Mar 18, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) skates with the puck during the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The Blackhawks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Game #34– Chicago Blackhawks (25-5-3) vs Detroit Red Wings (17-12-5)
Season series– The Hawks lead with 2 wins One in overtime and one in a shootout both final scores were 2-1.
Preview– The Red Wings went 3-1 on their four game road trip and yet find very little breathing room in the playoff race for the last few final spots with 14 games left to play. The Hawks have wiggle room, but the Red Wings have a sense of urgency to win to make it to the post-season. Jimmy Howard only allowed four goals for the entire four game road trip so he’s on top of his game which is usual when he plays against the Blackhawks. The real big news for the Red Wings this week was the signing of college star Danny DeKeyser which could bolster their weakness which is play at the blue line.
The Blackhawks have lost five out of nine and it’s starting to become worrisome that the streak was a mirage for lots of flaws that the Hawks have this season. The powerplay has always been an issue but the defense has been bad especially Johnny Oduya who is a -8 and Niklas Hjalmarsson a -6 and it looks like Coach Q could be breaking up Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith to try to solve the defensive issues. The one defenseman that has looked good has been Nick Leddy and it looks like he’s ready for a bigger role. Patrick Kane is on his second 8 game point scoring streak of the season which happens to be the only player in the NHL with that feather in his cap. The last few games have proven that the Hawks really miss Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, but luckily the great start by the Hawks has given them the flexibility to return their stars when they are completely healthy.
Prediction– The Hawks and Detroit have met 723 times in the regular season but this will be the last regular season meeting as division foes in Detroit. The symmetry suggests another 2-1 Hawks victory.
What is your prediction for the today’s game?