Game Preview : Tied To The Whipping Post

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago Blackhawks (31 pts 14-0-3) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (12 pts 5-11-2), 6 pm United Center - Chicago IL, TV: CSN Chicago Radio: WGN 720 AM

2012-2013 SEASON SERIES
Date
Score W. Goal
Mar 14 '13
Mar 01 '13
Feb 24 '13
Jan 26 '13 CHI 3 at CBJ 2 J. Toews

The Chicago Blackhawks no longer have to worry about setting any records now they can just add on to the record they already own. They have a really good shot over the next two night to do just that with two of the weaker teams in the Western Conference coming to town. The Hawks and Viktor Stalberg will be bringing out the welcome party for the doormats of the Central Division. The Blackhawks have historically owned the Blue Jackets. They have a 40-23-2-5 record against them all time and have won the last 8 games between the two teams. It's been over two years since the Jackets beat the Hawks with a 4-3 at the United Center on 2/18/11. The Hawks could be without 2nd line center Dave Bolland, who is listed day to day with an upper body injury. Bolland did not play in the 3rd period Friday night against the Sharks. If he does not suit up tonight, Marcus Kruger will most likely jump into his spot and we could see Jamal Mayers center the 4th line. I also think we will see the return of Corey Crawford in net tonight. He was good enough to be on the bench on Friday so I expect him to see Crow tonight and Ray Emery tomorrow night versus the Oilers. Q will speak to the media at 4 pm to let us know what exactly is going on.

The Blue Jackets are the whipping boys of the NHL and they continue to take their beatings. Only the state of Ohio could produce the world's worst BJ! They currently have a NHL low 12 points and have already lost 11 games in regulation. There is a good chance the Blackhawks may not lose 11 games in regulation all season. Tonight is the final game of a six game road trip for the Jackets, who have dropped 4 out of the first 5. Their only win on the trip came in Detroit against the Red Wings which makes me smile!! Columbus has been having problems scoring goals all season long. They are averaging only 2.17 goals per game, only the Wild and the Predators are averaging less in the entire league. Add some key injuries to Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson and Artem Anisimov to this struggling offense and you have a hot mess. Speaking of hot messes, Steve Mason gets the start in net for the BJ's tonight. Mason is 6-9-2 with a 3.66 goals against average and a .881 save percentage in 17 career starts versus the Blackhawks. I still have a hard time believing this guy actually won the Calder Trophy in 2009.

Chicago Blackhawks probable lineup:

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Marcus Kruger - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Daniel Carcillo - Jamal Mayers - Michael Frolik

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 7-0-3, 1.65 GAA, .935 save %, 1 SO

Injuries

Dave Bolland (upper body) day to day

Leading Scorers

P. Kane 23 pts (9 G, 14 A)

J. Toews 15 pts (7 G, 8 A)

M. Hossa 14 pts (8 G, 6 A)

P. Sharp 14 pts (4 G, 10 A)

D. Keith 11 pts (1 G, 10 A)

Columbus Blue Jackets probable lineup:

Forwards

Cam Atkinson - Derick Brassard - R.J. Umberger

Vinny Prospal - Mark Letestu - Derek Dorsett

Matt Calvert - Sean Collins - Nick Foligno

Colton Gillies - Derek MacKenzie - Jared Boll

Defensive Pairings

Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin

John Moore - James Wisniewski

Tim Erixon - Adrian Aucoin

Goaltender

Steve Mason 2-5-0, 3.00 GAA, .900 save %, 0 SO

Injuries

Brandon Dubinsky (knee) OUT, Jack Johnson (upper body) questionable, Artem Anisimov (head) day to day

Leading Scorers

D. Brassard 10 pts (3 G, 7 A)

F. Tyutin 10 pts (1 G, 9 A)

V. Prospal 9 pts (6 G, 3 A)

J. Wisniewski 9 pts (3 G, 6 A)

M. Letestu 8 pts (5 G, 3 A)

CBJ
Stats
CHI
18 GP 17
5 W 14
11 L 0
2 OT 3
12 P 31
0.333 P% 0.912
2.17 G/G 3.24
3 GA/G 1.88
13.2 PP% 18.1
82.9 PK% 88.7
26.3 S/G 30.8
28.9 SA/G 28
49.1 FO% 50.7

Chicago Blackhawks Tickets

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