Tangled Up In Plaid – Hawks at Coyotes Preview, Pregame Thread, Credit Application

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Game Time: 8:00 PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Make It Eight: Five For Howling

Moving gradually eastward, the Blackhawks head into their penultimate stop on the Ice Show road trip, Jobing.Com Arena to take on the Coyotes. Due to the unrelenting will of the schedule as a result of the oh-so-brilliant-and-productive lockout, after tonight the Hawks will have played as many games in the desert as they have on West Madison.

That aforementioned total will be two games, the first of which the Hawks took from the Coyotes during opening weekend in fairly entertaining fashion. Since then, the Desert Dogs have settled down a bit, and are riding a five game point streak into tonight’s tilt. The lack of training camp to begin the year clearly had an effect on the system-reliant Coyotes, who allowed 13 goals in their first 5 games, and have allowed 5 (not including a shootout against Dallas) during the recent streak. Emmy-nominee Mike Smith appears to have settled in as well, after missing a couple starts due to injury. Smith has only allowed one of the last 39 shots he’s faced against the offensive powerhouses of Dallas and Minnesota.

In front of Smith, the story is now much the same as it was when these two squared off last April. Radim Vrbata paces the Coyotes in scoring (a hilarious notion in and of itself) with 10 points in as many games, and will no doubt figure in an annoying goal tonight. Speedy overtime executioner Michael Boddeker is also having a nice start to his season, with 2G and 5A, and leading the Coyotes with a +4. Shane Doan will undoubtedly elbow someone and look positively incredulous when he’s whistled for any penalty (remember, the ‘C’ on the sweater stands for “CLASSY”), and Martin Hanzal will be big and ugly and take up a lot of space and make life difficult for Jonathan Toews. New ‘Yote 3rd liner and long-time Hawks killer David Moss also figures to inevitably and irritatingly pop up on the scoresheet.

On the blue line, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is carrying over the success he saw in a breakout post-season, giving the Yotes two defenseman capable of lugging the mail along with Keith Yandle. Derek Morris remains inexplicably productive, and Zybnek Michalek’s return to Phoenix has provided the stability for OEL to run wild. Knee-seeking missile Rusty Klesla is questionable.

As for our Men of Four Feathers, there’s no rest for the wicked coming off an emotionally charged come from behind victory over the Sharks in the Tank. The top line of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Brandon Saad is becoming even more of a force with every passing game that Saad keeps figuring things out. It’s doubtful the Coyotes will allow Saad the space to become the one-man-breakout he was in San Jose, but he’s shown an aptitude for working in tight quarters along the walls as well. Dave Bolland’s line is still kind of a mess, having issues gaining or maintaining control of the puck, as Patrick Sharp’s frustration mounts and becomes more visible with every passing game. The mantra for the forwards will have to be the same as it was last spring now that it appears that the Coyotes have gained their footing within their system – short breakout passes without cheating out of the zone, nothing cute at the Coyote blue line, and put the puck in the opposite corner on the puck-handling Mike Smith whenever possible.

On the back end of things, the D-corps will remain the same as it has with Michal Rozsival still nursing a knee injury, though he has been practicing. One would assume Duncan Keith would be well rested after spending damn near a period in the naughty chair on Tuesday (LEADERSHIP!), so one would assume that Q would find it within his realm of responsibilities to lean on Keith and the still wobbly Seabrook should the game remain close late. Ray Emery gets his third start of the year. Spitting the difference between his shaky first outing in the desert and his acrobat routine in Cow Town shouldn’t be too much to ask, but with Razor’s hips being what they are it’s always a toss up.

Oh, and Raffi Torres is playing against the Hawks for the first time since The Incident”.

This byzantine notion that Torres needs some kind of vigilante justice exacted on him is stupid, and hearing about it from everyone in the media is wearing my ass out. Though the Hawks have correctly downplayed this aspect of tonight’s game, and it appears Mayers is playing in place of Bollig, of course Mayers or someone else will likely go after Torres. I’d be surprised and impressed if they didn’t. Hits like the one Torres put on Hossa are still occurring and will still occur whether or not he and and some Hawk hug helmetless at center ice for 45 seconds tonight. Nothing that can be done tonight can retrieve the Hawks’ first round elimination last year. There is nothing to be accomplished from this.

The best revenge the Hawks can exact is to humiliate the Coyotes on the scoreboard, exacerbate their struggles in the standings thus killing what little interest there is from the residents of Glendale, making them a prime target for relocation once they’re finally bought by one Canadian tycoon or another and moved to Quebec City, forcing Torres and his teammates to uproot their families and make their stupid and ugly children have to learn French. Let’s go Hawks.

