This has the potential to be a series that catapults a team into Cup contention. The Blackhawks are two years removed from their championship and still possess a lot of Cup caliber pieces. The Coyotes on the other hand are one of the hottest teams in hockey and bolstered by a goaltender who is totally in the zone. I wouldn’t want to play the winner of this one.
-Corey Crawford will draw the tough task of matching the play of Mike Smith across the rink. Crawford wowed a lot of people with his play last year against the Canucks and could do it again.
Corey Crawford vs. the Coyotes in 2011-12: 1-1-0; 4.29 GAA; .830 SV%
Mike Smith vs. the Blackhawks in 2011-12: 3-0-0; 1.30 GAA; .959 SV%
I think we can score that as a definite edge to Phoenix in goal.
- Andrew Brunette and David Bolland were both probable for tonight’s game but only Bolland will be suiting up. Adrian Aucoin was probable for the Coyotes and will play.
Projected Lines (per morning skates)
Patrick Kane-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp-Marcus Kruger-Viktor Stalberg
Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig-Jamal Mayers-Andrew Brunette
Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Nick Leddy
Niklas Hjalmarsson-Sean O’Donnell
Ray Whitney-Martin Hanzal -Radim Vrbata
Mikkel Bodker-Antoine Vermette-Shane Doan
Raffi Torres-Daymond Langkow-Gilbert Brule
Lauri Korpikoski-Boyd Gordon-Taylor Pyatt
Keith Yandle-Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Adrian Aucoin
Rostislav Klesla-Michael Rozsival
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