After what seemed like another Blackhawk drought, sickness the (24-2-3) Hawks are finally back on the ice tonight after a three day break. The Hawks finish up their four game road trip versus the Anaheim Ducks tonight in a crucial Western Conference match-up.
It’s Wednesday, troche and even though the calendar says it is the first day of spring, treatment it is balls cold out! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some hot toddies and Blackhawks action to get me through these painfully cold dog-days of March.
Read on for the must-know details for tonight’s mega match-up.
What You Need to Know:
- Tonight’s match-up is against the two best teams in the Western Conference. The (21-3-4) Anaheim Ducks trail the Hawks by only 5 points in the West and are clearly their most formidable opponent. A win tonight by the Hawks will give them some breathing room in the standings.
- Tonight’s game is the second match-up of these power houses; Anaheim won the first meeting 3-2 in a shootout Feb. 12 at the United Center. The Hawks will be looking for redemption against one of the few teams that have beat them in regulation this season.
- Tonight’s goaltenders: Hawks, Corey Crawford, 13-2-3, 1.79 gaa; Ducks, Viktor Fasth, 11-1-1, 2.00
- Marian Hossa will not play tonight, still waiting as to why
- The Hawks look to conclude a four-game trip with their fourth in a row. The Ducks have won six of their last seven and have only one regulation loss in their last 18 games. Impressive.
Patrick Kane continues to shine and is on a four-game point streak (four goals, six assists) and has three three-point efforts during that span
- The Ducks have been a power-play engine, scoring 24.7 percent of the time (that is pretty amazing and one of the best in the league). The Hawks will need to do everything in their control to keep their butts out of the penalty box tonight and not give the Ducks any advantage.
Who to Watch for on the Ducks: Captain Ryan Getzlaf, he just signed an eight-year, $66-million contract and has returned to powerhouse center form so far this season. Getzlaf already has 33 points in his first 28 games. He also is sporting a plus 13 rating. Not bad, the Blackhawks are going to need to put some big bodies on Getzlaf to shut him down tonight
YOUR TAKE AWAY PIECE:
“This is a granddaddy matchup that most hockey fans and analysts have been waiting to see for weeks now. These are the two best teams in the Western Conference and for the most part hockey. Many say the Blackhawks have had an easy schedule and the only reason they have the record they do is because of the shortened 48-game season and from facing western conference matchups only. Well it is time to silence the critics once again, and come out guns a blazing tonight versus the Ducks. A solid all-around victory tonight in Anaheim will just solidify how bad ass these Blackhawks really are.”
Another break in the schedule for the Blackhawks – after tonight’s game the Hawks will have four full days off. They will be back in action at the United Center Monday night versus the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, tune into NBC Sports Network at 7PM for all the action. If you can’t wait the four days to see the Hawks head over to Studio Paris on Saturday night for Chicago Blackhawks Charities Junior Board Kickoff Fundraiser for $150 you can drink and mingle with your favorite Hawks.