Blackhawks vs Red Wings Presented by Amway 9/28/2010
Time: 7:30 CT
TV: Versus, CSN-CHI
After (basically) the Ice Hogs took the Red Wings Presented by Amway to a shootout at the Joe on Sunday, the Hawks return to the UC with some familiar faces back in the lineup. With only 3 preseason games left, it's going to be interesting to see the lineup, lines and goalie battle. Granted, it doesn't seem like we can get the goalie battle tonight, but whatever. It's going to be a relief to see guys on the ice for the first time this preseason.
One of those guys is Marian Hossa. Hossa sees his first action with the team since staying over in Europe longer due to a variety of personal reasons. Hopefully the late start doesn't affect Hossa. Having two injury shortened seasons has hurt the Hawks (more so last year, where he started playing like a man possessed) as it would be ideal to see the Slovak return to 80 point form this year. It all starts tonight, and let's hope he hits the ground running.
But tonight, it appears Hossa will have a new center in Patrick Kane. Q's decision to try Kaner out at center has brought forward a lot of questions, mainly about why making one of your best pure offensive players a center who has to back check and if his defense has gotten any good at the previously mentioned back checking. I do think Kane can do well at center, but I do not see this being an experiment for very long. Kane himself said that he does better as a winger, but with Sharp's injury it would be nice to know who could play center in a pinch.
Tonight looks to be a crucial game for the Saad/Pirri/Kruger roster battle. It was expected Kruger make the team right out of camp, but he has underwhelmed Q and Saad and Pirri have both been outstanding. I still think that Saad will be in the OHL to start the year but will have taken a lot from this camp. If Pirri keeps this up then he could be looking at a roster spot when the Hawks go to Dallas.
Also, I am curious to see if Dan Carcillo will smarten up a bit tonight. I know it's the preseason, but a lot of eyes were rolled/things broken when Stan signed him. He claimed he was changed, and learned to handle himself better which sounds great had it been true. He took two penalties on Sunday and one of them led to a PPG. The more Carbomb can stay out of the box the better. Not just for himself, but for his team as well. He's still a very good penalty killer.
The Salak/Emery battle takes the night off, with Crawford set to get his second start of the preseason.
Even though it's preseason, there's still some good story lines which should make for an entertaining tilt. Let's go Hawks.