Game 17 Preview And Open Thread: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings

Puck Drop: Nov. 11, 6:00 PM CST

Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 9-7-0
Points: 18
Place: 3rd in Central, 6th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 21.3%, 2nd in West, 7th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 80%, 11th in West, 22nd in NHL
Blackhawks Team Statistics


Detroit Red Wings
Record: 13-2-1
Points: 27
Place: 1st in Central, 1st in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 23.4%, 1st in West, 4th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 88.2%, 4th in West, 5th in NHL
Wings Team Statistics

This is the most excited I've been for a Blackhawks game in quite some time. The Hawks have won 4 of their last 5, 9-7-0 on the season, coming off a couple of very strong games, Kane and Toews get better with each game, and here's the first televised home game of the year, against the hated Red Wings, who come in as the top team in the Western Conference, and are on a nine game winning streak, tying a franchise record. The Hawks have already beaten the Wings twice this year, once in a shootout (in Chicago) and the other in regulation (in Detroit).

Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald is reporting that Khabibulin will be starting in goal tonight. Kind of a surprise, but hopefully he's sharp and on his game tonight.

Wings coach Mike Babcock had an interesting quote when asked about the Blackhawks:

"Are they a lot better?" Babcock bristled. "Yeah, they're in the league this year. They're like a real team. You've got Langer (former Wing Robert Lang) in the mix, and you've got (Jonathan) Toews and (Patrick) Kane and (Tuomo) Ruutu."

We're "like a real team"? Interesting, kind of a shot taken at the Hawks by Babcock there, it seems. Maybe a little extra incentive for the Blackhawks to get this win tonight.

If you're watching this home tilt on Comcast Sports Net, why not create an account and leave some comments on the game? I'll be around for this one and commenting on what I see, so feel free to do the same!

Also, Happy Veteran's Day! I'd like to thank all of the men and women who served or are currently serving in our nation's military, allowing us to be as free as we are today.