Game 42 Preview And Open Thread: Blackhawks @ Canadiens

Puck Drop: Jan. 8, 6:30 PM CST

Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 19-19-3
Points: 41
Place: 5th in Central, 14th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 17.5%, 18th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 82.4%, 15th in NHL
Blackhawks Team Statistics


Montreal Canadiens
Record: 20-13-8
Points: 48
Place: 2nd in Northeast, t-4th in Eastern Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 24.2%, 1st in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 80.2%, 26th in NHL
Canadiens Team Statistics

Apologies for not getting a recap up for the Hawks' loss to Detroit on Sunday, been having some technical difficulties that I was just able to resolve today.

I thought Sunday's game was a disappointing effort, I realize that injuries are obviously holding back this team in a big way, but it seemed like there was just no jump in their skates and the 1st period was terrible. Nikolai Khabibulin just didn't play well and two of the goals he allowed were soft. My SCH Hawks Player Of The Game would go to Rene Bourque, who picked up a goal and looked pretty good offensively.

Hopefully, the Hawks can somehow turn things around starting tonight in Montreal. It's the first meeting between these two teams this season, and Chicago will have their work cut out for them. The Habs have the best power play in the league and are currently tied for the 4th  playoff spot in the East, so you know they are going to be a tough team to beat. Staying out of the penalty box, and getting off to a good start are two things this team will need to do to have a chance of winning.

The Hawks found out today that Sergei Samsonov was claimed off waivers by the Hurricanes. I'm guessing Carolina will give him a good look and he will likely play amongst their top two lines.