Preview/Game Thread: Blackhawks vs. Blues

  

St. Louis Blues (43–28–8) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (34–33–12)

7 p.m. CST
United Center
TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

PROJECTED STARTERS

ChicagoCorey Crawford (14–18–5, save percentage: .907, goals against average: 2.96)
St. Louis Jordan Binnington (22–5–1, save percentage: .928, goals against average: 1.85)

TEAM STATISTICS

Power Play
Chicago (20.7 percent, 11th)
St. Louis (20.3 percent, 15th)

Penalty Kill
Chicago (73.2 percent, 31st)
St. Louis (81.6 percent, Ninth)

Shorts for/against
Chicago (32.5, 12th; 34.5, 30th)
St. Louis (31.6, 15th; 28.5, Fourth)

Shooting Percentage
Chicago (10.0 percent, Eighth)
St. Louis (9.3 percent, 18th)

Faceoff Percentage
Chicago (49.4 percent, T-20th)
St. Louis (51.4 percent, Sixth)

Average height and weight
Chicago 6’1”, 197 lbs.
St. Louis 6’2”, 203 lbs.

PROJECTED LINES/PAIRINGS

Chicago Blackhawks

Drake CaggiulaJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane

Alex DeBrincatDylan StromeBrendan Perlini

Brandon SaadArtem AnisimovDominik Kahun

Chris KunitzDavid KampfMarcus Kruger

Duncan KeithErik Gustafsson

Gustav ForslingBrent Seabrook

Carl DahlstromConnor Murphy

St. Louis Blues

Brayden SchennRyan O’ReillyVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzOskar SundqvistDavid Perron

Pat MaroonTyler BozakRobert Thomas

Zachary SanfordIvan BarbashevAlex Steen

Vince DunnAlex Pietrangelo

Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko

Carl GunnarssonRobert Bortuzzo

Analysis

“Technically still alive.” That was the expression fans everywhere were using to describe the Blackhawks’ playoff chances. However, on Tuesday night, the Colorado Avalanche took care of business and officially eliminated both the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks from playoff contention. The season is officially over for the Blackhawks.

On Tuesday, Dylan Sikura was sent back to Rockford to try and help them save their season by sneaking into the AHL playoffs. After being down 2–0 early in the game, the IceHogs pulled off the big win over the San Antonio Rampage with a 5–3 victory. Dylan Sikura and William Pelletier both scored two goals in the win.

This morning, defenseman Dennis Gilbert was recalled from Rockford and will potentially get a look in the last three games.

The baby Blackhawks are still alive. However, the Blackhawks front office now turns to the draft in June. This offseason is a huge opportunity for the Blackhawks to improve either via trade or free agency. The fan base will find out how this team is trending based on the moves made this offseason.

Although the Blackhawks’ playoff hopes are dead, they can still play spoiler to two of their division rivals in these last three games. Tonight, the St. Louis Blues will be in a three-way tie for first if they capture a win. The Blackhawks can force the Blues into a “visitor’s position” in the playoff bracket and give the Predators (who they will face on Saturday) an advantage with home ice in the first round.

The Blues are still very hot heading into the playoffs. They have won six of their last seven games, with their only loss coming to the New York Rangers last weekend. This team is arguably one of the deepest teams in the league with an incredible defense and a surprising star in net. The Blues have everything it takes for a quality playoff run.

The Blues have been quite a surprise. As of late January, this team was last in the NHL. Now, this team is destined for one of the top five or six records in the league. Credit is due to Craig Berube behind the bench and Jordan Binnington in net. Binnington leads the NHL in numerous categories for qualifying goaltenders and is arguably the leading candidate for rookie of the year. There are some great rookies who will be favored over Binnington in voting, but it is undeniable the impact he has had since being called up earlier this season.

 

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game tomorrow morning on the-rink.com.

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game Thread: Blackhawks vs. Blues

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    Ron Luce
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    St. Louis Blues (43–28–8) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (34–33–12) 7:00 p.m. CST United Center TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN PROJECTED STARTERS Chicago – Corey Crawfor
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