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TCL Round 1 Staff Predictions: St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

 

 

( 2 ) ST. LOUIS BLUES vs. ( 7 ) SAN JOSE SHARKS

It's still uncertain whether the San Jose Sharks have shed their reputation of being chokers. They made the conference finals the last two seasons, but lost pretty badly both times. Considering every year lately seems to be "their year", even the conference finals seems like it's not enough. But this year is different. They haven't exactly been dominating the west as they usually do, in fact they barely squeaked into the playoffs. But the pressure is still there even if it might not seem like it, and people's jobs will more than likely be on the line if they "choke" yet again.&...

Is the Sixth Seed Detroit's Best Hope?

It may be difficult for some fans to acknowledge but Detroit is faltering in the late stages of the season and are looking less and less like a true playoff contender. Detroit is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games and has not regained its form since the return of Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Franzen and Howard.

The Nashville Predators beat Detroit easily 4-1 Friday night thanks to the strong play of Pekka Rinne and production from their recent additions. The Red Wings quickly lost their outside chance to catch the St. Louis Blues and take the Central Division title for themselves and are now one point behind Nashville and tied with Chicago, however the Wings do have a game in hand. Detroit is 2-3 aga...

Blackhawks look to tune out Blues in final meeting

 

In their final meeting of the regular season, the Blackhawks will look to close out the series with their Central division foes.  The Hawks have the edge in the series 3-2 coming into this game. The last confrontation with these two saw the Hawks skate away with a 4-3 win in a shoot out at the United Center. Both teams are coming into this game with exactly the same record in their last 10 games of 6-2-2.

The Blackhawks are looking to get as many points as possible in their final five games to secure a playoff berth and distance themselves from other Western Conference teams. The Blues while they are leading the league are looking to secure more points as well to c...

Blackhawks find their mojo in shootout win over the Blues

The Blackhawks are still without their Captain, but they're still grabbing points - and, more importantly, getting wins - out of their opponents in the home stretch for the playoffs.

Coming into the game, the Blues were holding three streaks: they hadn't allowed a PPG in nearly 50 PK attempts (it would end at 51); they were on a 5-game winning streak; and the Blues were also 36-0-0 when scoring 3 or more goals.

Against the Blues tonight, Chicago broke open the scoring early with an Andrew Brunette goal just 2:51 into the game. It hasn't felt like the Blackhawks have been getting on the scoresheet first lately, so to not start out the game in a hole was a ...

Hawks tuning up against the Blues

 

With the NHL playoffs only three weeks away every team still in contention are looking to secure points but more importantly, they are also looking to see how they measure up against good teams. The Blackhawks don’t need to look any further than their own Central Division for these measuring sticks. The St. Louis Blues are currently not only in first in the division but they are also conference leaders and league leaders.

If the Blackhawks want a test they will get a good one Tuesday night at the United Center when they square off against the NHL leading Blues. This game is what hockey is all about. The Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues have been battling since 1...

Blackhawks head to the house of Blues tonight

 

Chicago briefly stumbled after posting some excellent wins at the end of their epic February road trip; they've now won the first two games of a three-game road trip, taking contests against Detroit and Ottawa.  Tonight, the Blackhawks roll into St. Louis for the 4th of six games against the Blues this season. So far, Chicago is 2-1-0 versus the Blues, including being shut out during their first match up of the year. St. Louis boasts one of the best home records of the season, and a pair of goalies - Halak and Elliot - that together have compiled 12 shut outs for their team. The Blues allow a meager 26.0 shots against/gm (1st in the league), the lowest amount of gi...

Blackhawks Win Third Straight Against Blues

The Chicago Blackhawks have rebounded nicely after losing nine straight games, some of those to division opponents, and added a solid team effort against their rivals to the south by defeating the Blues 3-1 at the United Center.

There was no magical formula consumed by the Hawks a la "Space Jam" to bring about this recent successful play - pretty simply, the Blackhawks' best players were just exactly what their team needed them to be: their best players. 

Duncan Keith posted a goal and an assist, Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 30 shots and Dave Bolland scored the game winning goal to give Chicago it's third win in as many games. 

Facing one of t...

Chicago Blackhawks' - Road Test

 

We are half way through the 2011-2012 NHL season as we are in  All Star Game weekend.  The Chicago Blackhawks are in a battle for every point with their Central Division mates the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. 

The Blackhawks have enjoyed the comforts and the fan support of the United Center for most of December and January.  They have the highest amount of homes games...

Detroit's Next 12 Games Present Golden Opportunity

The Red Wings currently sit 3 points behind division and conference leader Chicago with two games in hand,1 point behind St. Louis with equal games played and 3 points ahead of Nashville. They are trying to improve on a middling road record (11-13-0) while maintaining a league best home record (17-2-1). It is highly unlikely any of the top 4 teams in the Central will stop challenging for the division title barring a rash of injuries.

Detroit's performance over the next 12 games has the potential to help them overtake their division rivals, give them a small cushion in the standings, gain ground in the fight for home advantage throughout the playoffs and reestablish their road ga...

Wings Go For 14th Straight Home Win on the 14th

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.

The Blackhawks' are missing sco...