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Blackhawks @ Blue Jackets Game Preview

March 24, 2010

Game Time: 6:00 PM CST
TV/Radio: CSN+ (CLTV) / WGN (720-AM)
Beejay Lovers: Light the Lamp

Stat Pack:

Blackhawks (1st)
Blue Jackets (14th/Taylor Hall Sweepstakes!)
5-3-2 4-4-2
Record on the Road: 19-12-4 at Home: 18-11-7
PP% 18.7% (11th) 18.5% (12th)
PK 84.5% (5th) 81.8% (17th)

Since you might have just skimmed over it, let me remind you that this game is on CSN+ (which is CLTV in most areas) because the Bulls are playing and hockey don’t get no love.Light the Lamp sums up the Blue Jacket’s season with their Stat of the Day from Tuesday. In the race to the bottom of the standings, the Blue Jackets are stuck somewhere between average and awful.  They sit at 7th worst in the NHL, which puts them out of reach of Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin in the draft and also out of the playoffs.  They are within reach of the (bottom) 3 seed, only 2 points ahead of Tampa, the Isles, and Carolina and one ahead of Florida.  On the other hand, if they were in the East they’d only be 6 points out of the playoffs.  Then again, I think my little brother and his brothers who play street hockey could make the playoffs in the East.

The Blackhawks come into this one after a very strong showing in the Best of the West contest.  This will be a different test.  The Blue Jackets love to trap the life out of teams, mainly due to their lack of offense.  Guys like Versteeg will have to dump and chase which never ends well.  Look for guys who go into the corners to have the best games. Toews, Ladd, Madden should all have good games as long as the Hawks get pucks in deep.  Of course, if the Hawks score early, they’ll force the BJs to come out of their trap and open things up a bit.  But if the Jackets go ahead early, break out the razor blades because you’ll need to be reminded what feeling something is like.

Steve Mason will be in net for the Jackets.  He’s been having a rough sophomore season compared to his Calder-winning rookie year.  His 89.6% Save percentage and 3.18 GAA might be more indicative of playing behind a bad team, but its definitely been a letdown since he led the team to the playoffs last year.

Huet will be in net for the Hawks.  Fork from Hockeenight predicted that Huet would get all the road starts on the Puckcast I was on (I think he’s actually Coach Q).  He probably won’t be tested too heavily, but Rick Nash is always good for a goal against us.  It’ll be interesting to see how well he plays after Niemi won the belt in the Phoenix game.

I don’t want to say any more about this game because I’m dreading having to write a recap against this mind numbing team.

Let’s Go Hawks

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