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How's It Gonna End - Blackhawks @ Scum - Preview/Pre-Game Thread/State Dinner

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Game Time - 1:00 PM
TV/Radio - WGN for both

Waiver Wire Riders - Winging It In Motown

If the Hawks last game against Detroit was a moment where they needed to save their season (and a moment where McClure broke out the nerdiest and possibly greatest preview ever written on this site), today is a moment where they can show that they're more than alive and they're going to give Detroit a run for the conference. Except for Columbus, everyone in the Central Division has finally evened out the number of games played. Unfortunately, as it stands now, the Hawks are 10 points behind the Scum (and 4 behind Nashville). So it's going to be a long hard slog to finish out the season but if the Hawks want to make run... the time is now.

The Hawks have points in their last 5 games and 11 overall in their last 7. They're getting great contributions from the likes of the 3-6 Mafia and finding ways to win even without their best players being their best players. If the Hawks actually find a way to get those top two lines rolling, well that'l certainly be something, won't it? Meanwhile the Wings are without Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom, Brad Stuart and whatever's left of Mike Modano. Chris Osgood is also out but since this isn't the playoffs, that's probably a good thing for Scum. Jimmy Howard has also recently missed some time with a knee injury, leading to Joey MacDonald getting a few starts. The results were... less than spectacular and MacDonald has been sent down to the AHL in favor of something called Jordan Pearce.

Of course, that's not the goalie information you're all interested in. The big news around Detroit is the claiming of Evgeni Nabokov off waivers as he comes back from the KHL. Unfortunately, I'm writing this on Friday night so I have no idea if anyone is going to make a claim on Nabby but I would hope some other team tries to spoil their fun. Jimmy Howard has been just ok, for the Wings so far this year (.905 Sv%, 2.83 GAA) while Nabokov finished last season in the top 10 in both categories... and that's with the mess of a Sharks defensive core playing in front of him. Nabokov won't seal up the division by any stretch but it'll certainly help plug up one weak spot the Wings have right now.

The injury bug likely won't last long for Detroit and before long this battleship will be fully operational. The Hawks will need every point they can get if they want to make a chase for the division, especially when two points for the Hawks could mean zero for the scum. They're only going to get so many chances to make a move... what better time than now.

Lets Go Hawks