Sorry, couldn’t figure out how to get an umlaut into the title. I can do it here though if you want me to make up for it. ü. There you go.
Edit: Umlaut achieved.
The Hawks try to push it to five tonight in Ohio, against the carcass that the other carnivores in the Central have been scavenging off for years. And that will probably remain the case this year as well, as the Blue Jackets continue the bobbing for Seth Jones competition they are in.
Word out of the morning skate is that Corey Crawford is the guard for the cage tonight, which is something of a small surprise considering the Hawks turn around tomorrow at home against Scum. But Quenneville wants to ride the roll here, or was so terrified by Ray Emery’s one start he’s not going to play him until he has no choice, or both. I don’t have a problem with it, as this early Crow should be able to handle three in four and there’s nothing wrong with trying to build the confidence as much as they can.
Only other lineup decision is Jammer is staying in ahead of Bollig in an unusual bout of common sense. Maybe Jared Boll isn’t someone you need to account for after all.
The Jackets probably are correctly defined now as “new-look.” That is because they finally shipped off alleged dong-concealer and overrated obelisk Rick Nash to New York, and they are no longer defined by his mood swings, performance, or desires. I will say in the brief glimpses I’ve gotten of Columbus this season, they do appear a little more fun to watch and more committed than they have in the past, when it seemed everyone was looking to Nash to discover if he was going to pull their ass out of a sling or not give a shit and they could follow suit.
However, Nash was their one vessel of actual talent. This team is bereft of it currently. While I love Brandon Dubinsky, he’s really nothing more than a third-line player on a good team. But he has to skate on the top line here. Nick Foligno is another new addition, and he’s skating over his head as well. At least they’ve finally gotten Brassard and Johansen playing in the middle, at least at times and something they out-thought themselves out of a lot in the past.
Ah, but the dish turns rancid when you cast your eyes back to the blue line. They actually toss out James Wisniewski and Jack Johnson (he’s the name you know) as a top pairing, as apparently Todd Richards loved the Looney Tunes so much he wants to see it on ice at all times. Fedor Tyutin is a fine bottom-pairing guy, but Nikita Nikitin plays a sport I’m not familiar with and Adrian Aucoin….well, you know.
That’s all in front of either Sergei Bobrovsky, who no one has told that players are allowed to shoot at the top half of the net, or the permanently bewildered Steve Mason. It’s going to be Mason tonight. In his last four starts against the Hawks, Mase has allowed the twine to be molested 19 times. Yeah, get some.
The Jackets started the year with two sprightly performances that ended in shootouts, splitting decisions against Nashville and Scum. But since they’ve gotten clocked by Colorado and Phoenix. I suppose there’s a chance that the Hawks could be overlooking this one to Detroit at home and then the Ice Show trip. But even in that state, this is a team the Hawks can get by. Don’t do anything stupid, and the Hawks will find out five is better than four.