Blackhawks News

Healing By Degrees: Blackhawks Take On Coyotes

By Tim Currell

So what can you say about last night’s game against Dallas? How do you put a positive spin on that? “At least we had a good first period?” “Marty Turco was great up until the shootout?” “We managed to get a point out of it?” “Look on the bright side: we could have been playing the Islanders?”

For those of you who were lucky enough to have missed the carnage, here is the summary: the Blackhawks blew a 3 – 0 first period lead, allowed 3 goals over the last 2 periods and lost in overtime. In the process, they managed to lose forwards Ryan Johnson, Viktor Stalberg, and Fernando Pisani to injury. The injuries to Johnson and Stalberg did not appear to be serious at the time. But a peek at the Blackhawks official roster page shows Johnson as being on injured reserve already.

Additionally, Pisani may be out a while. He was tattooed by Mark Fistric with what appeared even on replay to be a perfectly legal hit. But the combination of the deceleration of the check and the way Pisani’s head snapped back like a stale piece of celery when he slammed into the boards is a strong indication that he may be put on IR as well.

So now what? Johnson is a confirmed no-go, and I think we need to go on the assumption that both Stalberg and Pisani are out for tonight. Marian Hossa and John Scott are probably both viable, but nowhere close to full power. Scott and Jordan Hendry can be used at wing, and word came in late this afternoon that Jeff Taffe has been recalled from Rockford.

There was no morning skate today, allowing last night’s wounded to get an extra few hours of rest, so we really don’t have much more information than that just noted about the team that the Blackhawks will field tonight. How much of a team will it be? And will it be enough to take on a resurgent Phoenix team on a 3-game winning streak that includes 2 shutouts?

Here’s what you need to know about Phoenix. Goaltending is solid but not impenetrable; veterans Ed Jovanovski, Derek Morris and former Blackhawk Adrian Aucoin lead a largely stay-at-home defensive corps; and one of their 10G/25P players is named Lauri. Beyond that, the game is another two points to be earned against another Western Conference team fighting for a playoff spot. Nothing else matters.

Corey Crawford starts tonight, as to who else will be playing you’ll have to catch the latest on Twitter. Follow us using the link below and we’ll give you the news as we have it.

7:00pm puck drop, Comcast SportsNet for the TV coverage, WGN AM-720 for the radio broadcast, and XM subscribers can look for the game on channel 207.

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