Another Friday Night At The United Center…Blue Jackets vs Blackhawks Preview

By Keith Schultz

Feb 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Nick Drazenovic (34) checks Chicago Blackhawks left wing Viktor Stalberg (25) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Game #21– Columbus Blue Jackets (5-12-3) vs Chicago Blackhawks (17-0-3)

Game Time – 7:30 Central Time

TV– NHL Network, CSN-Chicago, CSN-Chicago

Radio– WGN Radio

Season Series- Blackhawks lead 2-0 with a pair of one goal wins 3-2 at Columbus and 1-0 last week at the United Center.

Preview– The Blue Jackets are not seeing their improved play on the defensive end showing up with an improved record.  The Jackets are not scoring which is their demise this season as proof by getting shut out in Chicago last week.  They are struggling in every offensive category including going only 3 for 37 on the power play. Steve Mason played well in his last start against the Hawks only giving up a Andrew Shaw goal when his defense left him alone on the doorstep for the game winner, but Mason has gone 0-6-0 with a 4.14 GAA average in his last 6 starts against the Hawks.

The Hawks are starting to give the feel of the 72-10 Bulls team that could beat you any way you desired.  After a bunch of nail-biters they went out a blanked the Blues when everyone thought the Blues would be able to go out and end the streak.  If you are looking at comparisons that Bulls team did lose to a very bad Toronto Raptors team and a bad Hornets team. Both Blue Jackets games have been competitive so don’t be shocked if the Hawks don’t blow out Columbus.  Dave Bolland missed Thursday nights game.

Prediction– This game is sandwiched between trips to St Louis and Detroit so this could be a streak buster upset in the making.  I still think the talent difference is so much bigger that the Hawks can sleep walk to a win! I see a 3-1 win for the Hawks in another tight slightly boring contest.

What is your prediction for tonight?

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