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[Insert Witty Line Here] – Blues @ Blackhawks Game Preview

April 7, 2010

Game Time: 7:30 PM CST
TV/Radio: CSN / WIND (560-AM)
If you Dare: St. Louis Game Time

Stat Pack:

Blackhawks (2nd)
Blues (OUT – 10th)
6-3-1 7-3-0
Record at Home: 21-8-3 on the Road: 22-13-4
PP% 17.9% (16th) 17.0% (20th)
PK 84.7% (6th) 86.4% (1st)

NOTE: The game is on WIND 560-AM due to baseball. Not a huge deal. The Cubs had WGN first and easily get the bigger audience, so the Hawks get bounced.

Was it totally necessary for me to mention that the Blues were out of the playoff race in the stat pack?  Not really.  But it felt good.  There hasn’t been a huge rivalry between the Hawks and the Blues for the last few years.  Part of that is because neither team has been very good since the end of the lockout.  My rivalry is more personal, since I have to endure the ramblings of a few St. Louis guys who go to school here.

So when I saw the Blues were out of the playoffs, I smiled one of those big grins and breathed a sigh of relief.  I couldn’t deal with another comeback like the Blues had last year sneaking into the playoffs (although the first round made it MUCH more enjoyable).  The Hawks lead the series 3-2 right now, and a season series win would give me plenty of smack talk in my arsenal to last me at least until the draft.

But this isn’t about me, its about you…er…the Hawks.  Yeah its about the Hawks.  The Blackhawks control their own destiny from here on out.  Win all 3 remaining, and grab the #1 seed.  But with that thinking, they would start worrying more about avoiding Detroit.  Personally, I believe the Hawks have a good shot at beating the Wings in a 7 game series.  So worrying about who we’ll have to play is a bit unnecessary if you ask me.  What we should look for instead is that they start doing the right things heading into the playoffs, specifically the 3 things ChiBlackhawks mentioned in yesterday’s preview: Power play, tight defense, and Niemi’s rebound control. These are not “Must Win WHARRRRGABBLEE” games.  They’re “nice to win, but not total needed” wins.

Neither goalie has been confirmed yet.  Bickell has been called up from the Rock, which I have no idea what that means.  Could be Brouwer still won’t be back and another forward is getting some rest before the playoffs.  The biggest factors in this game will be the intensity of both teams.  The Blues could either be hell bent on ruining the Hawks shot at the 1 seed, or they can start thinking about the margaritas and girls in skimpy bikinis they’ll see while they’re on vacation next week.  The Hawks can come out and really try to play some solid tune-up games, or they can start thinking about how awesome the playoffs will be.  Whichever team feels like winning today probably will.  If both teams come out trying to win, expect some chippy play and some dumb penalties from Eager.

Last but certainly not least, ENJOY watching these last few games.  They’re fairly meaningless so don’t worry about the 1 or 2 seed. Don’t microanalyze the goalie play.  Just watch some entertaining hockey and stop pulling your hair out because the sky is falling.  Trust me, you’ll remember why you loved the game in the first place.

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