Blackhawks prepare to face Sabres in Buffalo

The Blackhawks are set to go against the now depleted Buffalo Sabre. Since the trade deadline the Sabres have seen key components to their team gone in a rebuilding effort. The Sabres have no hopes of making the playoffs this year and have culled their lineup to reconstruct for the future.

 Gone now are Matt Moulson, Steve Ott and of course star netminder Ryan Miller.  While this may seem like a gimme game for the Blackhawks this is also a trap game as well if the Hawks look past the team along Lake Erie.  The Hawks still have to gather in as many points as they can with only 18 games left in the regular season.

 The Colorado Avalanche are right behind them and the Hawks are still trying to catch St. Louis Blues for the divisional lead. This is the perfect game to gain some ground on Colorado with their loss yesterday to the Blues.

This game will also see the first time appearance of a Hawks trade deadline player, David Rundblat that was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes.  He is 23 years old defenseman and the scouting report on him is that he is offensive mined that is a good puck mover which sounds about right for the Blackhawks. He did not really fit in the Phoenix system but should fit much better into what the Blackhawks try to do from the back end. Look for #5 Blackhawks fans he is one of your newest Hawks.

Corey Crawford is slated to start in net for the Hawks and with Miller gone from Buffalo does it much matter who is in the Sabres nets?

Whose hot

·        Jonathan Toews since the Olympic break looks like a man possessed. He appears to be gearing up for the playoff run.

·        On the Sabres side look for defenseman Tyler Myers. He has six points in the last five games of which three were goals.  

What to look for:

·        Line combinations for the Hawks with the injury to Hossa last game the Hawks switched lines up a bit and got Andrew Shaw going.  

·        Consistency as the Hawks have struggled to string wins together lately.

·        Look for Patrick Kane to break out in front of his hometown crowd filled with family and friends

·        The Kruger/Smith/Bollig line to continue their tenacious work along the boards and corners

 

Hawks can be seen on NBCSN TV in Chicago or WGN Radio 720. Start time is at 6:30 pm CT.

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