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Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell – Previewing The Detroit Blue Line

While the forwards that McClure previewed still have some threat and generational skill sprinkled throughout, when Hawks fans look at this back end is when they probably start licking their chops. The Scum defense was passable enough to see off a Ducks team that really only has one threatening line, as suddenly Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu looked every bit of the combined 175 years old that they in fact are. They will get no such respite here.

Here’s how the pairings shake out:

Kronwall – Ericsson

Kindl – Colaiacovo

Smith – Quincey

Delicious. Wings fans will tell you that they’ve been effected by the injury to Danny Dekeyser. But if you were depending on a player that is only weeks out from keg stands at a frat house before passing out on the quad, you have bigger issues than you’re admitting. One other lineup note, if any injuries occur or Babcock completely loses his marbles, Ian White will be brought in and I’ll probably have to be put down as I’ll be frothing at the mouth giggling and there will be no return.

Kronwall and Ericsson will draw whatever Babcock deems the toughest assignment, likely to be Toews’s line. We’ve documented Kronwall’s inadequacies since our inception, so if you’ve read us for any time you’re probably quite familiar. While he’s got a cool catch-phrase (the secret to comedy according to Zanie’s owner and full-time douchebag Bert Haas) and it can’t be too easy to play a game when Pierre McGuire is constantly trying to get you to put your finger in his butt, Kronwall remains to us massively overrated.

He chases hits over keeping sound positioning, is too quick to shotgun up the ice to join the rush at times, and can be beaten to the outside as well. That said, Kronwall’s play toward the end of the season — when the Wings really needed it — improved by a significant margin. He’s toned down some of the recklessness of his play and is a more steady presence.

He has to be, because despite the improvements in Ericsson’s game, he’s still not equipped to play centerfield for Kronwall’s walkabouts in the outback. The other Swede has improved his skating from the Lindy Hop he used to be, but is hardly swift. He has a big body that he doesn’t always use to his advantage. You feel Saad and Hossa could win their share of battles if indeed this is who they find in the corners.

But once you get past this top pair, it’s ya-ha time. Whatever you consider the Wings second pair, they’re going to have to face a real threat. Jakub Kindl does what he can, which considering he’s been generally paired with the remedial class could be considered heroic. But to ask him to be Atlas to the Hawks globe is a bit much. Colaiacovo is only playing because Dekeyser got hurt, and you saw enough of him in St. Louis to know that when he’s on the ice it’s time to feed your Frankenstein.

Brendan Smith has been trumpeted as the next thing for so long that it was probably impossible for him to come close to living up to it. Another one in the Kronwall mode who can get lost on the ice and then starts to try to do too much. When he gets running around there is going to be trouble.

Kyle Quincey has been the main target for Wings fans since he arrived there last spring, and generally appears as if he can’t do anything right. Ostensibly a puck-moving d-man, it’s just hard to figure out a lot of the time where or to whom he’s intending to move that puck or himself.

It may seem a tad harsh on the Wings D, but this is really a sweetheart deal for the Hawks. Even if Kronwall and Ericsson max out and turn into a dominating pair (don’t count on it) the Hawks depth should really feast on a bottom two pairings that doesn’t excel in any one particular area. Bickell and Shaw can bang on Kindl, Colaiacovo, and Quincey. Sharp, Kane, Stalberg (if Q stops have an embolism and slots him where he needs to be),  Frolik and Kruger can skate around them. In the regular season matchups, it’s been the bottom six of the Hawks that have feasted on this blue line and kept them pinned down.

I would expect no different this series, which is why I really won’t be shocked if Babcock elects to throttle down and employ something of a defensive game. He knows he can’t run with the Hawks, and he knows he can’t expose this blue line for too long before windburn is achieved.

  • mightymikeD

    Classic CI writing.. love it.

  • EEEEEAAAAGGGLEEE

    Pierre IS trying to finger Kromwall’s butthole. Glad I’m not the only one noticing this.

    • SAMCRO Outlaw

      Ah the poor little turtle just loves him all hockey players. Except when the Hawks were pounding CalGARY into ashes, then he “couldn’t believe the things these young Hawks on the bench are saying to Jarome Iginla” Now of course he just tells Kronwall he’ll have what Jarome was.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    I came here to feed my Frankenstein. I stayed despite McPenis butthole.

    • Accipiter

      Who is your Frankenstein ?

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Does this replace the “Because Its The Cup” campaign.

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    In other words, short crisp passes to exit our zone, dump and chase and use that mother lovin speed to make these guys look like Sylvester the Cat in a Speedy Gonzales cartoon.

    • roadhog

      And forecheck, forecheck and forecheck the Wings D corps. Two man up until the third and then only let off if up by three.

  • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

    KRONHOLED!

    • lizmcneill

      Brain bleach, stat!

    • 334Rules

      Awesomely Awesome, BigC!

      • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

        BigC? BigCNS? ;)

  • mad-hatter

    “But if you were depending on a player that is only weeks out from keg stands at a frat house before passing out on the quad”

    Yeah, we depend on a player that is already a year out from all this nonsense. Take that, Scum!

