Tonight the Hawks are in New York to take on one of the NHL's elite teams, the New York Rangers. This does not bode well for the Hawks. The Rangers have stayed relatively consistent through the month of January and the first half of February and might be able to put a string together with five straight wins with a victory over the struggling Hawks. The Rangers have won eight of their last ten games.
The Hawks have lost nine straight games and their last eleven games on the road. After Tuesday's loss to the Preds, the Hawks are now tied for 6th with LA and are only two points ahead of Phoenix in the Western Conference. Scarier still, the Hawks are only three points ahead of 9th place Calgary. Both the Yotes and Flames are playing solid hockey right now, matching 6-2-2 records in their last 10 games.
Playing the first place team in the Eastern Conference while under the bright lights of MSG are ideal conditions for the Hawks to break out of their slump. This could be a confidence-booster if they do. The Hawks must be a very hungry hockey team tonight and must get on the board early to take the life out of MSG. I am tired of watching the Hawks playing from behind and I am afraid of what will happen if the Hawks get off to another one of their slow starts.
Tonight's Expected Hawks Lineup:
Sharp - Toews - Hossa
Stalberg - Kruger - Kane
Brunette - Bolland- Bickell
Shaw - Mayers - Scott
Keith - Olsen
Leddy - Seabrook
Lepisto - O'Donnell
Odds and Ends:
- The Crow is 0-4-1 in his last five games with a 4.35 GAA
- Captain Marvel has been held scoreless in the last eight games
- In '05-'06, the Hawks had a ten game losing streak in January. Do you know who the leading scorer on that team was? Kyle Calder with 59 points.
- Anyone else tired of hearing the Kaner trade chat? Look, Kaner has a no trade clause in his contract. While I admit, I have not been a big fan of his of late, he is still considered one the NHL's elite play-makers.
- With all of this trade rumors occurring, if the Hawks were to make a trade or trades, do you really think that this will help the team this year? We have known all year long that the Hawks Special teams have been in disarray and continue to be. The Hawks defense has needed another solid blue-liner to anchor the D. And... it has been known since last summer that the Hawks have needed a #2 center. These issues have been clearly known up to this point. Furthermore with the current nine game skid these issues have become even more apparent. If Stan gets off his ass and makes a few trades, will it be enough? My guess is that the Redwings will not be silent at the trade deadline, nor will the Blues. In my opinion, the Blues and the Redwings are the teams to beat in the Western Conference and I would not be surprised to see one of those teams representing the West in the Stanley Cup.
Thanks for reading!