Blackhawks News

Game Preview: Chicago Blackhawks in Bean Town to Battle Boston Bruins

By Brian Kinkade

Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) is pushed into Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) by defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (44) during the second period in game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks try to make it 8 wins in a row, tonight, as they are set for a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, with tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins.  

This is the 1st game of the 2-game season series between the Hawks and Bruins.  Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM Central Time.  You can catch tonight’s game on CSN-Chicago and you can listen to it on WGN 720 AM.

Here’s a statistical breakdown of the Hawks and Bruins.

[table id=95 /]

Offensively, the Hawks are one of the better teams in the league, and will be up against the Bruins’ respectable defensive play.  Defensively, the Hawks are tied for the best in the league, and they will be tasked with the disappointing Bruins’ offensive attack.

On the Power Play, the Hawks have been a bit below average, this season, but they have an easier matchup with the Bruins’ floundering Penalty Kill.  The Hawks are the best in the league at killing penalties and will be facing an average Bruins’ Power Play.

In the faceoff circle, both the Hawks and Bruins are very good teams, and the same goes for both in terms of positive puck possession.  Boston has the numbers to support a solid team, and they should improve as the season goes along.  So, while the Hawks have a statistical advantage, it is a slim one.

The Bruins are currently in 5th place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 15-12-1, which is good for 31 points on the season.  Expect the Bruins to eventually rise in the Atlantic standings as early as tonight even.  They will be getting a huge boost in the form of defenseman Zdeno Chara returning to the lineup.  As the stats show, the Bruins haven’t been scoring a lot of goals, but they should be scoring more than they have.  Even in this slow start to the season, the scoring that they have had has been spread throughout the lineup.  Patrice Bergeron leads the team in points with 19 in 28 games, but Brad Marchand is just off his pace, with 16 points, which is 4th best on the team.

In net figures to be Tuukka Raskfor the Bruins.  Rask hasn’t been his dominant self and has a less-than-stellar .912 Save Percentage in 21 games played.

The Hawks are currently leading the tightly competitive Central Division, with 39 points and a 19-8-1 record.  Their current 7-game winning streak is largely thanks to the top-two offensive lines.  The top line of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad has chipped in a fair amount of offense, but has largely been tasked with shutting down opponents’ top lines.  The majority of the offense has come from the 2nd line of Brad Richards, Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg lighting the lame at an alarming pace.  The return of Patrick Sharp should help the Power Play to improve mightily.

In net for the Hawks will once again be rookie Scott Darling.  Darling has a spectacular .942 Save Percentage albeit in only 5 games this season.

Although the numbers ans standings positions suggest this should be the 8th consecutive victory for the Hawks, it in actuality will be a very tough matchup.  Hopefully the Hawks realize this and are able to secure a tough road win, tonight.

Go Hawks!