Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Sharp.
Remember those three names tonight because to win this tilt, those three skaters will have to be shut down. Between the few, they total 58-goals scored and 60-assists (118-pts). They are easily Chicago's biggest reason for sitting at third in the league standings behind New York (R) and Vancouver.
Patrick Kane could possibly be the fourth horseman of the Windy City's apocalypse, however #88 has only potted two pucks in his last twenty contests. He's in a bit of a funk, but regardless of the Taxi Cab Strangler's drought.....the Hawks prevail and continue to dominate.
Guarding the twine for Chicago is Ray "Razor" Emery who's been pretty decent for the Blackhawks. He's seemed to takeover the puck-stopping role while Corey Crawford heals up from a rough start out of the gates this season.
Ray's sporting a .908 save-percentage and averages 2.54 goals per game, in 14-games played.
Opposite of Razor tonight is Ilya Bryzgalov. The orange Sputnik is not doing so hot in net, which is no news to Flyers nation. Sitting at 64th in the league, Bryzgalov's .890 SV% has easily been this team's biggest disappointment thus far.
Many pray #30 collects his head in time to swing his performance around as the second half of the schedule's upon us like the city lights on the horizon. The last half of an NHL season is an entirely different breed of hockey, and we've been told that Bryzgalov routinely has a stronger second half than he does a first.
Well, if that rumor's true then I welcome it back this year with open arms, champagne, candle light and the sounds of Teddy Pendergrass.
Let it be true, Bryzy. ::begins unbuttoning shirt::
Anyways, in lieu of Jaromir Jagr's recent injury suffered Monday in the Winter Classic, he'll be a scratch this evening while the 25-year old Matt Read handles the right-wing position on the first line.
I was guessing a skater like van Riemsdyk or Jakub Voracek would fill in Jagr's position considering Giroux was doing so well with a left-handed player to his right. Matt Read is a righty, so this should be interesting. Perhaps Read and Hartnell will switch wing positions in order to keep the strategy similar to the line's originality?
Nevertheless, the chemistry should be there for that particular combination. Read's managed fourth in points (22) among the league's rookies despite sometimes rotting on a line with JVR and Briere. The promotion to the frontal attack has got to be a boost to the kid's excitement, and I'm looking forward to witnessing a lot of energy from that amalgamation.
This past Monday the Hawks faceoff'd against the Edmonton Oilers. An incident occurred in the 2nd period between Hawks forward Daniel Carcillo and Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert --
After "Car Bomb" launched Gilbert like a raging customer tosses his hooker through the bed's headboard, Brendan Shanahan decided to throw a seven game suspension on Carcillo which begins tonight.
I know I was looking forward to seeing our boys skate against the ex-Flyer and tough guy, so to say I'm a bit disappointed is an understatement.
First, Jeff "Glass Foot" Carter.....and now Carcillo.
Guess we'll just have to wait 'till next season to see these players return to their old stomping grounds.
Don't miss tonight's 2010 Stanley Cup rematch at 7:00, CSN.