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Win One For The Ginger: Blackhawks @ Kings

March 18, 2010

We here at BHDL are in full support of the “Win One for the Ginger” campaign, started by our very own ChiBlackhawks.  These are some seriously awesome shirts that you can get to show your support for our fallen Blackhawk, Brian Campbell.

Game Time: 9:30 PM CST
TV/Radio: CSN / WGN (720-AM)
Know Thy Enemy: The Royal Half

Stat Pack:

Blackhawks
Kings
L10
5-4-1 4-4-2
Record on the Road: 18-12-3 at Home: 19-11-3
PP% 19.3% (8th) 20.6% (6th)
PK 84.4% (5th) 81.0% (19th)

Remember that post I put up over the weekend talking about the defense pairings moving forward? Yeah…that’s all gone to shit now.  I won’t get into my thoughts on the hit right now. I think I did that well enough on my Twitter last night.  That’s in the past now, so let’s pick up the pieces (again) and get ready for the next game.  Like a quarterback throwing an interception, you have to forget it and move on.  We can bitch about the hit and the non-call on Sopel all day, but it won’t change anything.

The Hawks have some work to do tonight.  They take on the LA Kings who are 6th in the West (and will likely end up in 5th at the end of the season).  They’ve dropped 5 of the past 6 possible points.  Thankfully, the Shark have been shitting their beds lately too, going 4-5-1, so the Blackhawks sit just 2 points out of first in the West.

Last week, I talked up the Kings in the pregame because frankly, they’re a good, young team.  Pretty much everything I said then still applies now. Jonathan Quick is still a dependable goalie, Doughty and Johnson are still good defenders at both ends of the ice, and I still wish Anze Kopitar would have been traded to the Hawks instead of just being rumored 5 times.  The only thing that’s really changed lately is that Quick had a game off when his wife had a baby.

One thing the Hawks might need to watch out for tonight is the 4th line from the Kings.  They aren’t gonna be much of a scoring threat, but Raitis Ivanans and Rich Clune can agitate and fight.  Taking dumb penalties against the Kings will hurt, thanks to their solid power play.

The Hawks will once again go to the Clusterfuck Defense strategy.  Last night after Seabs got hurt, they went with Keith-Sopel, Hjalmarsson-Byfuglien, and Hendry-Boynton.  That is fucking nightmare material.  Although Buff didn’t look bad back there, he’s no Seabs.  Sopel logging big minutes is really going to hurt too.  Defense was the big question mark last weekend, but now its looming like the big ass spaceship in Independence Day over the Hawks White House.

Niemi will likely be in net tonight.  Crawford filled in nicely given the circumstances.  It’ll be a real test for Antti.  The Hawks will rely on him more than in any game they have before.  The offense is probably going to have to pick up some slack too.  We’re going to have to score more goals than the other team in order to win (I grew up watching John Madden call football games.)

And don’t get me wrong here.  The Hawks are still a very dangerous team, even without two of their best defensemen.  They have 3 of the best lines in the NHL, scoring depth that you can’t find on any other team.  They’re facing some pressure now, but go ahead and try to find one Stanley Cup Champ who didn’t face some type of adversity during the season.  Great teams find ways to win despite challenges.  That’s what we have in front of us tonight.

Let’s Go Hawks.

Win One for the Ginger.

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