Gallon has seized the #1 job from Brian “Terminal Case of Being Brian Elliot” Elliot, as he starts again tonight. He’s been the better goalie of late, and god knows they’ve put this kid through the ringer before they let him have the #1 job he’s been groomed for for like three years now. He was pretty good on Sunday but wasn’t made to work all that hard as the Hawks were kept to the perimeter.

In order to get inside the circles and to the front of the net better tonight, the Hawks will need a high level of want, and no one has any idea how seriously they’re taking this one. The Hawks will try and stretch the Blues D so that there’s a gap between them and the furiously forechecking forwards. This is actually when their stretch-pass happy ways would serve them well, to either get behind the Blues D or to open up space in front of them once the Hawks break cleanly out of the zone. If they break cleanly out of the zone, which can be a real trick against this collection of shaved apes and sewer alligators.

Kick the weekend off early and join us at Hudson’s for this one. If the Hawks don’t care, you’ll have plenty of people to hang out with and throw a few back. If they do care, all the more fun. Hudson’s has a signed Hjalmarsson jersey they’ll be raffling off tonight, and we’ll see what other fun we can come up with. And you can hit Killion with a fish.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Minnesota resting Parise, Vanek, Nino, and Dubnyk tonight. No word from Nashville yet but I imagine they are playing for division championship still so it’s tough to imagine the Hawks jumping out of the 3 seed without a win tonight. Minnesota likely to do the same against StL this weekend.

  • Matt

    How about a nice OT loss? Slots into a 3rd place guarantee, gives the Blues a likely match-up with the Wild, and gives us the Predators in round one. Who says no?

    • SuperHawk27

      I’d be okay with a #2 seed and playing the Preds with home ice, A Blues/Wild match-up would be entertaining.

    • Aaeismacgychel

      That would be the best case scenario right there. Get it to OT and then throw out Versteeg, Desjardins, Rozsival, and Rundblad for the full 5 minutes

  • Jim

    Like to see the Blues and Wild playing 7 games in the first round. Those would actually be fun games to watch. I’d pick St. Louis to win that series.

    • Aaeismacgychel

      I would love to see that as well and I would take the Wild to win that series in 6 or 7. Not that regular season games matter, but the Hawks aren’t the only team in the Central the Wild play well against, and the Blues are in the same boat there. They would have their hands incredibly full and whoever gets out of that round might have half their team in a body bag by the end of it.

      • Jim

        Yes, would not be surprised to see the victor leave that series with some injured players. Ryan Rieves is a headhunter, and Matt Cooke is a cheap shot artist, just to name a couple on those teams.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    I’m going to be half paying attention to this as my alma mater will be taking on BU for a shot at a national championship. Lets go Sioux!

  • T.M.

    Roszival was in the game in the last minute to make that save on the Minnesota shot. that’s one of the little things he does that’s makes him so valuable to Q-once a year he blocks a shot to save a goal.

  • To Saad be the glory

    Well,lets see. Nashville lost vs the Avs Tues. night,Hawks lost to Minny at home,River Scum were shut out at home by the Jets,and last night the Ducks got shutout at home by the Stars. I’d say it’s the teams with clinched playoff spots not giving two shits and not necessarily the Hawks and Coach Q’s screwed up sorcery.

    • SamFels

      Fair point. Everyone just might know the West is a mess and waiting for the playoffs.

    • Kings have been pissing the bed, too. The West IS a mess.

      • Aaeismacgychel

        Well that was just insane. Don’t think anyone really saw that one coming. Maybe it was just for theatrics so they can beat Calgary and San Jose back to back and sneak in over Calgary/Winnipeg

        • I’m kinda torn as to whether or not I want LA to sneak in. The Hawk fan in me prefers the removal of any and all obstacles through the Western Conference playoffs; the impartial, hockey-loving fan in me enjoys watching the Kings play and salivates at the idea of a potential 3rd Hawks/LA WCF.

          • Icdws

            Honorable Nutbrown, sir: you out of your fucking mind?

          • I assume that’s a rhetorical question. I’ve given no proof to the contrary.

          • Icdws

            only team I fear in playoffs is Kings. Hawks could lose to anyone, but they cant beat the kings.

          • Hockey Newbie

            I should be impartial in this, but cannot get over the but hurt from last year’s WCF. Anyone but LA, VAN and Scum Jr!!!

      • Hags

        not that you can ever doubt the Kings when they are up against a wall, but for them to be in a win or be eliminated position with the games in hand and the cupcake schedule is really disappointing. Could you imagine the collective freakout that would happen if the Hawks boned a game like the Kings did the other night in Edmonton?

        • JJNDadTo4

          I can… but I mos def don’t want to!!!

    • Aaeismacgychel

      I think most of the teams are already in playoff preparation mode- rest anyone who has an injury and just go out there. Minnesota needed that win last game and truth was the Hawks actually jumped them hard early. Minnesota went for it in the 3rd while the Hawks played for the OT and when you play to tie in hockey or preserve the win, you lose. I personally thought the Hawks were pretty solid those first 2 periods especially in terms of limiting chances. Now I think the teams just want to be in control of their own destiny without saying it. Such that in the final game of the season, they can attack it in a way they feel is best for them. And while no coach would ever say it, sometimes late in a season when yuo’ve already clinched a playoff spot, losing can be more beneficial than winning.

    • Cip

      I guess there are other teams that just don’t want to win.

  • jordyhawk

    I’m liking the Kyle Bauner for another strong game. Have at ’em Bauner.

  • Icdws

    Looking at Hawks line-up tonight can we play them in the playoffs? Geez with Versteeg on 1st line now, those are 4 unimposing lines. Oh I forgot with the wily veteran Rozival sniping from the point, the d makes all lines dangerous.
    One more thought are teams afraid of pulling a Hitchcock, by going all out to win the division and collapsing in playoffs?

  • dinob0t

    Kyle Baun Baun Kyle Baun Baun gets a dino-chuckle out of me every single time.

  • Brandon Murray

    Listen up everyone it’s FTB Thursday:

    Thats FUCK THE BLUES for the newbies. Fuck all this wanting to play this team or avoid that team. Think of it this way. If we avoid the Blues in round 1 and then play them in round 2 (provided we both win) are any of you prepared to watch them go to the WCF at the expense of us? Fuck that. This team needs to go down quickly starting with tonight. I don’t care who we draw in the first round because whoever we don’t draw is probably waiting for us in round 2. I ALWAYS want to beat the Blues. ALWAYS. No tanking against these douchebags. Oh and don’t get sucked into playing their game (you know roller derby on ice?) lets put a coule past Gallon and make’em sweat it out Saturday because I think we all know what happens when we play the Avs…………but that is apost for another day.

    Let’s Go Hawks! FUCK THE BLUES!

  • Brandon Murray

    NBC sports literally running the same Wakey Wakey piece from the pregame last Sunday. WTF? Be better NBC its over.