The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks currently sit four points out of the playoffs. They're 3-5-2 in their last ten games. Every one of their games from now until the end of the season is a playoff game for them, so they're going to play like a desperate hockey team. The Penguins will have to match that intensity today.
Know your enemy: Blackhawks Down Low
The first line certainly came to play and they played extremely well. We’re lacking that kind of effort and world beating from the other lines. Granted, the fourth line, appearing once per period, will have a harder time making an impact, but I don’t see the same fire as the first line. The physical effort seems to be there, but the mental I WILL NOT LOSE TO YOU state doesn’t seem to be there for more than 4-5 players and that won’t cut it. Time for ALL of us to realize, this team very possibly could not be a playoff team.
Season series: N/A
Last meeting: December 5th, 2009 - Blackhawks Won 2-1 [OT]
What we said in our recap:
First off, having Crosby in this game probably would not have made a difference. More than two-thirds of NHL teams don't have a Malkin or Crosby, let alone two of them. Complaining the Pens were missing one of their superstars means you're a whiny bitch. Blackhawks goalie Antfarm was lights out. It took the Pens having 6 guys on the ice and an unconventional faceoff setup to even tie the game. If antfarm didn't do coke before the game, the Pens win this one skating away.
Just think what a Pens-Blackhawks SCF would be like. The last two seasons, the Pens have gotten to the Finals and essentially had to play down to Detroit's boring game. That's not to say the past two Finals haven't been exciting, but Pens-Blackhawks would be edge-of-your-seat hockey every minute of every game.
"Complaining the Pens were missing one of their superstars means you're a whiny bitch."
Don Cherry still hates Mario Lemieux.
Tim Wallace has been called up.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has been released from hospital and is recovering at home.
Patrick Kane says he's not partying too much.
The highest-scoring Pens line in the last 10 regular season games is Kennedy-Staal-Sterling with four points. Wow.
Favorite Blackhawks-related Photoshop or gif:
Not a Photoshop and Versteeg is a Flyer now, but whatev..
Penguins lines from Empty Netters:
Brett Sterling - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Craig Adams - Tyler Kennedy
Mike Rupp - Max Talbot - Chris Conner
Ryan Craig - Joe Vitale - Tim Wallace
Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Alex Goligoski - Deryk Engelland
Blackhawks Lines also from Empty Netters:
Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Michael Frolik - Dave Bolland - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Tomas Kopecky - Troy Brouwer
Victor Stalberg - Jake Dowell - John Scott
Duncan Keith - Nick Leddy
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Brent Seabrook
Jordan Hendry - Brian Campbell
"Where's the rescue squad?"