by: Tony Leva
email: tonytrucker1969@gmail.com

After back-to-back shootout losses against the laughably awful Minnesota Wild (their name is as awful as their quality of hockey), the Hawks have recently accomplished the following…1) clinching a playoff spot without having Captain Serious in the lineup for 20 games 2) showing they can beat anyone with the lineup they have if they play smart, tough and fast hockey 3) knocking AWPDS out with an elbow, courtesy of Duncan Keith (I don’t condone what he did, but since it was in retaliation for basically years of cheap shots by those punkass bitches, so be it) 4) giving me plenty of ammo for my columns and 5) raising ticket prices for next season already. All that’s left to settle is who they’ll meet in the first round. Let’s look at the possible match-ups and how desirable they are.

Nashville

This is the ONE team no sane Hawks fan wants to face in the first, second or any round. The only way we get these guys is with a win in regulation against Detroit in the season finale. Anything else, we’ll finish 6th in the conference and draw the Pacific champ, which we’ll get to in a minute. Why don’t we want these guys? Besides the fact they beat us like they paid a nickel for us, they have possibly the best goaltender in the West in Pekka Rinne. Gotta love hockey names, eh? Anyhoo, Rinne and Nashville have taken 4 of the 6 regular season games from us and even though we beat them 5-4 in the last meeting, they stormed back from a 4-0 deficit and looked damn-near unstoppable while doing so.

Their offense is good enough to compete with anyone, a radical switch from their usual M.O. In years past, if you got up a goal or two on them, they were as good as beaten. But with the addition of former KHL (the elite Russian pro league) MVP Alexander Radulov, they’re as deadly as a box of rabid cats with straight razors tied to their tails. He’s a real difference maker and has a terrible haircut. That’s a bad mix.

It’s best if we let Detroit face them in the first round and watch as one knocks out the other. Hopefully, we get past our own first round series at the same time. In short, this team scares the ever-loving piss out of me. They’ll be quite the confident bunch if we meet up with them at any time in the playoffs. Nashville is led by one of the best coaches in the game, Barry Trotz. He always has his teams ready to play and well-prepared. Not to mention he is the happiest-looking guy in hockey…

You can almost see the sunshine beaming out of his ass, right?

Prediction…If we get these guys in the first round, I think they take us in 5 games. Yeah, they scare me that much.

Los Angeles

As of this writing on Friday night, this is who we’d get in the opening round.
They took 3 of 4 from us and looked pretty damned good while doing it. If Pekka Rinne is the best goalie out there, the Kings’ Jonathan Quick is in the top 5. Appearing in a staggering 68 games so far, Quick has posted 35 wins, a whopping TEN shutouts and a sub-2.00 GAA. YIKES!! He hasn’t been easy for anyone to beat and he already has two of those ten shutouts against us. I love him as an American hockey player, but I don’t want to be chanting U-S-A! while watching him stonewall us out of the playoffs.

Let’s hope Quick doesn’t get fatally wounded by his own troops like this Stonewall did.

Their offense isn’t as stout as other teams, but they sure have a few skill players to watch out for. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have had a nice reuniting out on the Left Coast and I’m sure the bars and nightclubs have seen their business go up as well. Drinkee, drinkee!! Add in Hawks-killer Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner and Drew Doughty, they aren’t exactly barren. They’re coached by one of my first favorite Hawks players, Darryl Sutter, one of the 6 Sutter brothers who played in the NHL. He’s never won the Cup, but he knows the game and won’t lose a series because he’s not prepared.

Prediction…This may not be the best match-up either for us, but hockey teams from L.A. don’t exactly have a record of success in the playoffs. As good as Quick is, we have a great playoff defensive center in Dave Bolland who should be able to shut down the Kings’ top line. Hawks take this series in 6 games.

