Saturday, October 18, 2008

Game 5: Hawks @ St. Louis

Odd coincidence that Quenneville's first game as head coach for the Hawks will be against St. Louis. The last time the Blues were any good, Quenneville was running the bench for them.

It's hard to predict how the team will react to Q as the new coach and especially hard to guess how it will impact tonight's game. They've only had one practice with Q so there can't have been too many changes into the system (if there ever was much of a system). Khabby is going to start in net, which negates all the message board gossip that has been flying around that says Savard was fired for sticking with Khabby over Huet.

Khabby will be facing a Blues team that's played a hell of a lot better in the early games than they should be. Surprisingly, they're actually on top of the central division at the moment. A regulation win though will put the Hawks just one point behind them. The biggest area the Hawks will have to focus on is special teams.

The Blues are working an unbelievable, and unsustainable, 50% on the power play. In the small sample size, they've gone 9-18 and Tkachuk has 4 goals with the advantage. All this after being last in the league last season scoring only 14% of the time. It's about time for their average this year to start evening out.. So stay out of the box Seabrook. On the kill the Blues have also been good, running out the penalty 94.1% of the time.

Teams can come together after a coaching change - the Hawks went on a run right after Savvy was named coach in '06 so lets hope they can do it again.

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