…now go face the No. 1 team in the league.
The nightmare road trip is finally over, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel of terrible losses. The Blackhawks were able to smash their way through their last two road trip games and come home to the windy city with a clean(er) slate.
CHI v NYR – FINAL 4-2 (AWAY)
CHI v CBJ – FINAL 6-1 (AWAY)
CHI v STL – FINAL 3-1 (HOME)
While the February 19 game against the St. Louis Blues was the Hawk’s actual homecoming, fans have to be pumped (or maybe terribly nervous) to let the No. 1 Detriot Red Wings onto the United Center ice tonight. Even after the mega-win against No. 2 New York Rangers (now No. 3) that broke the Hawks from their record losing streak, no one on the bench is going to feel at ease tonight.
The big goal-scorers on the Blackhawks line were key to building momentum early in these past few games that gave our boys the edge to win. Hossa, Toews, Sharp, Kane, and Keith all added at least one point to the board in the past three games, and we need them again tonight.
Jonathan Toews is already out for tonight with an upper body injury, apparently unrelated to his wrist injury that had him out earlier in the season, but Coach Q says it’s day-to-day. Niklas Hjalmarsson is also out with a upper body injury.
Despite losing the captain for tonights game, there are a few things play to the Hawks’ advantage tonight, the first being obviously that they are playing at home and have been away for a very long time. If that wasn’t enough to pump up the positive energy in the UC, one of the biggest rivalries in the NHL is hitting the ice tonight, and after a huge comeback taking down the No. 2 Rangers (now No.3), to a lot of fans, the No. 1 team is going to seem like no problemo.
There’s going to be energy in the MadHouse tonight for sure, but what’s more, one of Detroit’s top performers, Pavel Datsyuk, is also out for tonights’ matchup. Datsyuk underwent surgery on his knee this morning and will be out for 2-3 weeks according to Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock.
The Hawks and Red Wings have met three times this season, Detroit winning two of those match-ups, one at home and one away. Every one of these games has ended with a score of 3-2, the only difference being the victor, meaning tonight is going to be a great game.
Puck drops in the UC at 7:00pm tonight.