Search And Destroy – Game 7 – Scum vs Hawks Preview, Pregame Thread, Delousing

Mordor vs Minas_Tirith

Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: NBCSN, CBC (Anglo), RDS (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Juggalo Homies: Winging It In Motown, Abel To Yzerman

We thought it was coming back in April. Then Scum shocked almost no one outside of Orange County by giving the paper tiger Ducks more than they could handle in seven games to draw one final matchup with the Hawks. The consensus had been that the Hawks would make short work of Detroit (this blog included), but an outfit as decorated as this would not cooperate so easily, pushing the top seeded Hawks to the brink of elimination with a commanding 3-1 series lead. But the Hawks have pushed back and forced a decisive Game 7 on West Madison, with tonight marking, at long last the final meaningful intraconference meeting of these two heritage franchises. And it should be fitting that so much is on the line.

For Scum, coach Mike Babcock has pretty much thrown every tactic he’s had against the wall, and it’s still led them to two blown opportunities to put and end to this series. He’s had his two hall of fame centermen Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg focus on erasing the Hawks attack mostly to the expense of their offense, with only one goal between the two of them, Datsyuk’s back-breaker in Game 3. But Dats pretty much had his way in terms of the possession numbers on Monday night, with he and linemates Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen all above +15 in the Corsi department. However, this came with Babs able to get the matchups he wanted, which was mostly against Toews’ line along with Hammer and Oduya, neither of whom had a particularly strong game.

One area where Scum has yet to find any success thus far is on the power play, and word out of practice today is that they’ve been working on a modified look. The Hawks have given this team far too many opportunities thus far this series, and so far it has only come back to bite them once in Game 4. Even if Babs is grasping at straws to find a way through on the advantage, if he’s given enough looks, he, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg will eventually find a way.

On the Scum blue line, the series has now provided a large enough sample size that this corps is finally starting to show their true capabilities. Brendan Smith was torched on Zus and Bickell’s goals Monday, and Carlo Colaiacovo made a Keith-esque poor choice in trying to shoot through Michael Frolik, and then couldn’t catch him going the other way, which resulted in the penalty shot goal. Putting pucks behind this group and forcing them to make decisions quicker than they’d like to with an aggressive forecheck will continue to force them to play under duress. It certainly doesn’t have to be punishingly physical, as the Hawks aren’t really built for that, but making an effort to go in that direction won’t hurt.

And in the crease it will once again be Jimmy Howard, whose glove hand remains unflinching, but certainly did not appreciate the high traffic area his crease became in the first and third periods of Game 6. Continuing to pepper Howard with vulcanized rubber low should leave rebounds for pursuant forwards, but the Hawks would be well served to remember that his glove works fine and doesn’t need to broken in any more.

As for our Men of Four Feathers, they find themselves in unfamiliar territory in a lot of respects. This is the first game 7 on United Center ice (such as it is) since 1995, where the Hawks sent the Maple Leafs packing before heading east three years later. They also have the opportunity to overcome a 3-1 series deficit, something they have never done in the history of the franchise.

Since the Hawks are obviously coming off of a win, the starting lineups are remaining the same as is Quenneville’s way. However, as he’s also done throughout his tenure, going to the blender early and often is never out of the question. The slot machine came up 7′s for Q with the choice to get Bryan Bickell and his size out with Toews and Hossa to clear some space, resulting in the go-ahead goal 5 minutes into the third. With the benefit of last change at home, Q will be able to tinker to his mustachioed heart’s content, more than likely finding a way to get Toews away from Henrik Zetterberg. The real key though will be for the Hawks’ bottom six to play above Scum’s as the line of Andersson, Brunner, and Nyqvist has mostly outplayed the likes of Shaw, Saad, Stalberg, Bolland, et al. Giving Michal Handus heavily shielded minutes with favorable zone starts also seems to be in the mix, as Zus just really can’t flip the ice from his own end even with Sharp and Kane as his wings.

