Blackhawks Look to Extend Points Streak vs Flames
Having taken points from each of their last seven games, the Chicago Blackhawks will look to continue that success against a recently surging Calgary Flames club tonight at the United Center.
The Chicago Blackhawks come into this game with an impressive 20-8-4 overall record and 8-1-1 in their last ten games. The Calgary Flames, however, hold a mediocre 14-14-4 overall record so far this year, but more recently carry and formidable 5-2-3 record in their last ten games.
The Calgary Flames overall record is a reflection of just about every aspect of their team. They sit in the middle of the pack when it comes to goals for (80), goals against (88), and special teams. When you're team doesn't have much of an edge in any way in a league as competitive as the NHL, it's going to show in you're overall record.
However, as of late the Flames have seen more success, part of which is due to the recent play of veteran Olli Jokinen. In recent years, Jokinen has been pretty much invisible for the various clubs he's played for, but he currently has 6 points in his last 5 games. When Calgary can get it's sputtering offense going, they can be a very dangerous club (see "J. Iginla"). In order for Calgary to be successful, their top line must be a factor on a nightly basis.
The Chicago Blackhawks have enjoyed tremendous success of late and hope to keep that streak going against a team that embarrassed them in their last match in Calgary when the Hawks lost 5-2. The recent play of goaltender Ray Emery has given the Chicago defensive corps renewed confidence that was very much evident in the Hawks' last 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks where Emery stopped 24 of 25 and earned his 8th victory on the season.
With a win tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks can re-claim the top spot in the NHL from idle Minnesota Wild. Chicago hopes to keep a significant gap between themselves and surging division rivals, Detroit Red Wings.
With the recent success for both clubs coming into tonight's game and with both teams having something to prove, this is shaping up to be a very exciting matchup.
Keep an Eye Out For -
Ray Emery: Coach Quenneville hasn't confirmed him as the starter for tonight, but he's been very good against the Calgary Flames in his career, especially of late as he holds wins in his last three starts and a career GAA of 1.19 against them. With his recent play, don't be surprised if he makes another start tonight.
Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa: both have been outstanding for the Blackhawks as of late. Sharp has an 8 game point streak going where he has racked up 7 goals and 5 assists during that stretch. Hossa, meanwhile, has 8 points in his last 5 games.
Olli Jokinen: has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 games. Jarome Iginla has also been offensive productive for the Flames as he has 5 points in his last 5 games.
Calgary will be without a few starting players including David Moss, Anton Babchuck and Mark Giordano, who are all on the IR.
Chicago will be missing Daniel Carcillo again tonight.
Tonight's game will be televised on SNET-CGY and WGN at 6 pm CT.