Coming off a thorough pantsing of the hapless Beej on Thursday, the Hawks have a chance to apply some pressure on St Louis (who are in action against the Wild) by beating up on the league-bottom Sabres in Patrick Kane’s hometown tonight. The Sabres were already awful and spent the Trade Deadline period divesting themselves of as many remotely useful pieces as they could. So it’s a Trap Game, right? I think we can all agree on that?

 

It appears that the only Hawks change from Thursday will be RUNDBLAD (all caps, all the time) rotating in alongside Nick Leddy for his debut. That pairing should make for ..uhh.. interesting viewing.  Corey Crawford seems to be the starter which is baffling.. this would have seemed like an opportunity to give Raanta some much-needed game time. Q rides the hot hand, I guess.  The lines appear to be as you were, which suits me just fine: aside from Toews/Shaw/Saad having a field day against the beej, Kane & Sharp looked to be a lot more with it and even Bickell and Versteeg had some go to their game. Obviously none of these lines have had to face the acid test of a decent defence, yet  (and they won’t do that tonight, either) but I like how this lineup looks.

As for Buffalo.. well, Cory Conacher will take his bow for the team tonight. I really liked what I saw of Conacher last year, which has made his struggles this season (and Ottawa’s as a whole, I guess) quite hard to comprehend. When the Senators waived him I crossed my fingers that he’d fall far enough for the Hawks to pick him up, because I think he’s a hell of a young player. He’s wearing 88 tonight, by the way.

The splendidly-named Jhonas Enroth is the de facto starter now in Buffalo and he’s a solid netminder, capable of pulling his trainwreck of a team’s bits out of the fire on his own. Christain Ehrhoff & Tyler Myers will be their usual irritating selves. Cody Hodgson probably wishes he was back in Vancouver (OK, maybe not). John Scott practiced wearing a Forward jersey today. That’s all I got.

 

The Sabres are terrible and the Hawks should win this at a canter.. so they had better actually come through. The next game is the Avs in Denver and the rest of the month is no walk in the park either, with St Louis, Detroit, Nashville (twice), Dallas, Boston and Pittsburgh all in the mix.

 

Get it done, gentlemen.