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Game #14 – Hawks vs. Oilers Preview: From An Arena To A Place

 vs. 

RECORDS: Hawks 6-4-3   Oilers 6-4-1

PUCK DROP: 8pm

TV: NBCSN Chicago

THEY’RE STRANGELY LIT, TOO: None, Oilers blogosphere is fucking touched, man

I suppose the good thing about an NHL season is after you cough up a confused kitten one night against a dog-ass team there’s a chance to put it right the next night. Except now you’re tired and the other team isn’t and you’re throwing your backup goalie out there on the road. And even though you got a decent performance out of him last time against this very opposition, there’s only so many times you can hit on Cam Ward before you go bust (are we still doing phrasing?) Whatever, that’s the spot the Hawks find themselves in tonight as they traipse eastward from the coast to the oil-rich darkness of the northern half of Alberta.

I can’t add much to what Hess said last night, other than to echo the unacceptable nature of last night’s loss. That’s a team aching to be beat that they took the lead on twice, and you have to have that. And getting railroaded in the 3rd smacked of complacency, and whoever let this team think they were anywhere near good enough to be complacent at any point in a game needs to be hit with a large-mouth bass. Hopefully that point has been made clear to the players, or will be before they take the ice tonight.

We won’t get word until they show up if Patrick Kane is going to play, but knowing his nature if he’s able to stand and hasn’t vomited in the five minutes before warm-up he’s probably going to. If he doesn’t, look for the same lineup as last night with Chris Kunitz filling in on the second line and the accompanying feeling of helplessness in a cold and unforgiving world. If Kane does play, I would imagine Kampf gets the suit for the night, but could see Kruger or Hayden doing so as well.

Brandon Manning‘s “Battle Of The Network Stars” reenactment for the blind last night should result in him…well, it should have resulted in him being catapulted into the Pacific but short of that Jan Rutta could easily draw back in at his expense to pair with Brandon Davidson. EAT ARBY’S.

The Oilers come in on something of the same roll they were on when these two last debated various musical topics last Sunday, though in the interim they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Wild in Minnehaha. Even in that they tossed 37 shots at Devan Dubnyk and he did Dubnyk things, so they’re playing quite well. After being McDavid And The Pips for the season’s opening weeks, they’ve gotten a surge from Leon Draisaitl‘s line and a smattering of help from others. If they do that then they’re close to a decent team. McDavid will always make sure they don’t suck.

In Edmonton, you can be sure that Todd McLellan is going to keep McDavid far away from Jonathan Toews, who had him basically pocketed all of Sunday evening. At least until overtime, which doesn’t count anyway. The thought of Run CMD lining up across from any of Artem Anisimov or SuckBag Johnson is certainly enough for your discounted Halloween candy to come rushing back out the way it came in in a state of panic. But this is how these things go. The reverse is if Toews can get to see Ryan Strome or Kyle Brodziak more often.

The Hawks closed the book on October, which they played at a 94-95-point pace for the season. That’s just about the minimum it’s going to be for a playoff spot, and that’s being awfully optimistic. As as fun as it was at times and the few signs of hope, the Hawks have to actually pick it up a bit. Not that they can avoid a mud-pit battle royale all season, but it’s a nice thought for now. They lost two points they should have had last night, so they need to start grabbing two points you wouldn’t count on them having beforehand. Maybe tonight isn’t that, but they do have ground to make up.

 

Game #14 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

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