Well, not for the Hawks but for me. On Thursday I will hang up the shorts for a few days and head back to Chicago for a lot of eating and my first game at the UC since leaving in May of 10. But, most of you reading undoubtedly are not interested in my travel plans, so how bout some other stuff.
The Hawks of course are back home tonight for their first game back from the circus trip and their second game of four total they will play against the Yotes this year. Record wise, these teams look very similar. The Hawks have played two more games and have two more wins, but the rest is nearly identical; same number of losses, ties, goal differential and nearly identical record over the last ten games. And while the Hawks are nearly 500 away from the UC, they did themselves and early favor and racked up a 7-1-2 record on shitty home ice(really, the ice there has looked shitty). Per the preview on the Hawks site, the Yotes have been doing very well in games after a loss with a record of 8-1. Luckily for us, maybe, they won their last game.
Despite the ass kickings in Alberta, the Hawks have shown early on this year that they can win some gritty games. Not pretty, but good enough to take two points. Arguably, I think things started to turn around in SJ and even though the Ducks contest was a ridiculous affair, they did some good things there as well that they built on in LA. That was a close game, and perhaps they were lucky to finish the game before LA could ramp their game up enough to steal it. Still, luck or not, the Hawks played a good game and did many of the things we constantly bitch about them not doing. They had net presence, they cleaned up pucks quicker in front of Crawford, and the forwards relentlessly forechecked and helped the D clear the puck. That is precisely the game that Phoenix plays, with one exception, they will not take ANY shit in their crease.
Forcefully, the Yotes protect the house. Even strength, PK, whatever, they will stand in front of their crease and protect it and they will stiff arm anyone within reach after the whistle. Generally, this is not a setup the Hawks will challenge. Having said that, with some new found success there, one can only hope Bruno or Carbomb will take the heat to get there. I still have my doubts on Stals willingness to stand up to in your face players, but maybe things are starting to change for him. I'm not making any bold predictions here or talking shit about the Yotes, but this is a team the Hawks can beat. If they bring what they brought to LA and put in that kind of effort, I think they will beat this team. As of now, I haven't seen any injury stuff, so I expect a pretty healthy home team. As for the Yotes, meh, they are kind of like the borg and every player who goes there becomes assimilated into the collective. Take down one, another grows in it's place. Starting with tomorrow's game, the Hawks will have a home heavy schedule through the rest of the years and only play four games on the road in that time frame. Here's hoping the home success for them continues.
Anyone have any thoughts on Boudreau getting sacked?