Blackhawks News

Game Preview: Blackhawks vs New York Rangers 2/16/12

By Greg Boysen

6 PM Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

TV: Comcast Sports Net Chicago (NHL Network US)

Radio: 720 AM WGN

If you want to see how these two teams seasons have been going just look at the last 10 games.  The Blackhawks are 1-8-1 and the New York Rangers are 8-1-1.  The Rangers have the most points in the Eastern Conference and just one less than the Red Wings for most in the NHL.  Right now these are two teams going in opposite directions.  This is the one game on this road trip I fully expect the Blackhawks to lose, so Murphy’s Law says they will win, right?  Don’t hold your breath.

This will be the 4th game in 6 nights for the blue shirts, so maybe the Blackhawks are catching a break.  Head coach John Tortorella is giving the Hawks another break by starting Marty Biron over Venzina canidate Henrik Lundqvist.  Biron is no slouch either with a 10-2-1 record, a 2.03 GAA and a .919 save %.  Lundqvist showed in Boston, on Tuesday, what a great goalie can do for a team by making 42 saves in a 3-0 win.  Ryan Callahan has 4 power play and 2 even strength gaols  in his last 4 games.  He has scored more PPGs in the last week than the Blackhawks have as a team in the last month!  That’s a guy I would love to see in the Indian Head!  The Hawks actually get to face a team with a worse power play than their own tonight.  Yes, there are actually power plays worse than the Hawks, but not many.

As far as the Blackhawks go the lines should remain the same as Tuesday night.  Both Steve Montador and Niklas Hjalmarrson will be out again.  Corey Crawford will get the start in net tonight.  The time has come for Crawford to win his team a game.  Crow is being paid as a #1 and it is time earn his paycheck.  He needs to steal one and put some confidence back into this team.  He needs to do exactly what Pikka Rinne did for Nashville on Tuesday.  Part of the reason for the poor play of the defense has got to do with the goaltending.  The blue liners and the goalie feed off each other.  The Hawks defense has no confidence in either goalie right now and it shows.  They feel they have to be perfect on every shift.  This is leading them to play with a lot of pressure and tight buttholes!  They are worried every shot will be the shot that goes in the net.  If they had some confidence that their goalie can make a huge save to bail them out they would loosen up and play better as a whole.  So come Crow, I’ve seen you do it before, so do it tonight!