7PM United Center Chicago, IL
TV: Comcast Sports Net Chicago
Radio: 720 AM WGN
Tonight is a pivotal game and can go a long way in deciding the fates of the Blackhawks and the Coyotes. This series has taken an ugly turn the last game and a half and I fully expect the physical play to continue tonight. What has been lost in the whole Andrew Shaw/Raffi Torres controversies has been 3 really good hockey games. I don’t think you can get a more evenly matched series than what we have now. All three games have gone into overtime tied at 2. Take away the two ugly plays and this has been one hell of series to watch.
The Coyotes will be short handed tonight. Waste of oxygen, Raffi Torres will be out tonight as he has been suspended indefinitely. Torres will be a big loss for the Yotes because he has been one of their better players in the series so far. He has a face to face hearing with Brendan Shanahan tomorrow in New York. There is a lot of talk that the hammer of justice will come down hard on Torres but I won’t believe it until I see it. Head coach Dave Tippett, besides giving the Blackhawks plenty of bulletin board material, announced that Martin Hanzal will be out of tonight’s game.
The Blackhawks will be without the services of Shaw and Marian Hossa. Shaw has 2 more games left on his suspension. There has been no update on the condition of Hossa or if he will even be back this season. Some of the players said they have been sending text messages with him and he is in good spirits. The Hawks have recalled rookie Brandon Saad to take Hossa’s spot. You may remember Saad made the team coming out of training camp as a 2nd round draft pick. He did not register a point in his 2 games played in Chicago. Once he got to the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit he did nothing but put up huge numbers. He had a ridiculous 76 points (34 G, 42 A) in 44 regular season games. He followed it up with 17 points (8 G, 9A) in 12 playoff games. Obviously making the jump into the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be hard but this kid can score. I was hoping Jimmy Hayes would be taking the spot of Brandon Bollig but that doesn’t look like that will happen. I would love two things from this game, the first being a Blackhawks win. The second thing is to have that win come in regulation. These overtime games are taking years off of my life!