Maybe the 18-year old wunderkind is a bit too young to be considered a villain, but Evander Kane is one hell of a player. And with the recent trade of Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey, Evander suddenly becomes the face of a franchise desperately hoping for a bright future.
His 23 points in 58 games this season may not be setting the world on fire, but this shoot-first center is barely old enough to legally have a cigarette. Evander scored a hell of a goal against the Minnesota Barker Havlats last night in Atlanta’s win, and the Trashers have picked up five points in four games since the trade. Not too shabby.
Atlanta is quick and plays the game fast. Sound familiar? This should play right into the hands of the Blackhawks, who could easily turns this game into a blowout if the game stays wide open. Back-and-forth action and a fast pace equals an easy ‘Hawks victory, in my opinion.
Despite Evander and Atlanta’s solid play of late, I’m still going to be flaming pissed if the ‘Hawks don’t come out of this one with two points. Antti Niemi gets his third straight start for the first time in his career to the delight of the Trade-Huet-Even-Though-There’s-Nobody-Out-There-Available-Who-Is-Better-Than-Him “fans.” Good? Bad? Time to see if Niemi can handle it. He’s one three-goals-against period from getting yanked by Q-Stache.
Tonight also marks the debut of the newest Blackhawk, Kim Johnsson. I’m interested to hear the reaction tonight at the UC. With Ben Eager still out and Mrs. Madden still holding her husband’s dick in a jar under the sink, Bryan Bickell gets the I-Pass for tonight’s game.
Brent Sopel is out with a foot injury, so Jordan Hendry and Johnsson will make up the third pairing tonight. This could get interesting.
I’ll be the short blonde guy in Section 326, Row 12, Seat 11 at the United Center tonight. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. Be there, or be hoping for Eddie-O’s voice box to explode. GO ‘HAWKS!