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The Red Wings take on the still streaking Blackhawks today at 12:30pm EST.
The Blackhawks (18-0-3) have earned at least point in every game they’ve played this season, a new NHL record, giving them tops in the league at 39 points at the moment. The Red Wings, (10-8-3), currently have 23 points, and are sitting pretty at 3rd in the Central division and tied for 6th in the Western conference with Phoenix.
Mike Babcock is expected to play the same lineup from Sunday’s shootout winner over San Jose, with the exception of Jimmy Howard getting the start in net again. The Wings will look to hold onto the momentum they created in that win, and use the home ice advantage to finally end the Blackhawk’s inhuman points streak. A win tonight would solidify in everyone’s minds the idea that this team is a playoff contender.
The Blackhawks are coming off of a 4-3 OT winner against the Blue Jackets on Friday. They’ve had one less day off than the Wings, so we can only hope that will make at least a little bit of a difference.
Who To Watch:
Henrik Zetterberg: With 25 points on the season already, he’s sitting in a 4-way tie for 6th place in points in the entire league, (with John Tavares, Patrick Kane, and Jakub Voracek). The new captain is already getting the eye from multiple corners of the league for Hart consideration. Look for him to continue production.
Pavel Datsyuk: He’s been a workhorse all season, and his points are starting to show it, (8 G 14 A for 22 PTS in 20 games). There are times when his takeaways are prettier to watch than his actual goals. Look for his wizardry to open up opportunities for anyone who happens to be on the ice with him.
Tomas Tatar: This is a rookie that came out of nowhere and surprised everyone. Though he’s enjoyed a few successful seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins, no one expected his talent to translate to the NHL so quickly. After being called up from our rash of injuries, in 13 games, he’s put up 3 goals and 3 assists, skating on a line primarily with Griffins teammate Joakim Andersson, and happily-healthy-again Patrick Eaves. Look for his quickly developing hands to open up many scoring opportunities.
I would do one for the Blackhawks, but I hate them so. So I’ll leave it at LGRW.