This would be a rare meeting between two hockey clubs. Being that one is in the East and the other in the West these clubs do not face each other often and are unfamiliar with each other’s tendencies. This will in fact be the only meeting this year between the two teams.
These clubs are also going in different directions. Buffalo is fourth in their division and eleventh in the Eastern Conference with a 19-21-5 record and the face of the franchise goalie Ryan Miller is struggling. In fact for this game Buffalo went with Jhonas Enroth in net. Miller however is not the only one however who needs to play better for Buffalo.
The Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks last faced off in San Jose in early December, a tight 3-2 OT win. Before that was the 0-1 loss in San Jose the night before Thanksgiving, a game which saw Chicago battling back after suffering a crushing - and humiliating - 9-2 loss to Edmonton a few nights before.
Since that time, Chicago has played well enough to land themselves in constant competition for the number one position in the West. Likewise, the Sharks have finally found some smoother sailing after rough patches to start the season, and have now clawed their way to the top of the struggling Pacific division. Of course, they still have ex-Blackhawk (and Cup-winning) Antti Niemi sig...
With Friday the 13th in the past, Detroit faces off against Chicago today on home ice for a nationally televised matinee. The Wings are coming off a 3-2 comeback victory against Phoenix that was Mike Babcock's 400th win and Jimmy Howard's 100th. Detroit seeks to tie their franchise record for consecutive home wins set during the 1964-65 season. Only two points separate the teams, with St. Louis sitting in between them.
The two previous games have been just as close as their place in the standings with both being decided 3-2. Chicago won once in regulation and Detroit won last week in overtime. Today's game should be no different.
Looking at this new season, there are many people poised to breakout in some way. The breakout scorers and breakout goaltenders and breakout defensemen will have plenty of articles written about them. However, there is one role that frequently goes unsung, defensive forwards. Called by many names: grinders, PK-guys, third liners, depth forwards, these players are the unsung heroes of any team. One of them is poised to break out and possibly challenge for the Selke award as the best defensive forward this season. This player is Chicago Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland, Blackhawks Captain Jon Toews was a shocking Selke nominee last season. The word s...