The Hawks had quite the road trip prior to the Olympic break garnering points in each game they played in save for the last effort against the Coyotes. Wins against LA and Anaheim in particular are enough to shake any doldrums fans might have had from earlier on in January.
We’ll chalk the loss to the Coyotes up to a combination of the team looking forward to the upcoming break and Phoenix goalie Mike Smith standing on his hear. Unfortunately the latter reason brings back bad memories from the 2012 playoffs where Smith seemingly stopped everything in sight.
As most players gear up for two weeks off, 10 Blackhawks have made the trip across the pond to Sochi. I can see the reason people give for not allowing NHL players to participate. Especially when travel to the host country takes an entire day and there is a 10 hour time difference. It’s odd to disrupt a season for two straight weeks, but once Olympic hockey starts, it will be all worth it.
Here are a list of preliminary round matchups that you will want to get up early in the morning to watch.
February 12th, 11:00 AM CST – Czech Republic vs. Sweden
February 15th, 6:30 AM CST – Russia vs. United States
February 16th, 6:30 AM CST – Russia vs. Slovakia
February 16th, 11:00 AM CST – Finland vs. Canada
Those matches should provide for some great hockey. USA vs. Russia in the preliminary round is a heck of a way to start the tournament. During the NHL break in action, I’ll be reporting on Olympic hockey.
Quick Hits The Blackhawks made a trade a few days ago acquiring Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the Islanders for a fourth round pick. David analyzed the trade more in depth here. This is purely a depth move as Regin should provide an extra body that plays a more defensive minded style of play than Brandon Pirri did. I’m not expecting too much out of Bouchard as he has dealt with severe concussion issues in the past. Here’s to hoping I look back at these thoughts a few months from now and see how wrong I was.