It gives me great joy to bring you the preview for tonight’s Hawks/Wild game. There are times I wish this was a hockey blog, just so I had somewhere to yell stuff at people about the middling Chicago Blackhawks. They have rarely looked like the Stanley Cup Champions (once more, with feeling, Stanley Cup Champions), and it’s the time of the year where champions are made. No March doldrums for this team, unless they want a summer off.
Before we preview the game, let’s look at the beers that are facing off against one another. From the North Side of Chicago, I’m offering up some Krakshaft from Metropolitan Brewing. It’s a Kolsch style lager that goes down smooth, even with the hint of hop bitterness. Brian and the Minnesota
North Stars Wild are wagering some Brau Brothers Scotch Ale, from Lucan, MN (pop. 220). Amber in color, an 7% ABV, do not underestimate this heavyweight.
Now, what do the respective teams have to do to win? The Wild need to do what they did last time. Grab an early lead from a visibly frustrated Hawks team, and hold down the fort. Last game, Backstrom looked like his normal, Hawk-killing self, leading the charge. The Hawks are pretty content to take bad shots when the going gets tough, so that’s exactly what the Wild want. The Wild are strong on both special teams, and Jesus Havlat Christ, they will kill you at even strength if you give them the opportunity. The Hawks are struggling, shut down the stars and deprive them of 2 very important points.
For the Hawks to win, and believe me, they have to win, they need to strike fast against a pretty mediocre D-core (remember how bad Cam Barker was? He’s still that bad, and he’s playing 20 minutes a game). The Wild don’t play the tough defensive game they used to, but board bottles must be won, checks must be finished, and goddamnit Troy Brouwer, you need to get to the net (I’m a big fan of Brouwer, and he’s produced when we’ve needed it most, let’s hope he keeps doing it). The Hawks are rolling out a new second line tonight, and I’m looking for big things from Michael Frolik, the newest Hawk. Look for Toews and his funny faces to continue to drag this team to whatever fate they deserve. And right now I don’t know what that fate is.
These things have all been said before. I’ve already lost some Daisy-Cutter to Cal Clutterbuck and Marek Zidlicky, I don’t need to lose any more beer.
Hawks fans, air your dirty laundry with our friends over at Second City Hockey.
If you’re in the hockey Wilderness, get your game on here.
Let’s go Hawks.