The Hawk blue line will need to have a far more even affair from 1 through 6 tonight in order to emerge victorious. While Brent Seabrook seems to be dining on B12 infused nachos since rejoining Duncan Keith, Nik Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya were simply snowed in on Monday. And though the Hawks were perilously holding onto a lead in the third, keeping Nick Leddy stapled to the bench completely flies in the face of what has made the Hawks successful. He’s earned the right to be trusted with those minutes, and is capable of breaking the Hawks out of their own zone clean moreso than any other rearguard. Three shifts in the third is not going to cut it.

One of the more underrated aspects of Monday night was also Corey Crawford’s ability to bounce back after allowing a serious boner, that being Joakim Andersson’s fluttering softy in the second. The pitchforks came out, and Crawford responded with what ended up being a 35 save victory, some of them spectacular, particularly two sprawling saves on Hank at the doorstep. Crawford hasn’t always looked pretty or comfortable, but the results are there, and he should have every confidence in himself this evening.

To this point in the playoffs, the Hawks have spent more time shorthanded than any other team at around 72 minutes, taking 51 minors, highly uncharacteristic of the Joel Quenneville Blackhawks.  And though the PK has been light’s out, with the season once again hanging by a thread, marching to the box is going to serve no purpose other than making life more difficult.

Both teams have shown their hands and it comes down to execution. Not allowing the Scum blue line any room to breathe if the Hawks still struggle at the dot will be the best way to regain the puck, and making short, manageable passes for zone exits will allow the Hawk forwards to hit the line with speed. The first goal tonight will be massive with the crowd in a bloodlust frenzy, but the Hawks will need to keep things under control to stay at even strength. The drums will shake the castle walls and Ring Wraiths are out in black. Let’s go Hawks.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Hi, I’m the Elder Gods from Mortal Kombat.

    FINISH HIM

    • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Otter Bobby Otter

      NO YOU ARE BOB LeDONNE

    • jekyll1489

      Oh Bob, you’re the Gary Busey of the CI family.

    • AirTrafficAJ

      I don’t think I could like this anymore than I already do. Send them back to Outworld!

      +10,000,000 upboats!

  • chidiver

    LETS GO HAWKS!

  • Michael H

    I can’t wait!!!!! Go Hawks

  • Country_Bumpkin

    Feeling pukey. The Hawks must be disciplined in their defense as well as their passes. The stretch passing is inefficient and not to their style. I just don’t think Detroit will have the will or the legs to skate with the Hawks. I think the Hawks are confident, but know they haven’t won anything yet. Penalties must remain low as this is what Detroit will goad the Hawks into taking.

    • 1benmenno

      Hello lamp-post, whatcha knowing, I’ve come to see your flowers growin’, ain’t you got no rhymes for me, do-in do do , feelin’
      pukey.

      • Nineteen88

        Simon and Garfunkel will always get upped from me.

      • roadhog

        Isn’t it goal post?

  • detroit must die

    Here’s hoping the door smacks detroit in the ass on the way out. Go git’em Hawks.

  • Preacher

    Once again, I have to coach a bunch of 5 to 7-year-olds in Little League Baseball tonight. And once again, I’m hoping I don’t hurt a kid. My stomach hurts, I’m jumpy, a bit impatient, and restless as all get-out. Either it’s a game 7 or I’m in love. GO HAWKS!!!

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      At least if its game 7, you’ll always have next year. Love will screw you for life.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    I’ve got to remind myself it is a three period game and that Detroit has been spectacularly awful in the third with 20+ goals allowed.

    • roadhog

      AND . . . our Hawks have come out strong early in the first in a majority of the contests. I’m optimistic about a couple early Hawk markers to set a favorable tone.

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    5 more minutes. 5 more minutes until I can clock out, jet home, and start drinking. My wife asked me what I wanted to do for dinner tonight, she seemed somewhat amused by my 1-word answer until she realized I wasn’t joking when I said “scotch”. Hopefully I (and by I, I mostly mean my liver) can at least survive until the game actually starts…

  • Steve S

    Pierre says the team to score more goals will win

    • Nineteen88

      And the streak of scintillating, in-depth analysis from P. McGuire continues unbroken.