  • 334Rules

    ” . . . forcing Torres and his teammates to uproot their families and make their stupid and ugly children have to learn French.”

    This.

    • http://www.facebook.com/acefrehleyforpresident Kevin Kujawa

      poetry.

      • Joe Banks

        I wept.

    • http://twitter.com/LBlissettUSA Luther Blissett

      My guess is the Yotes will end up in Seattle or KC (or Houston*). NHL expands to Quebec City and Toronto/Hamilton (this makes more sense now than when I first heard it as it not only evens the divisions, but also provides a ton of money to the current owners and doesn’t mess with the national TV deals in the US, while expanding to the one place in North America where there is a demand for hockey but no supply: most of Canada other than Alberta and Ottawa).

      *Houston is such a big TV market, you figure someone will try again.

      • RossH

        Houston is probably going to lose their AHL team (Wild) this year to either Des Moines or Kansas City.

    • chidiver

      :slow clap:

    • mightymikeD

      handy words and phrases for Torres in Quebec

      Ugly=Laid (no, not what it appears.. that is the French for “Ugly”)

      Laid= Vous n’as aucun de chance, M Torres

      A player in a vulnerable position= Nous avons seulement des racistes Francophonique en Quebec.. vous serait la personne vulnerable

  • Woods

    A+

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Id be happy just seeing torres driven into the boards everytime hes near puck.

  • TheFullAmonte

    I hope Torres gets in the way of a slap shot from the point and it hits off his face and goes into the goal for the game winner, causing Mike Smith to have a childlike breakdown and break his stick over the goal before going to the bench to get another stick and then breaking that one immediately on the boards. That being said, there is no revenge quite as sweet as a DLR.

    • High and Wide

      What if Torres is seriously injured by a piece of flying debris manufactured during a Mike Smith tantrum?

  • detroit must die

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the Hawks score a goal by richoceting it in off of Torres’ dome.

    • Joe Banks

      Yeah, like that guy in St. Louis…

  • laaarmer

    Hossa will probably do it himself

  • AMR

    I think the best revenge will be to score every time torres is on the ice

  • Waylon

    Torres is a enormous fuckstick, and I really don’t care if someone takes him into the seats and ends his career. Sorry, but some players don’t deserve to be in the league after his kind of actions on the ice. He’s attempted to end numerous player’s careers – if the NHL is serious about concussions, then this asshole should never have been allowed back on the ice. His media responses after the infamous game in question said it all – the only thing he was ever sorry about was losing his paycheck.

    • mightymikeD

      Waylers.. we’ve been through this whole “Setting up a profile thing”..

      • Z-man19

        It’s the new Waylon thing

        • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

          Waylon always has to be fucking something up…

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    No problem lighting Torres up on a clear cut Hockey Play. Be sure it IS a Hockey Play, though, as the refs will be watching and they didn’t have a training camp either. Other than that, stay smart. Tonight’s mantra, Two points is Two points, and let’s stay healthy.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Okay. Right now I’d like to show you one of my favorite cartoons. It’s a sad, depressing story about a pathetic coyote who spends every waking moment of his life in the futile pursuit of a sadistic roadrunner who *mocks* him and *laughs* at him as he’s repeatedly *crushed* and *maimed*! Hope you’ll *enjoy* it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRLEkI7GnpU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Skags

    It’s not OK to go after Torres physically, but it’s OK to mock his children? Eh… well whatever. I respectfully disagree. I want to go on the record as someone who is looking for an ass kicking.

    Torres has a long history of being an ass. He’s knocked both Hossa and Seabrook out of multiple play-off games with his headhunting ways. I want a pound of flesh.

    You’re right. Nothing we do to him or the Coyotes will bring back the games Seabs and Hoss lost due to the illegal dirty hits he imposed; not a win and not an asskicking. But sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. As long as hockey allows fighting and players to police themselves (which I agree is suspect in terms of effectiveness) then I can’t of a better time. Sometimes you need to beat some ass. This is one of those times.

    I want a DLR worthy humiliating defeat for the Yotes and I want someone to beat the ever-living fuck out of Torres at center ice. Either that or take fightinig out of hockey altogether.

    Nothing irritates me more than staged fights between goons. If that what fighting in the NHL has devolved to, then it’s time for it to go bye-bye. But if fighting exists as a way for players to police what happens on the ice among their own, then he needs his fucking ass beat.

    • jackattack

      This is more or less my exact thought.

  • Skags

    Let’s go hawks!

  • Texas

    While that was pretty hilarious, please keep the yotes in the desert.. It is the closest rink we have in the southwest..

