7:30 PM United Center, Chicago, IL
TV: Comcast Sports Net Chicago
Radio: 720 AM WGN
It’s been awhile since the Blackhawks have seen the Dallas Stars. The Hawks and Stars have not met since a home and home series to kick of the regular season. Dallas was a surprise team starting the year off at 11-3. They have since fallen back to earth and find themselves 2 points out of a playoff spot. This puts them a weird position come the trade deadline on Monday. Are the buyers or sellers? That is a tough call for GM Joe Nieuwendyk. They do have some valuable players like Steve Ott and Mike Ribiero, who I would take either on the Blackhawks in a second! With Dallas in town all the rumors about the Hawks reacquiring Adam Burish are back. Personally I feel there is no reason to get Burish back.
The Blackhawks will see Richard Bachman (queue the BTO jokes) for the first time tonight. Bachman has put up some decent numbers this year, with a 6-3-1 record, 2.72 GAA and a .912 save %. He has one shutout this season which is one more than either of the Blackhawks goalies. All Star Jaime Benn will miss tonight’s game as well due to a leg laceration. Defenseman Sheldon Souray, and his bomb from the point, will return to the lineup after missing the last couple games with a bruised foot.
The Blackhawks will be without captain Joanathan Toews for the second straight game. A lot of rumors and “reports” from “sources” have been flying around that Tazer has a concussion. This seems likely to me, especially they way he was banged around in San Jose and Phoenix. Coach Q said he was “progressing” today which means a whole lot of nothing. We will just have to play the waiting game and see.
Niklas Hjalmarrson will return to the Hawks blue line tonight. I know you can’t see me, but I am on my knees begging for Hjammer to be pair with Sami Lepisto tonight! The top two pairs have been working, there is no reason to split them up. Coach Q gave a very odd response to the question of Steve Montador’s health. He said Monty was feeling better but he wouldn’t be shocked if he missed the rest of the season. Huh?
Corey Crawford gets his 5th start in a row tonight. It appears Brendan Morrison is a scratch and John Scott will be at forward. So we traded for a guy that can’t beat out John Scott for ice time? Awesome!