Blues @ Operation Heimlich Maneuver

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I can't fight this feeling anymore...

Blues at Blackhawks. Promises to be a big showdown between long-standing rivals. The question is: Which team will play more desperate? Neither is in a comfortable place in the standings.

I know you know the Blues enter tonight's action in ninth place, only one point behind the Ducks in Seventh and Predators in eighth. A win vaults the Blues over both teams, which are idle tonight. Win and only six games seperate the Blues from a return to the playoffs. No pressure.

The Hawks were so firmly entrenched in the standings, they copyrighted the term Fourth-Place Hawks it was used so often. Oops. After a collapse only fitting a team playing in the same city as the Cubs, the Blackhawks have fallen to fifth...and still have time to sink lower. Oops. Calgary (which was just unseated in the division by Vancouver) has one more point than the Hawks. Win, and Chicago is one game closer to home ice advantage in the first round. Lose, and they have to worry about Columbus catching them. No pressure.

The Internets are alive with speculation of TJ Oshie having a chance to knock the next team captain on his ass after Rick Nash. That would be Toews Sounds Like Taves, his former teammate and linemate at North Dakota (renamed the Fighting Sand Bags?). I would LOVE to see it happen, but it's not necessary. Just a win please.

There's a rumor Chris Mason might start in net tonight. Cam Janssen and Tyson Strachan are dining at the press box buffet...again. Good news, our friends at Second City Hockey say Matt Walker could be back in the lineup. And everyone knows he's a secret agent for the Blues.

Gallagher just called and said the Committed Indian, their fan-run paper in Chicago, is filled with fear of the Blues. Sweet! But let's not get too overconfident just yet.

This is your game day thread. Fill up the comments. We're expecting a heavy crowd. Comment early, comment often -- just like voting in Chicago.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. CDT. Make sure you're here at Game Time then.

(Warning: We may break up the posts by period if the traffic is what we expect. It helps the load time for everyone.)

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