Have A Lucky Day: Hawks 5 – Predators 2

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Shift Charts

That’s harsh on the Hawks. For the first time on this homestand, the scoreboard mostly reflected the play on the ice. The Hawks were certainly better in the first and second periods than at any point against Carolina. And they led on the scoreboard for most of the game, unlike the Buffalo encounter.

But when you get that jammy goal that marked the winner, and the Preds hit three posts in the final frame, you have to admit you have something of a horseshoe up your ass. And it’s been that way for the Hawks most of the season. But you’ll always take the points, no matter how they come, and the Hawks will remain on top of the West for longer.

Let’s clean it up.

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Bamboo Curtain – Predators vs Hawks Preview, Fridge Cleanout

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Game Time: 6:00PM CST
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, WGN-AM 720
Mike Ribeiro Is A Sex Criminal: On The Forecheck

It seems like every single year the Hawks manage to have played more games than anyone in the first half of the season, with the entire rest of their division having games in hand up until the final week of the season. This year is no different, and what better way to pile on than with three games in four nights, all at home.

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Preds Spotlight: The Dreaded Sequencing?

Sitting three points out of a wild card spot, behind the fucking Canucks, is not where the Predators thought they’d be halfway through this season. Nashville entered the year with expectations higher than they’ve ever been in Smashville, which makes this so far just about the most disappointing season they could have had. They thought they’d be tussling with the Hawks and Wild(?!) at the top of the division. It has not gone that way.

We’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why. Roman Josi backing up certainly hasn’t helped. We’ve pointed out their lack of front-line scoring, with really only Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen bonafide, NHL first-line talent. And Forsberg has had a miserably unlucky year until very recently. Subban, Neal, and Ellis missing time hasn’t helped either. We figured Pekka Rinne would be their downfall, but he’s been ok enough, especially in November.

When looking at Rinne though, you see a microcosm of the whole team. Because overall, everything suggests they should be higher than they are in the standings. They may have just fallen victim to the dreaded “sequencing.”

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I Feel the Pain of Everyone: Blackhawks 2, Hurricanes 1

Box Score

HockeyStats.ca

Natural Stat Trick

And so here we are, in the doldrums of January hockey with still the month of February to look forward to. If you’ve been paying attention over the last 8 years, this is usually around the time where the Hawks are half-interested on most nights. If they’re fortunate enough that their goaltending keeps them in the game, there’s a decent bet they’ll get at least a point out of it because they’re so damn good at making every opportunity count.

Tonight on the second game of a back-to-back, the Hawks were walloped in possession, shots and everything else except the scoreboard. The credit goes to Scott Darling as he was outstanding. Also as aforementioned, they made the most of the chances they were given.

Let’s get to the rest.

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The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends: Hurricanes at Hawks Preview/Our Own Boers Sendoff

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RECORDS: Canes 17-14-7  Hawks 24-12-5

PUCK DROP: 7:30pm

TV: CSN

WHAT AM I DOING IN THE BUS LEAGUES?: Canes Country

PROJECTED LINEUPS

ADJUSTED TEAM CORSI %: Canes – 52.4 (5th)  Hawks – 50.0 (15th)

ADJUSTED TEAM xGF%: Canes – 53.9 (5th)  Hawks – 47.5 (24th)

POWER PLAY %: Canes – 18.8 (14th)  Hawks – 18.3 (16th)

PENALTY KILL %: Canes – 88.5 (1st)  Hawks – 74.8 (29th)

The rare home back-to-back. The Hawks will still have some advantage, as the Canes played last night in West East St. Louis, grabbing a victory over the clearly still hungover Blues. Because that Winter Classic victory is worth savoring. They’ll talk about it for decades. Anyway, the Hawks have to be a little better than they were last time these two teams tangoed.

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Canes Q&A With Cory Lavalette

We’re tickled to have Cory Lavalette of North State Journal (nsjonline.com, and on Twitter @corylav) to tell us what’s going on with the red and… black? I guess it’s black. 

Let’s get it out of the way first. Are you taking care of Our Special Boy (Teuvo)? Because if you’re not…

I think so. You can tell Teravainen is starting to feel more comfortable both on and off the ice. I think it helps playing with a fellow Finn, 19-year-old rookie Sebastian Aho (more on this in a second), even though the two didn’t really know each other prior to becoming teammates. Teravainen is getting chances in Carolina he didn’t get in Chicago, and recently he’s played a lot of center and proven he can handle the responsibilities that come with that.

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Good For What Ails Ya: Hawks 3 – Sabres 3 (Hawks win Calf-roping)

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Shift Charts

Some of these aren’t so complicated. The Hawks would have won this by three or four goals, and certainly deserved to, if not for the heroics of Anders Nilsson. The Sabres quite frankly are an unfortunate hockey team, and the Hawks mauled them all over the ice. They had 20 shots in the first, and it’s not like the 23 they managed from there are bad. Sure, it took Anisimov getting a bounce with two minutes to go and get the right break in the Rugby 7’s after regulation, but it’s two points and those are always welcome when the Wild are right on your ass. If finishing first means anything, which we’ll figure out later.

The Hawks were punished for all their mistakes. Seabrook channeling last year’s version by lazily going to collect a puck and then belching it up the boards right to Foligno. Keith getting his pocket picked by Okposo. Rasmussen and Working Class Kero not getting a puck out and leaving EichelMania to get teed up. The Sabres do come with the top end talent at forward to make you pay if you fuck up against them. Just upped the degree of difficulty, and even an OT loss there would have felt like the luck was out as well as whatever else hasn’t added up during this small streak of futility. But no matter.

Let’s clean it up:

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