Game Time: 6 PM
TV / Radio: WGN *siiiiigh* / WGN Radio
Sharktopus: Couch Tarts
The poor Sharks. I can't help but feel sorry for them for a couple reasons. First, we got to witness firsthand that stomping the Hawks put on them in the Western Conference Final in 2010 that permanently affixed the "headcase" tag on the team. More recently, the Sharks have lost three of their last four to such All-World goalies as Brian Elliot, Matt Hackett, and Scott Clemmensen. Tonight they'll be on the ass end of a back-to-back series. The Sharks were shut out in St. Louis last night as Ken Hitchcock dementored his way to a 1-0 victory (The only goal came from Kevin Shattenkirk during a 5-on-3). I'm going to move on before I get all rant-y about Hitchcock.
Of course it will be mentioned to death that Antti Niemi is starting in net for the Hawks. Look for those big rebounds to get kicked out into the slot.
Ray Emery will be getting his third start in four games as Joel Quennville goes with the "hot hand." I'm not sure what Q's thought process is behind this move. There are really three possible explanations that I can come up with. 1) He believes in the whole "hot hand" thing even though its a total farce. 2) He believes Emery is the better goalie. 3) There's something that needs fixing technically with Crawford's game. Now, I don't think any NHL coach could believe either of the first two, but I also don't know enough about goaltending to comment on the third. Whatever the reason, Crawford will be making his pouty face on the bench again. Alls I'm saying is at least Turco provided entertainment while he was in that spot.
Its worth mentioning that Patrick Sharp welcomed his baby daughter Madelyn into the world on Friday. He joins Hossa as the new father on the team. My favorite quote on the situation comes from one of the bonehead beat reporters asking Toews if he wants to have a kid someday (QUALITY JOURNALISM, JESSE):
Blackhawks legend Jim Vandermeer was out with a hand injury against the Blues and will most likely miss the game tonight as well. I'm sure this is a huge letdown for all of you Hawks fans looking to give Jim a standing ovation for all he did with the Blackhawks, most notably being traded to Philadelphia for Ben Eager. Can't wait for his Heritage Night. Do you think Vandy and Ryan Clowe ever talk about Clowe's first fight in the NHL?
With a win the Hawks would move back into first place in the division. Detroit passed them in point percentage by stomping Winnipeg. It'll be a tough but winnable match at the UC. Let's Go Hawks.