With their shootout victory over the Canuckleheads on Tuesday night, the beloved Blackhawks tied the record for the most successful start in NHL history (earning at least a point in their first 16 games of the season). They surpassed the 1943-44 Montreal Canadiens, who started the season 11-0-3, the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers, who started 12-0-3, and have tied the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks who started 12-0-4. What do all of these teams have in common? Well, as I stated before, they all won the Stanley Cup the year they posted that record. Could the Mighty Blackhawks follow suit? We shall see. The Hawks however currently own the best record to start a season at 13-0-3.
Tonight, the Sharks come to the Madhouse on Madison for the last regular season matchup between the two teams expected to contend for the Western Conference Crown. The Sharks ended an 0-4-3 skid with a 2-1 victory at St. Louis on Tuesday. Both of the teams meetings this season have been testy affairs and if you recall in the last matchup, Captain Serious engaged in a rare fight with the Shark's Joe Thornton. Both teams comes into tonight's game rested and as you know the Hawks are a bit dinged up. While Big Hoss participated in practice yesterday, he will be a game time decision. If Hoss is out, I expect Stalberg to move up to the first line. The Crow, is again out tonight with what is being rumored as a mild concussion. Seabs will return to the lineup after missing a game due to a, umm, severely bruised nut. The Razor mans the pipes again tonight. Although he gave up a soft goal, against the Canuckleheads, he did settle in and deliver a solid performance for his second shootout win of the season. With a victory on tonight over the Sharks, the Mighty Blackkawks will make NHL history with the most dominant start to a season.
Below are the NHL Rankings of the two teams:
Sharks 8-4-3 19pts:
Goals for: 2.47 (22)
Goals against: 2.13 (4)
PP%: 18.9 (11)
PK%: 87.1 (5)
Hawks 13-0-3 29pts:
Goals for: 3.31 (2)
Goals against : 1.94 (2)
PP%: 18.6 (12)
PK%: 87.9 (3) (gave up 2 goals to the Canuckleheads Tuesday)
Did you know:
1) Is Sharpie out of his scoring slump? We shall see as Sharpie has scored in two consecutive games.
2) Duncan Keith has five points in his last three games.
3) Sharks netminder and former Blackhawk Antti Niemi has given up more than one goal just twice in his last six starts.
4) As many of you probably already know, the Hawks practice at Johnny's Ice House but do you know what is written on the the Blackhawks lockerroom walls at Johnny's? Below are a few of the sayings written on those walls:
"To win the game is great. To play the game is greater. To love the game is greatest."
"Don't judge those who try and fail. Judge only those who fail to try."
"Success is a journey, not a destination."
"If you lose,say little. If you win, say less."
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
"If there is no one in your way, then you're not going anywhere."
If the words above don't get you excited for tonight's game, nothing will!
Tonight's expected Hawks lineup
Saad Tazer Stalberg
Sharpie Rat Kaner
Bicks Krugs Shaw
Bollig Meyer Frolik