Mar 24, 2011, 10:08 PM EDT
When the regular season wraps up on Sunday, April 10 one of the highlight games of the day will be NBC’s Game of the Week at 12:30 p.m. ET and it’ll be live from United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The defending champion Blackhawks will take on the Detroit Red Wings in an original six tilt that may be the game that decides whether or not the Blackhawks even make the playoffs to defend their title.
With how tight things are in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks may either be fighting for a chance to host a first round playoff series or fighting for a chance to be in the postseason at all. Having home ice on April 10 will be a major advantage for Chicago but dealing with the likely division winning Red Wings will be tough. Making things more interesting is the teams will have just faced off in Detroit the preceding Friday night.
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith will go into battle with Corey Crawford against Detroit with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom with Jimmy Howard in goal. At least we’ll assume Howard will be in goal. If Detroit’s got nothing to play for in the conference or the division, it’s possible Howard gets the day off. Chicago, however, would seem very likely that they’ll have a lot to play for on the final day of the season, including their playoff lives.
As always, we’ll have NHL Extra for you during the game to hit us with your questions and get our analysis of what’s going on. Consider this game your major league warm-up for the playoffs. Yes, we can’t believe the season is almost over either. Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty more coverage from us come playoff time.
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 8
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 8
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 25
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 40
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 34
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (40)
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal (39)