Hawks set to face Dallas Stars

The Hawks are preparing to face yet another Central division opponent early Sunday at the United Center. These divisional games are increasingly becoming more and more important. The Hawks are coming in off of a regulation loss to another divisional foe the Winnipeg Jets who have now closed the gap and are only two points behind the Hawks. The Hawks do have two games in hand on the Jets.

The Hawks have fallen to third in their division behind both Nashville and St. Louis so it is imperative that in the toughest division in the NHL the Hawks try to keep pace. That being the case this game against the Stars looms large. Even though the Stars are coming in off of a second game of back to backs the Hawks cannot take them lightly. We all saw what happened with Winnipeg.

The Stars played in Dallas last night and defeated the Washington Capitals. In their previous meeting with the Hawks they have dropped all three encounters however, two of three required OT for the Hawks to win. So this should be a tight match as the Stars are also looking to pick up points to get them into the playoff race.

The Hawks are coming in off of .500 performances in their last t0 games and somehow need to find that team game that they had captured before the Holiday break.

Lately there are too many turnovers in their own zone and in the opposition’s zone not enough traffic to the net which will be needed as speed won’t work with the Dallas Stars who are a fast team themselves. Hawks also need to get that power play going.  If the Hawks take care of backchecking and their own end they should be able to score on Dallas who has one of the worst GAA in the league as they are currently ranked 27th in the league.

Who to look out for:

The Dallas Star’s leading scorers are the usual suspects. Tyler Seguin is leading all Dallas scorers and for that matter the league. He is second to only Jakob Voracek in scoring point in the entire NHL. So far the Hawks have been able to silence Seguin fairly well but he is always dangerous and you never want to give him too much room.

His linemate Jaime Benn is equally dangerous and is always a scoring threat and you can add veteran Jason Spezza to the list of potential snipers as well.

For the Hawks, Bradon Saad has been lighting up the opposition’s nets lately and in the last game against the Jets Teuvo Teravainen found the back of the net. The speed of Saad and the craftiness of Teravainen add to the always dangerous Hawks forward crew should have opposing coaches scatching their collective heads if these two youngsters consistently find the back of nets.  

INJURY REPORT

Trevor Van Riemsdyk is on LTIR and out still recovering from surgery on his left patella that was fractured

Kris Versteeg is still out with hand injury

Trevor Daley is out with an undisclosed injury day to day but is ruled out for Hawks game

Brett Ritchie is on IR with undisclosed injury

Patrick Eaves is on IR with ankle injury

Valeri Natuskin is on IR with hip injury

Patrik Nemeth  is on IR with arm injury

Rich Peverly  is on IR with heart issues

Where to watch: WGN TV. NBCSN game starts @ 5pm CT  or listen on  WGN radio 720 in chicago