Whoever made this year's NHL schedule really deserves a kick in the ass. After tonight the Blackhawks will have played the Avalanche for the third time and they'll still have weeks before we get to see the Blues. I know that making these schedules must be a pain to put together but so many games against the Avs and the Predators so far makes writing these previews boring and redundant. Feel free to go check the other previews we've written for the Avs games here and here. The Blackhawks won't play the Avalanche again until April 9th though - of course by then the Avalanche will probably have returned to earth so until then the Blackhawks will just have to beat them while they're one of the hottest teams in the league.
This will mostly be the same team the Blackhawks lost to last week except that Darcy Tucker will be returning to the ice for the first time since Tuomo Ruutu broke him. Mile High Hockey says that Tucker will be skating on a line with Matt Duchene and it's not too surprising that they're not thrilled with the idea of a skilled young player skating with someone best known for doing something like this. Duchene has been invisible in the two games against the Hawks this year with no points and a -2 rating though.
It'll be Craig Anderson against Cristobal Huet in the net tonight. Huet had a solid game against the Kings... facing only two shots in the third period helps though. Anderson meanwhile is coming off a .844 SV% when the Avs allowed 32 shots and 4 goals on 7 power plays against the Oilers. The Blackhawks power play showed signs of life against the Kings but you'd have to think the Avs will be working on not taking so many penalties two games in a row.. if they do feel like being charitable though, hopefully the Hawks can continue the good work with the man advantage.
And since we all know good segways are overrated - I'll just pass along this link from Chris Kuc that says Marian Hossa will be ready for light contact drills tomorrow or Friday.. good news.
Finally, Joe Pelletier from Greatest Hockey Legends passed me a link to the story he wrote about former Blackhawk Bob Carse, who left Chicago to enroll in the Canadian Army during World War II. It's a good read, especially on Veteran's/Remeberance Day. The Blackhawks will be wearing special camouflaged jerseys during warm-ups which will be autographed and auctioned off to raise funds for the USO of Illinois, which is great move (even if the jersey is hideous). I know we're just a shitty hockey blog but we'd like extend our deep gratitude to anyone who has served in our armed forces and we hope all those currently serving come home safe.
Lets Go Hawks