Game-Day Preview: Minnesota Wild @ Blackhawks

February 16, 2011

7:00 PM CST

Versus, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, WGN Radio 720

Minnesota Wild
Record:
30-21-5
Points: 65
Conference Standing: 9th
Northwest Division Standing: 3rd

vs.

Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 28-22-6
Points: 62
Conference Standing: 11th
Central Division Standing: 3rd

The enemy’s G9 Sports site: None

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The Blackhawks are finally home from their six game road trip and set to kick off a three game home stand starting with the Minnesota Wild.

Ending the trip 2-2-2, the Blackhawks did little to help themselves in the playoff picture as losses combined with the teams they’re chasing for a playoff berths winning have left the them stuck in the 11th spot.

This is the third of four match-ups between the Blackhawks and Wild. The Blackhawks took the first game 3-1 while the Wild took the last meeting at the United Center 4-2.

The Wild are in a somewhat similar spot to the Blackhawks as currently they’re tied with the LA Kings for the 9th spot in the Western Conference just on the outside looking in. Prior to their most recent loss to the best of the west, the Vancouver Canucks, the Wild were on a four game winning streak and have only lost three times in their last 12 match-ups.

Forgive me if you’ve heard this before, but the Blackhawks simply need any and all points in the push for a playoff spot. If they want to control their own destiny of making the playoffs and avoid too much scoreboard watching, they simply have to win and keep winning.

It’ll be no easy task tonight as Patrick Kane will  play tonight after missing practices battling the flu and Head Coach Joel Quenneville in the hospital making Mike Haviland the Blackhawks bench boss.

The Blackhawks need an effort to show everyone that they aren’t going to go down without a fight and avoid giving up precious points to a team battling right along with them for a spot in the post-season.

Do it for Q.

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Previous Game

Minnesota lost to Vancouver 4-1 last night

Chicago lost to Phoenix in a shootout 3-2 on Saturday

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Injury Report

MIN: Defenseman Marek Zidlicky (shoulder) is day-to-day but did not travel with the team to Chicago.  Defenseman Marco Scandella (concussion) and forward Guillaume Latendresse (abdominal) (wild.nhl.com). Goalie Josh Harding (ACL/MCL) and  forward James Sheppard (knee) are out. (nhl.com)

CHI: Forward Patrick Kane (flu) despite missing two practices is playing tonight after having IVs after this morning. Forward Ryan Johnson (upper body) is said to be out but participated in the morning skate and targeting a return Saturday against the Penguins. Forward Fernando Pisani (head) is said to be questionable but was reported as absent from the morning skate. (blackhawks.nhl.com) (@TramyersCSN)

Coach Joel Quenneville will not behind the bench tonight as he was hospitalized for an undisclosed illness.

The Blackhawks’ team physician Dr. Michael Terry statement on Q: “He’s in stable condition and being treated for undisclosed health concern… not of cardiac nature.”

Assistant Coach Mike Havliand will act as head coach in Quenneville’s absence. (CSN Chicago)

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Quoted

Clayton Stoner, MIN: “It’s definitely frustrating. We’ve been playing so well. It wasn’t a real fast game, the first period. I feel like the second half of the game, we dominated. We deserved a better fate for sure.” on the Wild’s last game against Vancouver. (nhl.com)

Brian Campbell, CHI: “We should be able to handle it; we’ve had to adapt to different situations. Obviously there are differences not having (Quenneville) around, but you have to adapt and I think right now, with our position, we have to worry about tonight’s game. Joel’s in the best hands and that’ll take care of itself. (CSN Chicago)

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Stats

Image: blackhawks.nhl.com

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