You Don’t Look Blue-ish: Hawks at Blues Preview
Two wins in a row, boy wouldn't that be nice?
The Hawks haven't managed it since January 16th and 22nd, with wins over Nashville and Detroit. Yeah, see, the thing is playoff teams don't go a month between two-game win streaks. That's the thing about that.
And it won't be easy to manufacture one today. The second of a back-to-back against a Blues team that is always frothing at the mouth when they play the Hawks. We're their biggest rival, and this leads to them running around and trying to Hanson Brothers the Hawks for 60 minutes. Last year, for the most part, the Hawks kind of smiled and let the Blues parade to the box and then destroyed them on the power play. So far this year, at least in the two games in Missouri, the Hawks have decided they didn't want any part of it and folded up shop. They can't afford that today or any other day that remains on the schedule.
The Blues are an interesting tale these days, having launched former No. 1 pick Erik Johnson to Colorado for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Chris Stewart. While EJ has an awful lot of promise and could be a real stud one day, the feeling around St. Louis was that it wasn't going to happen here. In Shattenkirk the Blues get a puck-moving D-man for years, he's probably already their best offensive weapon from the back.
In Stewart they get a Tasmanian Devil of a forward who can't stop and skates and crashes into everything but can finish. The exact type of player that kills the Hawks, and he has in the past. He'll be hounding the Hawks "d" into the rash turnovers they seem to prefer this season.
No official word yet, but one would have to believe with how desperate the Hawks are for points they'll turn to Corey Crawford again. But he hasn't been very good the last two times he took on a back-to-back, losing to Philly the last time he attempted it. But the Hawks just don't play for Marty Turco for whatever reason, and he's lost twice in the Lou, so look for the easy way out with Crawford.
I so hope the Hawks stick to a simple game today, which would involve just chipping the puck past the Blues d-men at the offensive blue line and using their speed to get to it first, because this Blues defense isn't that quick. But I fear it'll be more artsy-fartsy at the blue line leading to rushes the other way, our blueliners taking a pounding from the rabid Blues forwards, and the Hawks chucking in the ScottTrade Center once again. Prove me wrong kids, prove me wrong.
Sam Fels is the proprietor of The Committed Indian, an unofficial program for the Blackhawks. You may have seen him hocking the magazine outside the United Center at Gate 3. The program is also available for purchase online. Fels is a lifelong 'Hawks fan and he also writes for Second City Hockey .