Hossa and Hansen In, History on the Line

The Chicago Blackhawks will attempt to make NHL history tonight when they take to the ice for the 17th time this season with no regulation losses in their record.  The Blackhawks, currently 13-0-3 this season, are dropping the puck for the last time against the San Jose Sharks (8-4-3) at 7:30pm.

Coming into this season, the Sharks were the only other team to hold onto an undefeated streak as long as the Blackhawks, going 7-0-0 until their shootout loss to Nashville February 2nd which sparked a long trail of losses.  In fact, until Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the jet-lagged St. Louis Blues, the Sharks had not won a single game in the month of February. 

Even with leading goal scorer Partick Marleau out in front of his team at 10-6-16 this season, the Sharks have only scored 5 goals in their last five games, including 2 goal-less games. 

Chicago took its last two meetings with San Jose by two or more points:

  • Feb. 5  CHI@SJS  Final: CHI 5-3
  • Feb. 15  SJS@CHI Final: CHI 1-4

But the Blackhawks biggest concern going into Friday night’s game was not the possibility of a history making start, far more important was the health of Marian Hossa.

HOSSA and HANSEN:

Hossa, who took a hit to the back of the head by Canuck, Jannik Hansen, on Tuesday early in the third period did not return to the ice that night.  Hansen, who was given a 1 game suspension for the hit was not surprised that No. 81 was able to return to practice for the Blackhawks on Thursday morning.  The Vancouver forward, who considered the hit “a hockey play,” might be a little irked at his 1 game suspension given that Hossa has been cleared appear on the ice the same night he makes his return. 

Things to be grateful for, whether you’re for Vancouver or Chicago, Hossa wasn’t seriously injured and this was a very minor punishment for first time offender Hansen.  More than anything this just shows that the NHL is not willing to ignore hits to the head, whether intentional, or careless like this one.  

 

Also back in action for the Blackhawks tonight are Corey Crawford (though Ray Emery will get the start) and Dan Carcillo, who will start on the fourth line with Kruger and Frolik. 

Team Stats: 

 

Team

P

P%

G/G

GA/G

PP%

PK%

SG

SA/G

Blackhawks

29

0.906

3.31

1.94

18.6

87.9

30.6

28.1

Sharks

19

0.633

2.47

2.13

18.9

87.1

29.7

28.9

 

Follow me on Twitter for updates on the Blackhawks and more @madeleinestroth

 

 

 

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