Welcome to a game-day edition of Chicago Blackhawks morning links, with the team preparing for a contest against an Eastern Conference foe
Good morning, Chicago Blackhawks fans. We’re a workday away from the Blackhawks taking on their toughest opponent of the new calendar year, as they travel to the nation’s capital to square off against one of the league’s hottest teams.
The Washington Capitals have won seven straight games to vault into second place in the cutthroat Metropolitan Division. The Caps have the same number of points as the Blackhawks, but with three fewer games played.
The Blackhawks are no pushovers, of course, having won four consecutive contests. All of those were at the United Center, however, and this one will be at the home of a very good hosting team. Washington is 16-5-1 at its home arena this season.
Oddly enough, this game has a similar storyline to the previous time these teams met this season. When the Capitals visited Chicago on Nov. 11, the Blackhawks had won seven straight games. Washington came out with a 3-2 overtime win as Jay Beagle scored twice in regulation and Marcus Johansson ended the game in OT. Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa tallied for Chicago.
Of course, no two games are the same, but it should be really interesting to watch two teams that are on a roll square off tonight.
It’ll also be a battle of two really strong goaltenders. Corey Crawford and Braden Holtby were both top-five finishers in Vezina Trophy voting last season, with Holtby winning the award. Naturally, that probably means both teams will score at least five goals.
We’ll have more of a preview for this tilt later today, but to help get you through this end-of-the-week workday, here are some Chicago Blackhawks morning links.
Here are your morning links
— Regardless of your thoughts on fighting in hockey, what this guy did was absolutely phenomenal. The Comeback
— Happy birthday, Marian Hossa! Chicago Blackhawks
— Blackhawks will see one of these guys today. Faxes From Uncle Dale
— Minnesota stayed hot by putting up seven goals on Carey Price. NHL.com
— One of the NHL’s smaller players gets a big honor. NHL.com
— Finding ways to keep youngsters engaged in pro hockey is key to the sport’s future. NHL.com
Check back in later today for our pregame prediction, TV listings and more. If you can’t watch the game tonight or want some additional analysis while it’s going on, head over to Twitter and follow @blackhawk_up as we live tweet the action in D.C.