Blackhawks News

Game Preview: Blackhawks vs Washington Capitals 3/18/12

By Greg Boysen

6:00 PM United Center, Chicago IL

TV: NBC Sports Network

Radio: 720 AM WGN

A quick game preview before I venture down to the Madhouse for tonight’s tilt between the Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals.  Tonight will be the only meeting between the Hawks and the Caps because we all know there is no way both of these teams will make to the Stanley Cup Final.  The Capitals are fighting for their playoff lives as the enter tonight in the 8th and final playoff spot in the east.  Both teams have gone 6-3-1 in their last ten games.  Washington entered this season as a Stanley Cup favorite but has been one of the biggest disappointments in all of hockey.  Former Caps coach Bruce Boudreau has proven in Anaheim that the problem has not been behind the bench but rather on the ice.  Dale Hunter has not gotten much more out of the Caps since Boudreau was fired in late November.  Tonight will mark the return of former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer who has 18 goals in his first season with the Caps.  He has only score 4 goals since notching a hat trick on January 13th.  Troy Brouwer becoming invisible in the second half of the season?? It can’t be!!  Much of the Caps struggles can be pinned on Alex Ovechkin who is having his worse season as a pro by far with only 53 points (29 G, 24 A) this year.  This is far off his career averages.  Michael Neuvirth gets the start in net tonight for the Caps who comes in at 11-11-4 with a 2.81 GAA and a .902 save %.

The Blackhawks should be remain the same from Friday’s win over the Stars in Dallas.  Corey Crawford will get the start in net, who has been very good the last 5 periods we have seen him.  Look for Patrick Sharp to have another big game after scoring two goals on Friday.  We all know Sharpie scores in bunches so I expect at least one handsome goal tonight.  Patrick Kane has stepped his game since the injury to Jonathan Toews, so look for more good things from 88.  This is a game the Blackhawks should win, so why I am nervous?  Oh that’s right, look at some of those games against Edmonton and Phoenix earlier in the year.  The Hawks have been playing very well the last four games and can not have a let down tonight.  Go out get 2 big points tonight boys.  If not for yourselves do it for a special lady who is celebrating a birthday today, former season ticket holder and avid Blackhawk Up reader, my mom!!