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Morning Skate: Blackhawks

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Big, big game for the Wings today. 

  • Jimmy Howard will start in net for the Red Wings. After a poor showing against Vancouver, Tiberius bounced back strong against the Predators. He played very well and had good angles all night. A lot of credit goes to the defense that limited Nashville to only 22 shots on net.
  • The win over the Predators was big for the Wings. Taking control of a game like that is something that has been pretty rare this season. If they're able to put that same effort into the game at a raucous United Center, it should be interesting to see.
  • Chicago won it's last game out, 6-3 over Vancouver.
  • If I have to hear this song one more time, I will lose my mind.
  • Former Red Wing Marian Hossa will face the Red Wings again. Hossa's been held relatively in check in the three games against the Wings so far, only 1 assist in the games so far.
  • Chicago holds the season series advantage with a 3-1 record against Detroit. The lone Detroit win was the game in which Johan Franzen tore his ACL. A win today by Detroit would prevent Chicago from winning the season series.
  • Cristobal Huet starts for the Blackhawks in net. Huet has a 26-12-4 record with a 2.32 GAA and a .900 SV%.
  • Chicago's top goal scorer is Patrick Kane. Kane has lit the lamp 26 times and assisted on 47 other goals. Jonathan Toews is a +21, highest among Chicago players.
  • As much as it truly pains me, Patrick Kane is a phenomenal player. Watching him play for the USA in the Olympics was incredible. The amount of skill that guy has at his age (yeah, he's 21) is hard to believe.
  • Second City Hockey is the Blackhawks SB Nation affiliate.
  • Detroit will run the same line-up out there today as they did against Nashville. This means Brett Lebda in and Jonathan Ericsson out still. Lebda provides some good chemistry with Lilja and is a lot faster than Ericsson.
  • Chicago wins 76.7% of the games in which they score first; Detroit wins 60%. On the converse, Chicago wins 47.6% of the time after they trail first; Detroit wins only 30% under the same scenario.
  • Pavel Datsyuk played outstanding the whole game against Nashville. He's shown some flashes of brilliance against Chicago in the past and he can turn it on at any given moment.
  • So, we got that contract ready for Darren Helm yet?
  • Tomas Kopecky is a -7, ha. 
  • Marian Hossa already has 19 goals, more than any Red Wing--in about 25 less games.
  • Key match-up to watch when the Red Wings are on the attack: Line of Holmstrom-Datsyuk-Franzen has been working well and so they'll be called upon to do the same against Chicago.
  • Key match-up to watch when the Blackhawks are on the attack: Marian Hossa's line. We all know what he is capable of so I probably don't need to go any further.