The Hockey Gods sure move in mysterious ways.
The Blues may have caught a lucky break for the game tonight. As you may have heard already, two Chicago players collided on the ice Monday. "Maid" Marian Hossa had to be helped off of the ice, and did not return to practice. One account mentioned that he seemed to be favoring one leg. As of Monday night, no details were posted as to the severity of the injury or of his ability to play tonight.
On top of that, there seems to be a sort of goaltending controversy beginning in Shitcago. They just concluded their famous annual Circus Road Trip with a 4-2-0 record. They opened with a Turco shutout against EDM, but in his next two starts he allowed 7 goals to CGY and 4 to the Sharks. In contrast, Corey Crawford's 3 starts (including the last two of the road trip) were all wins. Crawford allowed a total of 3 goals (one each game) on 77 SOG on that trip.
Such drama in the Windy City....
(side note: Cheap Trick Live at Budokan is one of the top live albums in Rock history. You owe it to yourself to check it out sometime)
The Enemy: It looks like Coach Q is riding the aforementioned hot hand, since early reports indicate that Corey Crawford will be starting tonight. His season numbers (2.07 / .930) have been a contributing factor in the 'Hawks rise in the standings. The team record of 13-11-2 gives them just one more point than the Blues, good enough for 3rd in the Central Division. The scoring leaders are no surprise: Patrick Sharp (4-game goal streak), Patty Kane, and Jon Toews. Duncan Keith is a helluva defenseman, and has a cannon of a slapshot. All are worth keeping an eye on....
This is still a tough team to beat, and it's going to take a total team effort for a full 60 minutes to do it. Hopefully, the tough talking to by Coach Payne in practice will sink in.
Blues vs Blackhawks coverage
The puck drops at 7PM St Louis time. The TV is broadcast on Versus, which might induce you to tune in KMOX 1120AM for the radio feed. Tip: the link to KMOX from the Blues site is usually good quality and a skosh ahead of other radio feeds. Until that time, this is your pregame pre-party. Meet here, get a head start on your Chicago hate (like Chicago voting; Hate Early, Hate Often), and enjoy one of my favorite STL vs CHI moments:
Cam Barker vs Mike Weaver Jan 2, 2010 - Blues feed (via hockeyfightsdotcom)