7:00 PM, United Center Chicago, IL
TV: Comcast Sports Net
Radio: 720 AM WGN
Tonight is the 4th and final regular season meeting between the Blackhawks and the team so easy to hate, the Vancouver Canucks. The Blackhawks are catching the Canucks at the right time. Vancouver, along with the Boston Bruins, seem to have caught their “Stanley Cup hangover” late in the season. They have gone 3-5-1 in their last 10 games. They began a four game road trip on Monday by getting shutout by the mighty Minnesota Wild. The Canucks defense has been non existent the last few games. They have given up 26 goals in their last 7 games. Roberto Luongo is in mid playoff form going 0-3-0 with a 5.28 goals against average in his last 4 starts. I am drinking some hot tea and getting the vocal cords ready for a long night of “LUUUUUUUUUUU” taunts. As always, the Hawks must contain Thing 1 and Thing 2. Hank and Dank have combined for 11 points (5G, 6A) 14 dives and 4 temper tantrums in 3 games versus the Hawks this year.
The Blackhawks are riding high and in the midst of a four game winning streak. The Hawks have played the Canucks tough in the two meetings in Vancouver, getting 3 out of a possible 4 points. The only bad outing was the last time the Nucks were in the Madhouse on November 6th. The Blackhawks found themselves doing what the Canucks are famous for and that is taking stupid penalties and giving up power play goals. The Blackhawks must avoid a parade to penalty box against the NHL’s best power play unit. The Hawks know how to beat this team; get in their heads early and just smile and blow kisses when they try and muck it up. Some encouraging news on the injury front as Jonathan Toews participated in an optional skate today. Steve Montador is now listed as day to day as he tries to return from his concussion. If Nick Leddy can not go tonight, due to the hit he took from Derrick Boyce last night, look for Sean O’Donnell to return to the Hawks lineup. No official word has come down on who gets the net tonight but I am thinking we will see Corey Crawford out there. Should be a fun night at the UC and remember the start time has been moved up to 7pm.