San Jose

GM Doug Wilson (still one of my all-time favorite Hawks) nearly tweaked this perennial playoff team right out of the post-season this year, but they’ve been hotter than a junkie’s spoon lately and have roared back into contention. They are essentially tied with L.A. and will decide the division winner in tonight’s game, the finale for each. Offensively, they’re led by a guy who is 6′ 4″, 230 and is a real under-achieving bitch. Joe Thornton has a well-earned rep as a playoff choker…who else recalls how he pissed the bed against us when we swept them in the 2010 playoffs? For such a big guy, he’s severely lacking in balls. I’m not worried about any team that will lean on this guy in a short series.

Defensively, Dan Boyle, a very good player, leads an unexceptional corps of average d-men. Aside from Marc-Edouard Vlasic, hereafter referred to as PickleBitch, and the ugliest man in hockey, Douglas Murray,

Ugly is not a good look for a wanna-be pretty boy.

I couldn’t pick a Sharks d-man out from a lineup of car salesmen, though the trail of slime would tip me off as to who the car salesmen are. Hawks playoff hero Antti Niemi is a quality goalie for sure, but he can have his moments where you know you can beat him. I’ll love him forever for those 16 wins he gave us on the way to Lord Stanley, but the team now in front of him can’t hold a candle to what we had in front of him. They’re coached by Todd McLellan and that’s not exactly going to make an opponent shit themselves in fear now, is it? He’s about as intimidating as that spider my daughter crushed with a shoe last week.

Prediction
….This may be the most favorable match-up for us. I simply can’t believe a team led by Thornton, PickleBitch and McLellan can beat us in a short series. It’s always great fun to watch Thornton crash and burn under pressure. I’m going with the Hawks in 5 games here.


Phoenix

The current 8th seed, they have an outside chance of winning the Pacific. The mere fact that this incredibly broke team, owned by the NHL until a buyer can be found, is actually in the playoffs is astounding. They’re so broke, they make the state of Illinois look like we have $100 bills growing on trees in our solid gold backyards. Seriously, they’re so broke…HOW BROKE ARE THEY??…that they literally have to have the coaches pay for pre-game meals and drinks. That’s broke. That’s like ghetto broke. Can we send them some coupons for 2 for 1 meal deals at their local Denny’s or something?

This collection of no-names are led by a solid captain in Shane Doan and a dynamic young defenseman in Keith Yandle. They have in their employ players named Lauri, Oliver and Raffi….sounds like a deranged TV puppet show for kids or something.

“That’s right, King Friday, we’re going to have to get medieval on these bitches.”

On the blueline, they’re solid, though unspectacular besides Yandle. But the real story on this team is the play of goalie Mike Smith. He had his string of 234:25 consecutive scoreless minutes snapped earlier this evening (I’m writing on Friday night this week due to my daughter being in her high school musical, West Side Story, the past two nights. I GOT A SOCIAL DISEASE!!). That’s pretty impressive for a guy who’s on his 3rd NHL team in 6 years. The guy charged with keeping this motley crew together is Dave Tippett, who has done a magnificent job with the most limited resources in pro sports today. This guy doesn’t even have an office at the team’s practice rink…he uses a TV tray and a folding chair in the rink’s party room. Well, he does unless little Johnny has a birthday bash going that afternoon. I didn’t make that shit up, either. Like I said earlier…broke.

Prediction….As great a story as they’ve been, even Cinderella had her midnight. Just getting into the playoffs was a great accomplishment in the tough Western conference, but if they meet us, I don’t see us losing to a team where the coach is taking them out for Slurpees after a win like some pee wee team. Hawks in 5 games.

Of course, things all hinge on the health of Jonathan Toews. All us Hawks fans are hoping and praying for his return in the first round. I am taking a page from the movie Major League and looking to sacrifice a live chicken. Hey, every little bit helps and it can’t hurt. Well, except for the chicken. It’s going to suck for the chicken.



“DON’T JUST SIT THERE, STOP THIS ASSHOLE!!!”

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Comments
  1. alex says:

    awesome….As a Bruin fan, I found this hilarious and the pics are awesome. Wow them Chicago girls look good in the windy city…:) . Best of games in the paly offs, and I for one would like chi/bos final….that would be awesome………….

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