  • DuHawk

    DuHawk checking in. I’m pretty sure I just heard a “Detroit sucks” chant from Wrigley Field.

    Yes, they certainly do.

    LET’S GO HAWKS!! FUCK SCUM!!

  • jekyll1489

    Last year, the Hawks had a 23 game unbeaten in regulation streak when I drank strongbow cider, that ended when they got blown out in game 6 at home. I bought a whole bunch of that crap for tonight, and I cant decide if it’s good or bad mojo to drink it. help?

    • 1benmenno

      Drink as needed (depending on the score).

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    I can’t decide whether the Hawks are going to blow the doors of off Detroit’s rusted out old Chrysler 5-2 or 7-2? I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of those scores. I did the math.

  • Hags

    This is going to be an epic night. Haven’t been this excited and this nervous since intermission of the 3rd period/overtime on June 9th 2010. Lets send these Octupi lovers back to the hell hole they came from!

    • Why

      Christ. I remember leaving the bar for a smoke and drunkenly rambling about how Hossa was snakebitten.

  • ahnfire

    Why am I at work till 730p. My alcohol cabinet at home calls out to me…

    • chidiver

      What? No secret stash at work? For shame!

      • ahnfire

        no locked drawers at work. the hooligans here would steal it from me.

        • 2883

          There’s more than one way to hide a bottle of liquor

          • Accipiter

            You could hoop it.

          • 2883

            I do not recommend this method.

          • DesertHawk

            What is hooping?

          • Z-man19

            I was afraid to ask, guessing I don’t need to know

          • DesertHawk

            My curiosity is overriding of self preservation.

          • roadhog

            AKA “Ring of Fire” . . .classic . . .

          • DesertHawk

            Fortunately the truly horrific things on the web, don’t raise my curiosity at all… so I’ve only had to scrub my brain a couple times in my 20 years on the web.

          • 2883

            Can you stop yourself from clicking that link?

          • Z-man19

            Yes, I’ve done a lot to sneak booze into various places, I haven’t heard of that and I don’t really need to be disgusted this early in the evening

          • DesertHawk

            It’s not so much sneaking as a means of ingestion.

          • Z-man19

            Further evidence that I don’t need to know

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Was just talking with a friend who had to take opium anally for kidney stones. If ever there’s a reason to have to take anything anally, kidney stones would be it.

          • 2883
          • DesertHawk

            So why’d you call it hooping. Actually as part of my NCO training in the Air Force we had to do this really indepth course on drugs… the amount of things people will do to get drunk or high, is depressing as shit and also disgusting.

          • Nineteen88

            I firmly believe that a huge part of human ingenuity over the millennia has been honed by people who had to exercise every bit of brainpower available in their endless quest to get shitty. “Hey, I wonder what would happen if I licked that frog?” “How fucked up would I get if I melted down this poppy seed and then smoked it?” Someone had to think this stuff up the first time.

          • Z-man19

            I’d like to know how they figured out milk from a cow/goat was good, had to be a stupid bet moment

          • DesertHawk

            Probably saw a baby nursing, knew how they nursed… put two and two together.

          • Z-man19

            Ever been around a protective cow? Did they get down there and suck away or have the sense to milk it? Talk about losing some teeth

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Oh, the things you’ll know and the places you’ll see…

      • Z-man19

        She’s not a flask person

    • BigCSouthside

      Ill drink for you. I already started. Youre welcome

      • 2883

        I can’t drink that much I have a bad headache… But I’m going to do my typical double of Jameson

      • ahnfire

        gee thanks BigC. I knew I could count on you. :P

  • LAHawksFan

    As nerve-wracking as tonight will be, I can think of no better way for the conference rivalry of these two teams to come to a close. Lets send them out in style boys…GO HAWKS!!

  • ballyb11

    KISS.

