Sunday, November 25, 2007

Canucks-Hawks Preview

From Canucks.com:

Chicago (12-8-1) is bunched within a tightly packed Western Conference after finishing with just 71 points in 2006-07. The Blackhawks haven't made the playoffs since 2001-02, when they lost in the first round, and their struggles against Vancouver go back to that season.
Since a five-game winning streak in the series, the Blackhawks are 3-10-4 with one tie versus the Canucks (11-9-2). Chicago ended an eight-game losing streak in Vancouver with a 3-0 win on Feb. 7, but went 1-2-1 in last season's series, failing to score on any of its 20 power-play opportunities.
Well, you can disregard those stats for the most part. This is the new and improved Hawk team....finally.
It seemed like they really missed Ruutu and Sharp last night, both out with flu-like symptoms. Sharp leads the team with 11 goals, and Ruutu is the gritty 3rd guy on the top line with Toews and Kane. Sharp and Ruutu are questionable for tonight.
Amazingly, Sharp leads the NHL with 5 shorthanded goals. Rene Bourque is tied for 2nd overall with 3. Bourque is out of action for another month with a broken thumb. Yup, the Hawks are plagued with injuries, with Martin Havlat, Jason Williams and Kevyn Adams also injured. Word is, Havlat could return on November 28th.

What somewhat bothered me about the Canucks' loss to the Blues the other night is that they had not lost a game in regulation after Salo and Bieksa were injured. Salo comes back and bago, they lose in regulation. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Prediction

If Sharp and Ruutu play, I say the Hawks win this one 4-2.
If they don't play, I say we beat them 3-2.

To be honest, I'm so happy about the resurrection of the Hawks that it wouldn't bother me one bit if they won tonight.

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.