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Blackhawks at Blues preview: Grand (home) finale

The home closer could be the last time fans in St. Louis see the team until fall.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

To call the home finale a necessary win is an understatement. To call the last three games of the season necessary wins is an understatement.

Luckily, the Blackhawks are very not good this year. The Blues have won their previous two meetings against them, and a win tonight isn’t outside of the realm of possibility - but then you look back at Saturday night’s loss against a very not good Arizona team, and you also take into consideration that the Blackhawks would love to prevent the Blues from making the playoffs, and you start to see that tonight’s game won’t be an easy coast to a win.

But that shouldn’t matter, because a win boosts playoff odds 10%. A loss drops them nearly 20.

The Blackhawks have gone 2-5-2 since March 15th, and a good bit of that slide can be blamed on the absence of captain Jonathan Toews. Captain Serious has been out of the lineup for the last six games with an upper-body injury. It was suspected that he would return tonight, but he hasn’t been able to participate in team drills, so he’s out again.

J-F Berube will be starting in goal tonight for the Blackhawks. The goalie has had a very rough go of it, putting up a 3.93 GAA and a .891 SV% in his stint with the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford being out has been disastrous for the team, and could contribute to another loss tonight.

However, never underestimate the Blues’ ability to make bad goaltenders look good.

Tonight’s game is the Wednesday Night Rivalry game on NBCSN, and for once, good scheduling. The Blackhawks should come out strong, but the Blues need to take their fate into their own hands and win. A win gets them back above the Avalanche, and an Avs loss tomorrow night coupled with a Blues win over the Hawks again on Friday gets them into the playoffs. Go get ‘em, boys.