    • roadhog

      Kill Ignoble Supercilious Scum!!!!!!

  • 2883

    I thought game started at 6 P CST?

    • LAHawksFan

      I thought so too, but it’s showing up on the TV as 7pm central

      • DesertHawk

        Hawks site says 7 as well.

    • Preacher

      I think “coverage” starts at 6, which means lots of studio heads talking. The puck drop is set for a few minutes after 7pm.

      • DesertHawk

        Yeah my tv says it starts at 7E so I’m confused as shit.

  • roadhog

    Fear not, want not, stay calm and serve as witness . . . The third act starts tonight . . . and the unknown script of the hockey gods and it’s tension is befitting for our comeback against these archrival scum. One smart shift, one productive period, one victorious game at a time from our captain to the full depth of our beloved Hawk roster. Our Madhouse plays stage to hockey history, with Jim C. to remind us in all measures of scope, we are home and we are proud and we cheer unashamedly in acknowledgment. I still believe. GO HAWKS!!!!

  • 2883

    2 hours to gametime

  • Skags

    Down here it’s our time. It’s our time down here.

    - Goonies’d

  • Skags

    Patrick Kane? *Peers over tops of glasses.* I believe your table is ready, sir.

    • Why

      I’d love to see Kane have a couple moments of individual brilliance. On a bad night, he looks lazy and half in the bag. On a good night, he makes me look an idiot. Please make me look like an idiot, Patrick Kane.

      • roadhog

        Patrick, please make Smith look like an idiot, repeatedly. He’s just dying to help you out . . .

  • Waylon

    are we not men? We are Devo.

  • Waylon

    Meaning they better bring it all tonight – and Hammer and HowDoYa, I’m lookin’ at you guys in particular.

  • DesertHawk

    Crosby has really gross looking teeth.

    • Nineteen88

      He’s taken a whole lotta pucks to the face in his years, I’d guess.

      • DesertHawk

        No excuses!!! They’re grody. It actually looks more like he needs massive dental work from a genetic standpoint, his bottom row of teeth comes almost to a point. I don’t see where that would be the result of pucks.

        • Accipiter

          I think he lost 12 of them (teeth). It takes a while to fix that sort of thing after a broken jaw.

          • DesertHawk

            Why don’t dudes where the cage?

          • Accipiter

            Same reason they won’t wear a visor.

          • Z-man19

            Why are we talking about teeth?

          • Nineteen88

            BECAUSE I’M REALLY NERVOUS RIGHT NOW, OKAY?

          • Z-man19

            Gotta be a better topic than Crosby’s teeth

          • roadhog

            There’s some cow’s milk below . . .

          • Z-man19

            And back to lost teeth

          • Accipiter

            Hey, there’s one thing I don’t get though. When my face was crushed, why did it go back to my old face ? I mean, shouldn’t I have turned into some kind of third face that was different ?

          • DesertHawk

            Not sure if serious…

          • Accipiter

            It’s a Moe Szyslak quote.

          • DesertHawk

            Gah, Simpsons!!!

          • Z-man19

            Apparently I don’t watch enough TV

          • DesertHawk

            I have watched like 4 whole simpsons episodes my entire life… so I get got on Simpsons’ references all the time.

          • Accipiter

            I have all of mine with no fillings.

          • DesertHawk

            Because they’re dumb?

          • Nineteen88

            Jesus. I can’t believe he’s playing even with a mask after that.

          • Accipiter

            The mask is gone, he was cleared to play with just the visor now.

        • Nineteen88

          Missing a bunch of teeth fucks up the rest of your bite in a huge way. They get all strange looking and out of place, so I’m guessing that’s the culprit.

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    If the refs call the interference, holding, & obstruction then I see Detroit tossing their salad and Hawks win 6-1, if not then I can see a 3-1 game. I’d love for 36 to make a cameo & remind everyone why he matters.

  • Nineteen88

    Oh god, I’m nauseated. Two hours to puck drop. I have no idea how I’m going to make it.