    • girlphoenix

      Dallas?

  • QCBlackhawk

    Anybody know Desert Hawk’s name? Because Blake Munck from Goodyear, Arizona won a Kane jersey on the fan salute. I thought it would be funny if it was him.

    • mightymikeD

      it ain’t I’m afraid.. unless he’s been lying to me

      • QCBlackhawk

        Aww. I got all excited and such.

  • cliffkoroll

    Going into games against physical teams, I have this dull dread. The boys are gonna take their licks again tonight, as usual.

    How about racing out to a 3 or 4 goal lead, then giving Bickel Shaw and Mayers 10 minutes in the third period to just fly around and hit shit?

    If the Hawks get down 3 or 4, same thing.

  • Chesterfield King

    Honestly, I’m just sick of the Torres storyline.

    • Woods

      Agreed.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I am as well. They ought to just kick him out of the league and be done with that POS.

  • Texas

    also, while agree with you about fighting Torres being useless as a deterrent, I think the locker room would justify it, silently… but I guarantee it means something to the guys in that room. Nothing worth sacrificing the game.. but hit him every chance you get. Actually hit all the desert dogs.. I saw a stat that they lead the league in hits and we weren’t in the top 50th percentile.

  • ballyb

    About the only time I can remember when John Scott would’ve served a purpose.

    • cliffkoroll

      What he did to Thornton was grisly. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

      Or would I?

  • justahawkfan

    Does anyone know anything about NHL Game center live sample games? As I was looking at the schedule on my NHL app, there was a little note saying GCL sample in the right corner for the Hawks/Coyotes match. Someone please tell me this isn’t a fluke!

    • girlphoenix

      I think sample game is like five minutes of a game.

  • Chesterfield King

    I’m as sick of the Torres storyline as I am of the Desjardins-Mayers storyline, which is to say, I was sick of it as soon as it happened.

  • chidiver

    If the game is close or even if the Hawks are behind by 2 or 3 goals..I predict no extracurriculars (unless they run another of our guys). Hawks are too points-focused. If the Hawks are blowing them out..all bets are off.

  • Skags
    • QCBlackhawk

      Seeing all the shit he did early and only got penalized or fined for instead of suspended is infuriating.

    • 10thMountainFire

      See, Gary Bettman doesn’t give a fuck. He’ll wait to react when this bag of feces covered in human skin permanently injures an NHL player.

      It’s said quite a bit, but honestly, fuck Raffi Torres. He’s the goddamn bully in ‘A Christmas Story’ all grown up. He has expressed no remorse for hurting a fellow player at any time, and he focused his statements only on how it has impacted him since the incident at the UC. Fuck him. I rarely hope people lose their job, but it’s time to send Torres home to shovel manure or whatever it is he’s actually qualified to do.

      • mightymikeD

        the message I got from the Shanahan video of the Hossa hit, with its series of Torres Lowlights, was that he is on his very last warning.. and Tippett’s recent comments suggest that that message has filtered down to the Yotes org.

        Another hit like the Hossa one and he’ll be done for this league, methinks.

        • 10thMountainFire

          But Bettman had to go and undermine what Shanahan was trying to do in pummeling Torres with a 25-game suspension. Bettman’s reduction of the penalty showed a lack of understanding for the basic principles on which Shanahan’s office has meted out punishment. It’s been said ad nauseum… but Bettman fucks up everything he touches.

  • mightymikeD

    I’d rather see Torres with a +/- minus 5 tonight rather than 5 for fighting or 5 stitches. Hurt them on the scoreboard, treat him with the contempt he deserves and stay focussed. Win.

    • QCBlackhawk

      As long as being ignored doesn’t make him feel irrelevant enough to take another attempt at a headshot.

      • mightymikeD

        even he isn’t that dumb..

        • Z-man19

          don’t underestimate the stupidity of an idiot

          • mightymikeD

            GET A BRAIN, MORAN!!

    • LAHawksFan

      totally agree…best revenge is DLR playing while everyone walks out of the arena healthy

  • birdhead

    Tim Thomas traded to the Islanders for a second-round pick. Poor Isles.

    • chidiver

      How many “inactive” goaltenders have they had?

      • birdhead

        Who knows. Turns out they don’t even have to give the Bruins the pick unless Thomas actually reports, which he won’t, so it’s straight-up cap space trading. The Isles’ owner would literally rather let the Bruins, a dangerous conference rival, spend more freely on their team than spend enough on his own team to get to the cap floor.

    • girlphoenix

      What the hell Islanders?

