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Wings, Hawks, No Datsyuk

February 22nd 2012 00:36
Hockey Battle Preview #006


Detroit Red Wings (41-17-2) @ Chicago Blackhawks (32-21-7)
Location: Chicago, IL, United Center

Last 10 Games:

Detroit Red Wings 8-1-1
Chicago Blackhawks 3-6-1

Season Series: The season series has been extremely tight, all 3 games have finished 3-2, with 2 of the games heading to overtime. Chicago was lucky enough to beat the Wings in the first meeting in regulation but that that has been the only win they can mustard up against the league leading Red Wings. Detroit has managed 2 overtime victories in its last 2 games against the Blackhawks with Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk being the overtime heroes. Todd Bertuzzi got the OT Winner in the last one at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, his heroics in that game gave Detroit its 14th consecutive home victory, their streak is now up to 23 and we will have to wait till Thursday for them to put it on the line against the Vancouver Canucks.

Datsyuk will be out 2-3 weeks after having succesful knee surgery today.

The Story: While Detroit was rattling off a record home streak the Chicago Blackhawks were absolutely plummeting in the west, they had lost 9 games in a row and had look to be heading out of the playoff picture. They caught themselves after coach Joel Quenneville told them to play with more "swagger". The 'hawks have been playing with much more swagger as of late, rattling off 3 wins in a row. Detroit may be in tough tonight, as their road record hasn't been as stellar as their home record this season. 15-15-1 is hardly what the Wings expect it to be at, and with the Blackhawks being the 3rd most successful home team in the NHL expect nothing else but a classic in this Original 6 Central Division match-up.

Red Wings: A couple questions need to be answered tonight by the league leaders, first and foremost how will they respond being on the road. The Wings have only lost 1 game in regulation in their last 10 going 8-1-1, however majority of those games have been at home, however those home wins may jump start the Red Wings to a greater road record, we shall have to wait and see.

Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have to still be under question, after losing 9 in a row 3 wins doesn't get you anywhere. However it is a start, and they are headed in the right direction. Play from their Norris Trophy winning Defensemen, Duncan Keith, has improved lately, hes a 6 in his last 4 games including 4 points. He has to be a leader on the team, and he has to lead on the ice. During their 9 game losing streak Duncan Keith was an atrocious -9 with only 2 points. If the Hawks are gonna be good, it's gotta start on the back end, including their goaltending.

Goaltending for the Blackhawks has been an issue since arguably since Nikolai Khabibulin left Chicago after 2008-09. They thought they had the right piece with Anti Niemi, however after winning the cup he decided to get a pay raise with San Jose, hes now warming their bench. Crawford has struggled since Christmas, he is averaging .898 SV% since then, however in his last 3 games he has shown he may have his confidence back. Winning 3 games in 3 nights including a road win over the Eastern Conference Leaders, the New York Rangers has been a nice step in the right direction.

Who's on Fire: The only player that is really on fire in tonights game is Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg has 11 points in his last 8 games including 7 assists in that stretch. Duncan Keith would be worth mentioning if his /- was a little better, but in the past 2 games he is a 7 with 2 points, we will see if he can get back on the scoreboard tonight.

Injury Report: The biggest injury has to be the absence of Pavel Datsyuk, he had knee surgery today which was successful, however he will miss 2-3 weeks. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador have both been out since Feb. 10 with upper-body injuries.

The Prediction: Expecting a big night from the Blackhawks infront of their own fans. If this game was at the Joe I would be predicting a much different outcome, however I don't see the Wings getting past the absence of their star forward and having a sub .500 record on the road this season, Hawks win 4-2.

Don't forget to follow me on twitter @HockeyBattle and feel free to post comments and questions below.. Whats your prediction tonight?

Something Special

February 14th 2012 20:20
The Detroit Red Wings will take on the Dallas Stars tonight at the Joe. This will be the second time these two teams have met in Detroit this season, with the Wings picking up a 5-2 win in early November. The last meeting between the two clubs in Detroit was the Wings 4th win in their current 20 game winning streak at home. They haven't lost a home game since November 3rd, when they hosted the Calgary Flames, the Flames took the matchup 4-1.

The Wings aren't new to the whole breaking records tradition. They currently hold the record for most wins in a row away from home with 12, and they also hold the record for most wins in a season with 62. This time it's different though, there's always something special about playing at the Joe for any team. It holds such history, great tradition and has to be heralded as one of the most historic rinks still used by a team today in the league.

The Joe Louis has held 6 Stanley Cup finals currently, including 4 wins, and 2 of the game clinching games on home ice. Both other major team records (Most Wins in a season, and most wins on home ice in a row) have come at the Joe Louis, and we are likely to see the Wings take their record breaking 21st win tonight.

