Kings Come to the Madhouse and the Trade Deadline (sorry its a long post)
After their latest successful road trip (going 3-1), the Mighty Blackhawks will play11 of their final 18 games at the Madhouse. After four much needed days off, the Blackhawks will be aiming for their third win in as many tries over Los Angeles. If you remember the Blackhawks held on for a 3-2 victory on February 17 at the Madhouse after scoring the game's first three goals. The Kings' Mike Richards scored twice in the 3rd period to draw Los Angeles close. The Blackhawks also spoiled the Kings' Stanley Cup celebration with a 5-2 season-opening victory at Staples Center on January 19 so, the Kings are looking for a lil payback tonight. The Kings come into tonight's contest having been been shut out in its past two contests and have lost a season-high three straight on the road. Los Angeles outshot Dallas 40-21 in a 2-0 loss last Thursday and held a 20-13 advantage in a 1-0 defeat to Vancouver two days later. hardworking Frolik has been promoted to the #1 line for tonight's game.
Tonight's Expected Lineup:
Saad Tazer Frolik
Hayes Rat Kaner
Bicks Shaw Stalberg
Bollig Krugs Mayers
Did you know?
1) Captain Serious has posted five goals and four assists in his last six against Los Angeles
2) Kaner has four goals and seven assists during a five-game point streak
3) With a win tonight, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will pass former Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Ron Wilson for sixth on the all-time coaching wins list with 649.
The Trade Deadline…
Stan are you awake? It's right around the corner and if I'm Stan Bowman, I have a shopping list prior to the upcoming April 3rd trading deadline. On my list are strong faceoff/penalty kill guys and a 2nd line center. Like center, Nate Thompson from Tampa, or Mike Ribeiro or Jay Beagle from the Caps. Ribeiro known as Ribs, would be a perfect fit for the Blackhawks. He can win draws and can score (10 goals/34 points). My thoughts are for the Blackhawks to land Ribs, that Razor would be part of the deal as the Caps are in desperate need of help in net.
After dealing Captain Brenden Morrow, the Stars could soon be hanging the “For Sale” sign. I expect the following players to be available from the Stars, winger Jaromir Jagr, center Derek Roy and winger Eric Nystrom, as well as winger Loui Eriksson. Eriksson has proved that he can produce, netting 25-plus in each of his last four seasons and would net a tidy return on investment by virtue of the three years remaining on his contract beyond 2013 at an affordable $4.25 million. However, the Blackhawks really do not need another winger, what they need is a 2nd line center. Out of the bunch of Stars' players possibly available and based on the Blackhawks needing a 2nd line center, Derek Roy would be a good fit as a face-off guy as he is averaging 49% at the dot.
Now to Iggy, that's Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames. We have heard the rumors over the weekend that he has provided the Flames with 4 teams to who he would agree to a trade with. The teams are very strong Cup contenders LA, Boston, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. However, as of last night the teams the Flames are seriously taking offers from are the Blackhawks and LA. In my opinion the Kings have the inside track on Iggy. Former Flames GM and coach Darryl Sutter is now the Kings bench boss, plus they have a promising goalie in Jonathan Bernier to offer up as part of the return. However, late last night it broke (depending on who you listen to) that the beloved has offered Brandon Saad in return for Iggy. Here are my thoughts on Iggy… Do the Blackhawks really need him? I am not sure. Yeah he adds even more scoring depth but I want a true 2nd line center as the Rat (Bolland) is having a terrible year as the second line. The Rat is better utilized on the 3rd line where he can be a pest against opponent's number 1 lines. If the Blackhawks were to acquire Iggy, the playoff lines could be as follows (assumes Hoss and Sharpie are back)
Iggy Tazer Big Hoss (Saad dealt)
Sharpie Rat Kaner
Bicks Shaw Stalberg
Bollig Krugs Frolik
Note that with the addition of Iggy there is no improvement to the 2nd line. Unless of course Stan makes another deal.
Other possibilities… The Blackhawks have had discussions over the last two years with Columbus about center Derick Brassard and winger Derek Dorsett. Also the chemistry between the Blackawks and Winnipeg are very strong, due to Jet GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s ties to the Hawks organization. The Blue Jackets Brassard is having an off year and is struggling at the dot with a 44% faceoff percentage. The problem with the Jets 'player the Blackhawks have coveted in the past is that he has signed a long term deal. This player is center Jim Slater. Another name who might bear watching is center/winger Chris Thorburn, who would be a very low-risk, low-cost pickup and would fill a range of needs on the Hawks’ lower lines and penalty kill. Although the Blackhawks have depth at defense, Lubomir Visnovsky from the Islanders would be a great acquisition to help ignite a power play currently (and for a couple of years now) being run from the point by at best 2nd unit guys.
Lastly, the Blackhawks scouts were at yesterday's Panthers-Islanders game. One more point, the Pens have made two trades in two days acquiring Douglas Murray from San Jose moments ago. Pens are getting serious! Stan are you?
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