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NHL on NBCSN: ‘Hawks host Sharks in Western battle

Jan 5, 2014, 9:25 AM EST

Duncan Keith, Patrick Marleau AP

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks at the United Center at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

You can’t ask for much more out of a Sunday night game than what Chicago and San Jose will bring tonight.

The Blackhawks have earned points in nine straight games going 6-0-3 over that stretch. Patrick Sharp has been the focus of their success of late as he tries to get Hockey Canada’s attention for a spot on their Olympic team. Sharp has two hat tricks in five games and has climbed to second in the NHL in goals with 25, trailing only Alex Ovechkin.

Don’t suppose he’d fit in nicely with Jonathan Toews in Sochi, would he?

With Sharp second in the league in goals and Patrick Kane second in points (behind Sidney Crosby), the Blackhawks’ offense is one to be feared. They’re tops in the league in goals and have four players with more than 40 points (Sharp, Kane, Toews, and Duncan Keith). When you mix in Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad and their 15 goals apiece, it’s a daunting task to slow them down.

If there’s a team that can hang with them offensively, it’s the Sharks.

San Jose is fourth in goals scored and they have one of the premiere playmakers in the game in Joe Thornton. His 42 assists are tops in the NHL and he comes into tonight’s game on a seven-game point streak in which he’s got no goals and 11 assists during.

Guys like Patrick Marleau (19 goals), Joe Pavelski (18 goals), and Logan Couture (14 goals) have been reaping the benefits of Thornton’s passing to lead the Sharks. You can throw rookie Tomas Hertl and his 15 goals into the mix as well, but he’s out with an injured knee.

All these prolific offenses do is put the onus on Chicago’s Corey Crawford and San Jose’s Antti Niemi to be at their best to try and slow things down. Crawford is still angling for a spot on Team Canada and Niemi will likely be on Team Finland for the Olympics, but you couldn’t ask for a better way to audition than to slow down each team’s high-powered offense.

  1. muckleflugga - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    ooh ooooh…decisions decisions…?

    do i bring in my tiny mite team for the game so they can watch and pick-up minted in gold hockey pointers from eddie oldchick errr eddie olch hick errr eddie olzzxk err eddie olczyk…whatever…?

    or watch the nbc short track olympic trials where one might see real speeeeeed and real contact

    short track…yes…that’s a big fer shuur good buddy!

    most canadian kids from the age of six onward can conduct hockey clinics of their own…keep pierre and eddie where they’re needed

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      I for one appreciate Eddie O’s dedication to helping kids learn more about the game of hockey. That being said, sometimes he’s too much of a homer when he calls Hawks games.

      Of course sometimes his mind is focused entirely on horse racing….

      I’ll take Seabiscuit in the 3rd! Screw the trifecta, I never get ‘em right!

  2. muckleflugga - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    blackhawksdynasty

    i like eddie too…there are worse –read sportsnet– homer he is, but most of them are

    pierre drives me crazy with irrelevant banter…need to summarize college connections on any play of significance is in my mind, an insult to fans while pandering to need to promote college programs…same deal in football broadcasts, but they do the college ties in the lineup summaries at least

    both eddie and pierre and mike slobber over the ownership and management connections…it’s revolting…kiss-ass noise…self-important self-promotion some might call the big suck-up…ditto nfl calls

    inside jokes about personal connections or accomplishments…who cares if olczyk owns and plays race horses…maybe one reference when he has a horse in a big race, but game in and game out…?

    they’re paid to broadcast the games, enrich what we see

    nothing else

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Agreed. Spot on assessment Mr. Flugga.

      Maybe nbc should consider hiring us old guys to stand between the benches and offer our 2 cents….

      I wouldn’t mind having that vantage point, but something tells me we’d be a little too weird for most audiences…

      Worst case scenario, there’s always the Vancouver green men…but I don’t know if they can talk

  3. muckleflugga - Jan 5, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    blackhawksdynasty

    too right…you and i both know where the real hockey experts lurk…damn chains are starting to chafe…say nurse, can you ease these buckles…more gruel…please…?

    i’d not throw too much dirt on eddie or mike, i rather enjoy both, mike particulary…he makes icing sound like armageddon…we overdosed on pierre during his tsn days north of 49…nuff said

    i like your hawks to repeat…scary when they’re feeling it…will they manage to stay healthy…it seems everyone’s running kane and sharp and toews

    problem is, when your team is rich with skill during olympic years, the boys will be playing a lot more hockey than lesser teams inclined to goon it up down the stretch or in the post season

    these are years when durability is a cherished asset

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jan 5, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Your appreciation is appreciated

      No doubt injuries are the Hawks’ greatest fear….and your point about the Olympics and aftereffects is a very good one….fingers are crossed

      Hopefully your Wings will get their first taste of the EC playoffs this year, as the SC playoffs wouldn’t be the same without the Winged Wheel….

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Jan 5, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    BHD and Muggle, enjoyed your exchange.

    Quick though on the game – with the Sharks having played last night on the west coast playing th Hawks at home, odds are Hawks win a good game.

  5. jhaegs - Jan 5, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    I wonder how the attendance will be with the recent storm. We got about 12″ in STL, and it started snowing not long after I left the game last night. It was a packed house again, but a lot of people were worried the snow would come during the game. Not to mention, the wind chill will be about -30* come gametime.

    Props to the fans that show up tonight, and I’m sure it will be a great game regardless. Be safe out there…

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jan 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      So far attendance looks good (although snow has my HD signal lost in oblivion)

      I’d love to be in my usual seat, but alas, Mother Nature had other ideas. Would have been a long and treacherous drive from here in SW Michigan.

      Taxi!!!

      • jhaegs - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        Ya it’s about a 35min drive to Scottrade, and we got home right as the heavy stuff came down. I may be able to see your seat, as there aren’t many empty ones! ;)

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