  • Z-man19

    Boston is going to lose, this makes me chuckle

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      I fucking hope so.

      • Z-man19

        That they lose or that it brings me certain feelings of joy?

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          A little bit of A, a little bit of B. (Is there any question that can’t be adequately answered with a Simpson’s quote?)

          Also, looks like the Caps are down in it, and that also produces warm fuzzies.

          • Z-man19

            After 40 years of being on TV, pretty sure they’ve covered a lot of territory. Actually, I’m not sure what would be more pleasant, Boston losing this or Boston coming back and winning it

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            The DGB if the Leaves lose would be brilliant.

          • Z-man19

            You’re going to make this leaves thing a thing aren’t you?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Indeed I will, or at least die trying…or I’ll forget about it if they lose. Handbanana!!

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Liam just called them the Leaves.

          • Z-man19

            Bizarro leaves

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Not a fan of the Bruins and their OT winning ways.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    Aw, T-brow….

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    Disqus felt it was important to inform me that their network hit a billion monthly unique visitors. In true Disqus form, it was for the month of April but half of the data didn’t show up until yesterday.

    • DesertHawk

      Hah!

    • steeg of their own

      Upboat!

  • Z-man19

    Holy shit, bruins tie it

  • ballyb11

    Stand clear of tall buildings in Toronto.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      And now, especially. Rags have pretty much iced their series. 2nd round starts in 17 minutes.

      • roadhog

        5-0 Rags and two Hart Trophy finalists out of the playoffs.

  • roadhog

    My o my! Bruins win!

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      Toronto: The Chicago Cubs of the NHL.

      • roadhog

        Yup. I can’t think so a more painful way to lose. Up 4-1 in the third.

        • Z-man19

          Up 4-2 with 1:35 to play

          • roadhog

            Are we sure they didn’t put one of those in their own net? That would make it worse. Was Bartman sitting behind their bench?

          • Z-man19

            Don’t think they have anyone to blame

          • Accipiter

            What about themselves ?

          • Z-man19

            Left that for you to add

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      Am I the only one who was crying Goalie Interference on Boston’s second goal? Sure looked like a bruin was in the crease of his own volition and made contact with the mask just before the shot.

      • Z-man19

        Nope, I was wondering the same, didn’t even get a mention

  • amontesawesome

    I know hockey players are superstitious and don’t like celebrating and touching the conference trophy, but the winner of the east should just go ahead and go absolutely apeshit after the Eastern Conference Finals and celebrate like they won the cup. That conference is a fucking joke compared to the West.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      b-b-b-but Sidney and Ovechtrick and Charthulu…

      • mightymikeD

        heh “Charthulu” … ima borrow that

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          There’s a pretty good photoshop in there…

  • Z-man19

    So Wednesday night will be original 6 night

    • Accipiter

      6 Pieces of original recipe chicken ?

      • Z-man19

        Be sure to get mashed taters with that

  • Waylon

    I really wanted Bahhston to lose – so sick of their goon act. Hey nice series there, Marchand – awesome work there, Peverly.

  • Preacher

    “I really won’t be shocked if Babcock elects to throttle down and employ something of a defensive game.”
    I think we’ll see Kane being pressured all over the ice, someone will be hanging on Hossa most of the game, and Tazer is going to be hit and hit again. Which means Bickell and Stals especially will be free to do damage. I expect Stalberg to have a great series. And Sharp too. Scum simply can’t cover all our talent and speed.

    • lizmcneill

      Ugh, I hope not, that sounds too much like Toews or Hossa will get hurt (I have faith in Kaner’s slipperiness and short-range teleport ability to get him out of trouble.)

      • Preacher

        No, no one getting hurt. Hit Tazer and he only gets mad. Try to hang on Hossa and he’ll show you that he’s Marian Hossa and you’re not. Try to bother Kane and he’ll just make you look foolish. But this is where Scum will spend their time.

  • steeg of their own

    Jesusfuck, the Caps got shellacked tonight. Just brutal.

    You know, for a guy who keeps getting Hart noms, Ovi sure sucks when it comes to actually getting stuff done at crunch time. As opposed to Toews or Kane, who tend to perform when it counts. Maybe one day Hart voters will wise up.

    • lizmcneill

      Toews and Kane are more consistent. Have you ever seen Toews take half the season off? And Kaner has these things called “assists” that get him points even when he’s not scoring.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    Has anyone checked on Don Cherry? I’m pretty sure he either:

    A). Spontaneously Combusted

    B) hung himself with a note attached that says “this wouldn’t have happened if Kessel was Canadian”

    C) dressed himself in his finest Traffic Cone Orange suit, saluted the Canadian flag, then shot himself in he head with his pearl-inlayed service revolver. (YOU NEED HIM ON THAT WALL!!!)

    • nextgame

      “They’re ivory. Only a pimp from a cheap New Orleans whorehouse would carry a pearl-handled pistol.”

      (Then again, maybe his would be pearl. Because he sure dresses like a pimp from a cheap New Orleans whorehouse.)