Since I Left You – Hawks at Avalanche Preview, Pregame Thread, Clam Bake

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Game Time: 8:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN+, WGN-AM 720
Rocky Mountain Way: Mile High Hockey, JibbleScribbits

Just nine short days after finally putting an end to the Hawks’ history season-starting streak in emphatic fashion, the Hawks return to the scene of the crime in Denver tonight to take on a somehow worse-off Avalanche team that now finds itself in the Western Conference basement.

Since the Hawks’ last visit to the Pop Can, the Avs have gone 1-3, with those three losses coming in a row, the most recent of which was a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Wild that wasn’t nearly as close as it looked. Semyon Varlamov took the loss in that game, however, he was cleaning up a mess made by J-S Giguere, who allowed four goals in the first. But even still, Varly took the collar in the previous two against the Oil and in Minny, allowing four and five by him respectively. This slide along with the Jackets’ cute little “streak” has put the the Avs at the bottom of the conference, and still searching for any kind of consistency from any phase of their game.

As for our Men of Four Feathers, one hopes they didn’t completely empty the chamber Saturday night in Dallas after dropping eight on the Stars, impressive as it was. Yeah, watching that kind of display is fun for pretty much everyone except the recipient of that caliber of beat down, but there can be a tendency afterward to get a little too cute trying to put on a show. Fortunately the bulk of the goals scored in Dallas came as a result of executing fundamentals such as getting to the net and getting point shots through.

Tonight’s lineup of skaters is the same as it’s been the previous two, with Gorilla Salad sitting in favor of a suddenly not-useless Brandon Bollig. Jimmy Hayes’ lumber-along-and-fall-down routine will get put to a serious test tonight against a swift Avs group, particularly on Bolland’s line that gets hemmed in even against teams slower and less proficient at the dot than Colorado. Ray Emery gets the call in net, and his bionic hips figure to be put to the test once again tonight with an Avs team that has had the Hawks’ number.

The same things that have been problematic for the Hawks the last two or three years against the Avs aren’t going to change tonight because of how the standings are still looking. O’Reilly, Stastny, and cheshire-cat-look-alike Matt Duchene win an exceptional amount of draws, forcing the Hawks to chase a team just as fast as they are. Closing quickly on puck carriers with support in passing lanes will be key tonight to avoid a similar result to last Friday should the Hawks once again suck eggs at the dot. Having the forwards front point men more aggressively while shorthanded (as we have so often harped upon) will help a suddenly sputtering PK that can’t seem to win a key draw either.

More than likely the narrative during the broadcast tonight will be that of “revenge” against the Avalanche for ending the Hawks’ streak, as stupid as that sounds. More importantly, however, will be the Hawks’ need to take away two points tonight to keep Wednesday night from being a battle for the top spot in the conference with Anaheim. Let’s go Hawks.

  • raditzzzz

    its not stupid. this team halted my hockey joyride. I DEMAND VENGEANCE!

    • DesertHawk

      VENGEANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MattC86

    With the season where it’s at, I’ve pretty much devoted all my viewing attention to watching the wonky pieces from last year’s playoffs – i.e., Oduya, #3 pairing, and Crawford. The 2 former ones had a couple of crap games against the Avs (won’t talk about Craw’s diaper-loading last time out in Denver); always get nervous against the good teams. Let’s see what we have.

  • mightymikeD

    Tonight, to me, feels like a Big Night in the West: the Hawks (hopefully) slapping down the Avs will really cement their position at the top, the Wild & Nucks face each other for the last time this reg. season with the top of the NW up for grabs, one feels that the Sha-Arks need to get something from this Ducks game or their season is in deep shit and the Kings are probably going to stomp PHX fiirmly back down into the bubble.

  • hwkfn83

    I’ve heard the “revenge” talk and think it’s just as ridiculous as the “rivalry” talk a few weeks back. The end of the streak wasn’t a calamity, just a bump in the road towards the grand prize in June.

  • Accipiter

    Hi ! Where’s HIBLD ?

  • Paul the Fossil

    For the season to date Colorado is actually only a teeny hair better at
    the dot overall than the Hawks, .506 to .501. What were the faceoff
    results in the teams’ head to head meetings thus far?

    • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

      When it’s one guy dragging the team’s aggregate into mediocrity vs a team with 3 slightly above 50% guys, the chickens come home to roost, or something.

      • Accipiter

        You give Bolland too much credit.

        • 10thMountainFire

          I posted first!

          • Accipiter

            Okay, whatever you say Kaleta.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I still love you.

          • Accipiter

            You’re only human.

          • 10thMountainFire

            That’s quite the conclusion you’ve jumped to there.

          • Accipiter

            We need to talk.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I don’t like the sound of this.

          • Accipiter

            I’m not buying that crap anymore !

          • 10thMountainFire

            Dad! I’m your son!

      • 10thMountainFire

        Sir, you refer to Mr. Bolland, no?

      • mad-hatter

        One? More like three.

    • TheFullAmonte

      What are O’reily’s numbers like? I assume that the team is better since his return as well.

      • TheFullAmonte

        NHL.com has him at 53.7%, which coupled with Duchene at 55 and Stastny at 52.5 makes for a much higher percentage, especially as those 3 will take most of the faceoffs.

      • andidee15

        Radar’s at 53.7%, which is just below Dutchy’s 54.9% and above Stastny’s 52.5%. So, all 3 of them are pretty okay at taking draws.

  • 10thMountainFire

    You know what hurts? Looking at Andrew Ladd’s stats.

    I know, I know. But it still hurts.

    • Accipiter

      What about that Byfuglien guy ?

      • Z-man19

        He looks robust

        • 10thMountainFire

          His play has ‘swelled’.

          • Z-man19

            I’d say move him to center but there wouldn’t be room for the wings

          • mightymikeD

            Buff can ALWAYS make room for wings

          • 10thMountainFire

            Post of the night. We can all go home, ladies and gentlemen.

          • Accipiter

            // 3~

          • 10thMountainFire

            *$%^

          • Accipiter
          • 10thMountainFire

            That should be sent to Webster’s.

          • mightymikeD

            hilarious.

          • cliffkoroll

            nice!

          • mightymikeD

            thought you’d like that, Cliff..

          • mightymikeD

            he’s certainly expanded his game

          • 10thMountainFire

            He seems to have been throwing his weight around more.

          • mightymikeD

            He’s a fat bastard.. wait.. I’m doing it wrong, aren’t I?

      • 10thMountainFire

        Ladd >>>>>>>> Byfuglien.

        • Bullitt315

          The amazing thing is he was on our 3rd line.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ok, now I’m crying.

          • MattC86

            Our Cup-Winning third line had Dave Bolland and two of the top 15 or so goal scorers in the East last year. Just saying.

          • AirTrafficAJ

            I’m sure we will be saying that about Stalberg next year when Uncle Dale pays him 4.2 million to play in the swamp

          • 10thMountainFire

            Winnipeg has swamps?

          • mightymikeD

            I’d laugh, but that’s probably the truth

        • Accipiter

          —> = c]:{

    • mad-hatter

      Why you gotta bring me down like that?

    • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

      Re: what hurts

      The lack of respect.

  • 334Rules

    I suppose once DLR comes out, any hope of a post-game wrap from the ToS goes out the window. Which of course leaves me torn: Dynamite Dave or cogent analysis of a game I unfortunately did not get to watch. Perhaps tonight a simple 2 goal victory and some bullets by morning!

    • DesertHawk

      I was kinda bummed by that as well… :(

      • corbant

        That’s the price of a decisive victory.

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    Man, Denver the Last Dinosaur was so cool…

    But now fuck Colorado, GO HAWKS.

  • Skags

    Maybe I’m crazy, the absurd streak not withstanding, I always want to avenge the last loss to a club we’re playing. This year, we haven’d to do that very much. Which is nice.

    Hell yes I want revenge. This is the bottom dwelling team in the Western Conference we’re talking about, one of only two teams to beat us. I want dominance. Crush their throats. Destroy them. I want you to get these fucks where they breathe! I want them DEAD! I want their fans DEAD! I want their stadium burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON THE ASHES! /untouchabled

    Pillage their city. Destroy their dreams. Unleash DLR and hang back to back 8′s.

    Make it so.

    • DesertHawk

      Also lamentations of their women. If you could do that Hawks it’d be awesome.

    • mightymikeD

      this.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne.

    • Z-man19

      Any predictions for us tonight Bob?

      • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

        PAIN

        • corbant

          To clarify, you mean like a joyful pain…right?

        • Z-man19

          Pants Accipiter Isn’t weariNg?

        • Sparky_The_Barbarian

          I pity the foo

    • mightymikeD

      HI BOB. BOB IH

  • Waylon

    I heard Chesny last night on NHL talking about his two top teams in the West being the Ducks and the Kings, since the Hawks don’t handle big, physical teams on the forecheck well (true). Hard to know just how the Hawks stack up against their probable match – ups in the playoffs, or who we should root for in the latter rounds.

    • mightymikeD

      all of ‘em. There ain’t a team in the West that can live with these hawks over seven games.

      • Z-man19

        Quick gets back to last year’s form, he could handle them

        • mad-hatter

          Quick can wait until the Olympics

          • Z-man19

            That would be just fine with me

        • mightymikeD

          Elliot & Halak get back to last years form and StL win the whole thing…

          • Accipiter

            They have Allen to worry about as well.

          • mightymikeD

            ahhh.. entry level contract vs. $5.4 mildo worth of shit goalies.. StL’s Pain is hilarious

          • Accipiter

            Somehow the Blues have a tonne of cap room and could be interested (and able) to go after Perry should he become available.

          • mightymikeD

            not possible.. I think there’s a cap on the number of Shitbags you can have on one team.. and the Blues are right up against it already

    • 2883

      Health, a 2C and Goaltending are the Hawks biggest ?’s…

      Kane has been in total fuck you mode all season long and no matter who has been on the ice against him , he’s put the puck in the back of the net, he needs a real linemate who compliments his game well

      • Accipiter

        I guess we will have to see how well 88 will maintain FY mode in the playoffs.

      • Waylon

        From your lips to Stan’s ears…

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      eh the whole “hawks cant handle the bruisers” isn’t all that true in my opinion.

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    And once again the game is on CSN 2. Low Def Jinx.

    • Accipiter

      Double up on the scotch.

      • Sparky_The_Barbarian

        Aye Aye, Sir. Double down on the No Pants.

  • mightymikeD

    LET’S FUCKING GO, HAWKS!!

  • Joe Banks

    GO HAWKS GO

  • ahnfire