      • mightymikeD

        and also doesn’t even make it into the top-three “Dumbest Isles Personnel Decisions”.. which is positively terrifying

        • girlphoenix

          Islanders’ trades are the best.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Tim Thomas can’t talk right now. He’s in his bunker and his cell phone doesn’t get reception due to the thickness of the paranoia that it’s made out of.

      More updates and news on this conspiracy as developments warrant.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      It’s a conditional pick, though. They needed to get to the cap floor, that’s all this was. And the pick probably comes in depending on whether he plays or what kind of asset they get for him down the road, or if they re-sign him. Maybe?

      • birdhead

        Yeah, I noted that below. Apparently they only get the pick if he reports (to the Isles or any other team if he gets traded again). So what this basically is is an owner deciding to make the cap floor by making it easier for a conference rival to improve their team, rather than making the cap floor by spending money improving his team.

        Which still kind of sucks for the Isles/their fans.

        • girlphoenix

          What DOESN’T suck for the Isles/their fans?

          • Z-man19

            solid point GP

          • birdhead

            John Tavares!

          • Accipiter

            They are moving to Brooklyn soon.

        • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Sorry, didn’t get to your other comment. If I were in the east I’d be screaming. It’s not a poor move competitively speaking for the Isles, they’re a few years from making playoff noise … but ya, if I’m Pitt or Ottawa, Tampa, whatever, I’d be furious.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    I’d like to see the Hawks play smart tonight, win the game and get outta Phoenix…..Then murder Raffi Torres.

  • JesusMarianHossa

    Do other teams talk about Jamal Mayers, Frolik or Kruger this much? I sure as hell hope not. #37 is a fourth line player. Pay attention to him as such.

    • mightymikeD

      this

    • Accipiter

      He isn’t a 4th liner.

  • JRF

    I doubt Torres would drop the gloves for Bollig or Mayers. Shaw might go after him, but Torres has a pretty good size advantage there. I’m sure a couple guys will take runs at him, but I’m not really expecting a fight.

  • PePeLemieux

    From PD:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/coyotes-mike-smith-invites-name-terrible-haircut-video-144626667–nhl.html
    So Mike Smith wants people to name his awful haircut…

    How about “Douchewig”, “Hillbillycap or “Asshat”. Anyone?!?

    • theHawk

      The Flowbee.

    • happyhuman

      It looks like someone’s kids cut his hair.

    • 10thMountainFire

      When your hair is thinning in the front, it’s a law of nature that you don’t grow it out in the back.

      • Z-man19

        he’s priming for the combover from the back

        • 10thMountainFire

          ‘The Trump’.

          • girlphoenix

            Trump’s hair is the Buffaslug

    • 10thMountainFire

      The Smith & Tresson.

      • mightymikeD

        The Billy-Ray

    • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

      “Coyote Ugly”

      Soon to be a “French Brayed”
      (bray: To utter the loud, harsh cry of a donkey)

  • wowwowweewoo

    McClure, I would follow you to whatever end.

  • PePeLemieux

    Unfortunately, if Jammer is suffering any ill effects from Tuesday’s hit, Brandon Bolling will likely be suiting up for the Hawks. Which means sensible, focused play regarding Torres will probably get thrown out faster than an ugly girl at a Patrick Kane birthday party…

  • CornelisonsFlagPointer

    Agree with everyone who is tired of the attention the ‘yotes career thug has been getting from the local booyahs. Like the Westboro Baptist Church, the less distracting effort paid his way, the better. As satisfying as the last few games have turned out, improvement is still possible (so says Kaner), so go score more goals and send them home in disappointment.

    Also, one hopes that the recent rash of coyote sightings in and around Big Shouldersville doesn’t bolster their standing down in the desert!

  • 10thMountainFire

    Well I had a wisdom tooth extracted and I’m on quite a bit of oxycodone and tramadol so it might be the drugs… but I really fucking hate Raffi Torres. Like, fuck Raffi Torres. Seriously.

    • mightymikeD

      whoooo! PAAARTAAAY at XMF’s! (I’ve created a “Hip” abbreviation of your username.. you can buy me a rink sometime) and yes, Fuck Raffi Torres. That never changes, drugs or no.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Everybody is invited. Except Razor… because he’s in net tonight. Needs a clear head.

        • mightymikeD

          naaah, Ray can come too.. those meds for his hips.. maaaaaaan

          • 10thMountainFire

            Then Ray is cordially invited as well.

          • mightymikeD

            good.. because otherwise he’d gatecrash anyway..

          • 10thMountainFire

            I would let him. He’s sort of a big deal. People know him.

      • girlphoenix

        Do you have a “hip” abbreviation of everyone’s username?

