Skip to content

NHL on NBCSN: Detroit pumped to face Chicago

Mar 16, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (65) steals the puck from Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) AP

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

It wasn’t too long ago that the Red Wings and Blackhawks were battling for supremacy in the Central Division. Now the two aren’t even in the same conference and while Chicago remains one of the best teams in the league, Detroit is a squad in transition, trying to rebuild while still somehow extending the 22-season playoff appearance streak.

That might not be such a daunting task for the Red Wings if they were anywhere close to 100 percent, but they’re not. They’re missing their two best forwards in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

By comparison, Chicago only had one significant void in its lineup due to the absence of Marian Hossa (upper body) and it looks like even he’s probable for tonight’s game, per NHL.com. If he returns, Chicago will enter the game with six players that have recorded over 40 points in 2013-14. Detroit will start the contest with none.

Even with the odds so heavily stacked against them, a game against the Blackhawks might do Detroit some good.

“We’re always fired up to play them,” Gustav Nyquist told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a good rivalry.

“You know they’re a great team, they’ve been good for a few years now, so it’s going to be a challenge but we’re looking forward to coming into their building, it’s a fun building to play in.”

While the Red Wings are trying to claw their way into the playoffs, this game isn’t devoid of meaning for the Blackhawks. It’s a given that they’ll advance to the postseason, but they still have a legitimate shot at second place in the Central Division. The only problem is they’re going through a bit of a slump after dropping their last two games and five of their last eight.

“The last couple of (losses) were definitely winnable hockey games. Those are the games that bother us, me more than anybody. We didn’t play the right way to give us a chance to win,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago. Forward Patrick Sharp added that they’ve been falling victim to preventable mistakes.

Just as this match between old rivals might spark Detroit, this could be what Chicago needs to get back on track. One thing is a safe bet: these two points will be hotly contested.

Latest Posts
  1. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Another Leafs collapse ushers in analytics era

    Dec 25, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Leafs practice Getty Images

    2014 was another painful year, but was it also one of progress?

  2. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: St. Louis forces his way out of Tampa Bay

    Dec 25, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Getty Images

    The perfect storm that led to a shocking trade deadline captains swap between two teams looking to make serious playoff runs.

  3. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment

    Dec 25, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    A major letdown in Sochi, followed by the Caps missing the playoffs.

  4. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Canada dominates en route to Olympic gold

    Dec 25, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Carey Price Carey Price

    One of the best performances in international hockey history.

  5. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Quinn, Beliveau pass away

    Dec 25, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Jean Beliveau AP

    Hockey mourned the loss of two of its most respected individuals.

  6. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Canucks and Flames brawl, followed by Torts losing his mind

    Dec 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    It wasn’t the reason he was fired, but it sure was memorable.

  7. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Teemu Selanne retires

    Dec 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    After 22 years, the Finnish Flash called it a day.

  8. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Winter Classic at the Big House

    Dec 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    Over 105,000 descended on Ann Arbor for an unforgettable experience.

  9. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Oshie’s shootout mastery in Sochi

    Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    Even a disappointing Olympic finish can’t erase a star-making moment.

  10. Poile moves to second on all-time GM wins list

    Dec 24, 2014, 8:59 PM EST

    David Poile AP

    Only Glen Sather is ahead of him.

  11. Overtime/shootout drama becoming the norm in Florida

    Dec 24, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    “It’s like a little miracle down here.”

  12. