As our good friends over at Second City Hockey let me know, Marian Hossa is still out tonight. He's been out since February 13th thanks to a lower-body injury sustained on a hit by the Ducks' Hampus Lindholm. While he's starting to get up there, he's still an elite forward and a key part of the second place Blackhawks' offense. He's also a noted Blues killer.
The Blues and Blackhawks are battling for second in the Central tonight. Despite a sliggish December and January, the Blues have roared back since the All Star Break, going 10-4-1 in that time. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have slipped since the break (8-5-1). The Blues have closed an eight point gap down to two against Chicago, but still are in third place looking up. Losing when the Hawks and Stars lose'll do that to you.
So will winning just one of three games against the Blackhawks. The Blues need to capitalize on the loss of Hossa while neutralizing the Blackhawks' strong power play that has gone three for 11 against the Blues this year, and they lead the league with a 24.1% conversion rate. St. Louis has the league's best penalty kill (86.6%); the Hawks may be stifled tonight. Hopefully.
"They’re a team we’re chasing, so (Wednesday) really is a four-point game," Shattenkirk said. "It’ll be a huge swing if we can get a regulation win, but obviously any sort of win against them will be big in the chase that we have going on right now."
No, let's just try getting a lead, holding it, and winning in regulation.
If you're without a TV tonight, but have a cable subscription, since this game's an NBC Wednesday Night Rivalry game, you can watch it streaming on your computer or mobile device here.