        • mightymikeD

          whaddup, GQ!

          (thought I’d make yours with some longevity)

          • girlphoenix

            where does the q come from?

          • mightymikeD

            Qui sont la Province ou la Langue Anglais est interdite?

            Jeopardie finallement!

          • girlphoenix

            No hablo francés.

          • mightymikeD

            neither do I apparently.. just editing that comment

            Quebec.. it’s the New Phoenix

          • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            What am I not?

        • 10thMountainFire

          I like mine. It’s awesome. mightymikeD made my day.

  • RossH

    I don’t know how I feel. Really, I want to ignore Torres and just pick up the 2 points and continue on. It is the smart thing to do. However, I’ll see Torres out there on the ice and I’ll be craving a decapitation. Whatever.

    Let’s Go Hawks.

  • FakeASeizure

    Yeah, the fact that every story on the Torres/Hoss hubub was capped with the brief mention of homeboy’s phone call to Hossa’s room after the game to personally apologize kind of waives my bloodlust (and if not that, then it must have been McClure’s unrelenting logic bullets piercing my thought cloud). I’ve never liked Raf, and I never will, but there are much more effective ways to rub the desert dogs’ noses in a puddle of their own urine

  • GreenLantern411

    Comcast Sports seems to be the ONLY channel that I have on my cable system that isn’t working. snowstorm affecting only certain wires?? GAH i will be pissed if I can have this distract me after the slushfest outside.

  • girlphoenix

    Guess who has a goal in Florida? Jack Skille!!

  • Country_Bumpkin

    I have a sick feeling that Torres is going to lose his shit and hurt someone tonight. That Hossa hit from last year I can’t unsee.

  • QCBlackhawk

    BTW the preview’s namesake song is one of my favorite Queens of the Stone Age songs evar.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAs-UPKm3FE

  • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

    I know many are jumping on the “Razor was great.” “Emery looked faster post to post” bandwagon, but I’m not there yet.

    I really wanted to feel good about his performance against the Flames. He looked confident with the puck in front of him. Unfortunately, if Calgary had any luck or finishing skills, the score should have been at least 7-2 (and with the additional dismal performance by the Hawks, it could have/should have been around 11-2) and we’d all be screaming for a new backup.

    And yes, he was able to kick his leg out quite a few times, but that appears to be his way of compensating for lack of mobility. Calgary was unable to elevate the puck with the top 4/5ths of the net wide open. Any team that has now watched film of that game won’t make the same mistake.

    Razor appeared mentally zeroed in all night and I’m sure he gave it his all. I was impressed with that aspect of his game. Looking forward to him proving me wrong about everything else, because it seems like he has a great attitude since his comeback.

    The mind is willing…

    Let’s. Go. Hawks.

  • jackattack

    I understand the argument about exacting revenge with the score, but I don’t think this situation with Torres falls under the umbrella of “fights are dumb and they don’t deter shitty play and behavior.”

    Torres has thrown dirty hits at two premier Hawks players on two separate occasions and knocked them out of playoff games. If this season had started on time, Hoss certainly would’ve missed a chunk of it on a hit that occurred months prior, and it’s a miracle Seabs didn’t miss more time than he did. This has nothing to do with policing or trying to put an end to Torres’ behavior. It has everything to do with making an enemy pay for his crimes. I don’t even want a fight; I want a McCarty-Lemeuix situation. Tippett and the rest of Yotes need to be included in this too. It may put our boys at a disadvantage and take away from the contest, but this is about sticking up for a guy who could’ve seen his career ended, and a guy who’s deserved a shit kicking for a long, long time.

    It’d be poetic if #37 got his ass beat to the point where he was black and blue, cause then he’d be paying for that black face attempt too.

    But I digress. 2 points is the most important thing. Go Hawks.

  • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

    Fuck all this “punish Torres by beating them on the scoreboard” crap.

    Paralyze Raffi from the neck up and win the fucking game.

    Oh, right…

    • 10thMountainFire

      I like the cut of your jib, kid.

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      I want him to get splinters from being smashed into the boards so much.

      • 10thMountainFire

        I want him to get splinters from the fists that pummel his face.

  • cupdrunk2010

    Where can I watch an online stream of the game? My Directv is iced over and I’m stuck…any suggestions greatly appreciated. Oh yeah, fuck raffi torress too.

    • mightymikeD

      I like it when the USA scores GOALS.. especially when you combine those two words and do a google search

  • girlphoenix
  • Joe Banks

    FYI, this article by McClure was read in it’s entirety on 670 the score this afternoon. At one point, they said McClure should be on their show.
    Kudos to McClure!