The Dallas Stars are currently 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, and haven't won against the Wings yet this season. The Stars (0-2-1 vs the Wings this season) have struggled to get back in the top 8 after falling out, they have to turn things around quick however they will be without Sheldon Souray and their captain Brendan Morrow. Souray is listed as day to day, and Morrow is listed as "out indefinitely".

The Wings will with out a doubt be thinking about the 80 year old record tonight, but even that won't get this veteran team off the task at hand. The Wings are slotted in at #1 in the NHL Currently and look to hold the home ice for the playoffs. Who knows what kind of damage they can do in the playoffs with home ice, but if this trend continues the Joe Louis will likely see its 5th Stanley Cup Banner Raised next October.

Blue Jackets "Per"ish

February 13th 2012 07:14
The Columbus Blue Jackets took on the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night, the 4th time the two clubs have played each other this season, and will likely be the last time they meet until next year. Both teams are likely to miss the playoffs however Anaheim has really turned it on as of late going 6-2-2 in their last 10, and have won 12 of their last 17, also getting atleast a single point in 14 of their last 17. The Anaheim Ducks have to be considered one of the hottest teams coming up to the trade deadline however they are a country mile away from making the playoffs.

The season series has been closer then expected by most, considering the Ducks were a playoff contender before the season had started in early September. However the Blue Jackets have won 2 out of the 3 meetings between the 2 clubs, the ducks going 1-1-1 in the 3 meetings.

Corey Perry fends off two checks on Sunday and nets a hat-trick against the struggling Jackets

Corey Perry has been quite cold as of late, however tonight he showed up and showed up with a bang. The Peterborough native, and ex London Knight came out flying in the first, scoring his fourth goal in his many games against the Blue Jackets this season (He had a Hat-trick against CBJ in a 7-4 win in January). Perry didn't stop there picking up his 2nd goal of the night a little under 15 minutes later on the power play. Perry fed Getzlaf a beautiful pass from the half boards to the point, and right away Getzlaf gave it him back and Perry burried his 25 of the season. Perry then decided to finsh off the hat-trick, against a team he has owned this season. Straight off the faceoff the puck bounced to the side of the net and he buried it on the backhand for his 26th of the year and his 2nd hat-trick of the season and surprisingly only his 4th multi-goal game this year. Stunning for the 26 year old, coming off of a career season last year with 50 goals.

Anaheim's power-play was on fire tonight scoring 3 out of the possible 4 tries, with Perry getting 2 g-notes and Bobby Ryan picking up the other. However their penalty kill struggled giving up 2 goals on 5 attempts against a terrible Columbus Power Play ranked 21st in the league, however at home the Jackets are ranked 16th with 17.3%.

The win for the Ducks puts them 9 points out of a playoff spot with a game on hand on the 8th place Coyotes. Phoenix has won 5 in a row, however they play the defending President's cup champions on Monday the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are considered to be in a "slump" as of late, however many would kill for their kind of slump. The Canucks have gotten atleast a point in their last 9 games, and haven't lost in regulation since Mid January when they faced the aforementioned Anaheim Ducks.

Please don't forget to follow me on twitter for trade rumours, NHL info, and game updates! @Matt_Parnell


January 26th 2012 00:14
Ottawa is set for the 63rd Annual NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, However there are some major headlines regarding this game this year.

First thing is first, some major stars will not be competing in this years NHL All-Star Game, and many are due to some major injuries around the league. However one player has decided to opt out of the game completely stating he thinks he isn't worthy of being there

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Political Hockey

January 25th 2012 23:57
So this story is coming a few days late, but I really couldn't pass up the opportunity to comment and write about this story.

On January 23rd, 2012 the Boston Bruins were invited to join President Barack Obama at the White House. Everyone decided to show up, except for the Conn Smythe winner, and arguably the reason the Boston Bruins have those nice shiny rings

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November 30th 2011 20:32
So I predicted a Pens win last night, and that was not the case, however Crosby had another multi point night. I move to 1-1-0 on the season thus far.

TONIGHT We Preview an Original 6 Matchup

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November 29th 2011 23:02
Hockey Battle #005

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November 22nd 2011 04:10
It was an electric night at the Consol Energy Center tonight, as Sidney Crosby made his long awaited return. The Consol Energy Center errupted as Sidney Crosby was announced in the starting lineup for the Pens'.

It couldn't have been a greater night for his return from his 10 month recovery. Crosby scored 5 minutes into the first period to make it 1-0. The arena blew up, as did the the Penguins bench. Crosby came up through the neutral zone with speed, took the puck wide and roofed it on his backhand. It was like he hadn't missed a beat

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November 21st 2011 18:00

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November 20th 2011 02:52

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