  • roadhog

    Stals and Saad, because they are due, and it is time. Along with a goal and assist from each and every other Hawk.

  • Preacher

    Oh, man, my bowels are churning. My stomach’s turning. My ulcer’s burning.
    I am so incredibly worried. And we have MAJOR thunderstorms coming our way.

    • roadhog

      T-storms in Chicagoland? If so, good karma, I know two diehard hawk fans who were softball/game7 conflicted . . .

      • DesertHawk

        Not that diehard, if they were conflicted…

        • roadhog

          I think it was here I saw one of them, option C- pray for rain, D- fake injury. The other is my brother, whose barely keeping a minimum roster count on the field. Trust me, I’d be a skippin’

      • Z-man19

        Preach is in Wisconsin IIRC

      • Preacher

        I am indeed in Wisconsin and we’re getting a wicked T-storm now. Hope I can still see the game.

  • DesertHawk

    NHLN Pundit… Despite the numbers, which is how we judge a goalie, I’m giving the edge to Howard…. GAH!!!

  • DesertHawk

    The Wings have more discipline?! Only if penalties aren’t being called… I really hate this guy.

    • Z-man19

      Why watch?

      • DesertHawk

        I have no idea.

  • 1benmenno

    A friend wanted to watch the game with me, offered to supply beer. I said no. Watching alone, sober, under a blanket.

    • Z-man19

      A stylish friend?

      • 1benmenno

        For a Serbian cabdriver, he’s pretty stylish.

        • Z-man19

          The Serbs I know are pretty stylish

  • mightymikeD

    be of good cheer, my frents. they’re going to play Holiday Road at the UC.. victory is assured.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    Kaner as Gollum

    http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/zJNU..DqDYFKd2wF0L2nKg–/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA–/http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/sptusnhlexperts/123906422.jpg

    Because of course gollum would cheer for the Cubs.

  • cza

    We’ve done this shit before. Let’s go Hawks!

    *this should be augmented by a lovely picture from the Trib of Mikita scoring the winning goal April 15, 1965, but Disqus sucks.

  • DesertHawk

    They’re doing a Tortorella montage on NHLN, he’s an angry man.

    • DesertHawk

      Also NHLN didn’t sensor the word Fuck. Which I thought was funny.

    • 2883

      As if Q isn’t?

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Its gonna take a montage

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Continuing on with IPA’s since they seemed to work for the last two games.

    Let’s go #4

  • QCBlackhawk

    I’m twitchy. Do not like.

  • CornelisonsFlagPointer

    Gimme shelter

    • QCBlackhawk

      War, children, it’s just a shot away.

  • DuHawk

    The hockey gods are with me tonight. Golf got rained out tonight. I won’t miss a second of the game. Also, I’m nervous as fuck.

    LET’S GO HAWKS!! FUCK SCUM!!

    • roadhog

      So option C worked out?

      • DuHawk

        Sure did!!!

        • roadhog

          And for that we are thankful!

          • DuHawk

            Likewise; I was doing a rain dance

  • pompoon

    I know I’m only going to have one moment of calm all day: the minute and a half between the start of the anthem, and when the puck drops.

    Beer, don’t fail me now.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    oh, yay. Power is blinking in and out with all the thunderstroming around here.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    IS….is time actually going….backwards?

    • DesertHawk

      I think so.

    • QCBlackhawk

      Is this the real life, or Disqus fantasy?
      Caught in a page-load.
      No escape to reality.
      Open your browser, look to C.I. and seeeeeeeeee……
      I’m just a poor comment, I’ll get no sympathy
      Because I’m easy come, Post won’t go
      Hit F5, Loading slow.
      Any way the thread goes, Doesn’t really matter to meeeeeeeeeeee
      To meeeeeeeeeeeee

      • Z-man19

        Solid

      • ahnfire

        /applause

  • Hawkeytalk

    drinking screwdrivers. Nervous, but not as bad as last game yet. Score early and often, please blackhawks.

  • bizarrohairhelmet