The Red Wings and Blackhawks face off in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Chicago took Game 3 4-3 in overtime, in a game that had absolutely nothing interesting happen (assuming you don't count coming back from a 3-0 deficit or a game misconduct that shouldn't have been or the general crankiness pulsating through the series so far).
Questions coming into the game:
* Will Nikolai Khabibulin start? Our favorite type of injury, lower-body, was the reported reason for his sudden departure in Game 3, and Joel Quenneville wasn't tipping his hand yesterday, simply saying Khabibulin made "good progress" in the Saturday practice. Our guess: unless the lower-body injury involves the loss of limbs (not apparent, but don't put anything past an professional sports team's training staff), he'll be in there today. No offense to Cristobal Huet, whose
entire postseason career consists of made his Blackhawks playoff debut in Game 3 (and whose name was clearly lifted from a Family Guy episode).
* Will Martin Havlat make an appearance? This is a little more complicated. Quenneville was even more wishy-washy on his status. If he suffered a concussion after Niklas Kronwall's hit (which it sure looked like, but IANAMD), then Havlat shouldn't be playing. Of course, try telling a hockey player not to play after a concussion (or any injury) in the playoffs.
* How day-to-day is Pavel Datsyuk? He sat out Game 3. Does Mike Babcock sit him for Game 4? And if he does, would it kill him to light the lamp?
Martin Marian Hossa break through and score after two nice assists in Game 3?
Scheduled start time is 3:00 P.M. ET (though with NBC covering the game, it'll probably be closer to 3:20). NBC (ugh) has the game in the U.S., while CBC (yay!) has the coverage in Canada. See you back here then.