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All Hail The Returning Captain: Kings @ Blackhawks Preview and GDT

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Game Time: 7:00 Central
TV/Radio: Rodeo Channel, WGN 720
Opposition Blogs: Battle of California, Purple Crushed Velvet
Don't Forget: Your SPG Picks

It's been a long time coming - but it's finally here. Ben Eager will be re-joining the team tonight making the fourth line look a little bit more like we're used to seeing.. and also Toews is playing. Of course - Bolland is sitting out the game (good move) meaning the lines are all kinds of crazy. According to Sassone - the expected lines are:

Sharp - Toews - Byfuglien
Ladd - Versteeg - Kane
Kopecky - Madden - Brouwer
Eager - Fraser - Ebbett

No idea why Q would play both Ebbett and Versteeg out of position but he gets paid to run a hockey team and I get paid to write a blog.. so we'll both live up to our ends of the bargain, he'll make line combinations and I'll criticize them because clearly, I know better.

The Kings are coming in after a lackluster performance against the Predators but are bringing in two players in the top-10 in points with Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smythe. Kopitar is of course the league leader in points and is still awaiting that trade to Chicago.

Kopitar's offense isn't the only reason the Kings are one of the hotter teams in the league. Their defense is keeping up their end of the deal. The Kings have the second lowest Shots Against/Game and Drew Doughty has 14 points, good enough for third overall in the league. Jonathan Quick has been solid in the net with a .900 SV% and 2.61 GAA. Of course their penalty kill sucks - but we are all quite familiar with the struggles of the Hawks power play. I just found out that only one of the Avs goals counted as a short-handed goal though.. so that's nice.

It'll be a great addition to get Toews and Eager back and it should be loud in the United Center tonight. It will be important to get as many points in this home stand before the annual circus trip but with every team except the Leafs playing great hockey right now it won't be the easiest task.

Lets Go Hawks