The Hawks’ Nest


Big weekend coming up
October 1, 2009, 3:34 pm
Filed under: NHL, Winterhawks | Tags: ,

The resurgent Hawks will get a good sense of how they stack up against top teams this weekend by traveling to Spokane and Kamloops, who are a combined 6-1-1 thus far.

In Spokane they’ll get their first look at Kyle Beach in a Chiefs uniform. The choleric Chief didn’t disappoint in his Spokane debut against Tri-Cities last Saturday, when he had two goals and an assist.

Meanwhile, in Kamloops they’ll have to deal with Tyler Shattock who’s off to a scorching start with six goals in five games. Only Joel McHale is on a better roll right now. Portland will catch something of a break with the schedule though. While the Hawks will be on the bus much of the day Saturday en route to Kamloops, they’ll at least get in at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep. The Blazers on the other hand have a home-and-home with Vancouver Friday and Saturday, and luckily for Portland, Saturday’s contest is in Vancouver, which means a late bus ride home followed by their third game in three nights. Expect Portland to try to jump on the Blazers early and force their tired legs to try to keep up with them.

Speaking of players being in game shape (sort of, but I needed a segue), the Tribune has a great story on their Web site about how the team prepares for each game. Check that out here. We also have some articles over at Winterhawks.com right now, one on the offensive output from the team’s defensemen, and one on Kurtis Mucha’s return to the team. Also, make sure you watch KPTV’s Oregon Sports Final show on Sunday night; they’ll have a feature on the adjustments Jacob Berglund and Nino Niederreiter have to make coming over from Europe. It’ll be a lot of fun.

On the injury front, Ty Rattie’s hand is healing on schedule and he should be back soon. He’s skating with the team at practice, and is listed as day-to-day. Not sure if he’ll get into any games this weekend, but if not, it shouldn’t be long. Of course, Rattie’s impending return creates an interesting conundrum for the coaches: presuming he gets on the ice as soon as he’s healthy, who comes out of the lineup? Last year when he arrived as a 15-year-old, getting him playing time wasn’t that hard. But this season the team is rolling, they have four productive lines, and talented players are watching from the seats every night. It’s a difficult decision for Mike Johnston & Co., but one they’re happy to have to make.

Also, the NHL season starts tonight with four games (and here’s hoping Versus and DirecTV settle their dispute soon, at least before the free preview of Center Ice expires). Here is one mildly informed observer’s predictions for the season:

Western Conference playoff teams:

1. Detroit

2. Vancouver

3. San Jose

4. Chicago

5. Anaheim

6. Calgary

7. St. Louis

8. Dallas

Eastern Conference playoff teams:

1: Pittsburgh

2: Boston

3: Washington

4: Philadelphia

5: Carolina

6: NY Rangers

7: New Jersey

8: Montreal

West Finals: Detroit over Chicago

East Finals: Pittsburgh over Philadelphia

Stanley Cup (and I know I’m really out on a limb with a Detroit-Pittsburgh prediction): Pittsburgh in 7.

Awards:

Hart Trophy: Alex Ovechkin

Art Ross Trophy: Evgeni Malkin

Norris Trophy: Zdeno Chara

Vezina Trophy: Roberto Luongo

Selke Trophy: Ryan Kesler

Calder Trophy: Victor Hedman

Adams Trophy: Joel Quenneville

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Detroit has to play in the East finals too???

😉

Comment by Mark

Remember what I said about being mildly informed? The mistake has been fixed.

Comment by portlandwinterhawks




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