By now, your Olympic hangover is probably in its final stages. After watching the world’s best compete at an insanely high level for two weeks, it will probably take a game or two before we get used to the dreg of the final 21 games of the regular season.
The Hawks will have a huge advantage over the Islanders for the simple fact that their best players have been playing the last two weeks. Meanwhile, only defenseman Mark Streit was in Vancouver. If the Hawks capitalize early, the game could be put out of reach very early.
Antti Niemi was named starting goalie for the game and it’s only adding to the speculation that the Hawks have something brewing in terms of a trade. The other funny fact is how Joel Quenneville has said with a straight face that he’s going with the ‘hot’ goalie. The same hot goalie who’s given up 11 goals in his last three games. For comparison’s sake, Huet has given up 8 goals in his last three games and for that, he was sent to the end of the bench.
Of course, that’s a small sample size and Huet gave up 16 goals in his five previous games. So draw your own conclusions from that.
Either way, it will be nice to see Jonathan Toews and not to cheer against him. Things were getting confusing there for awhile.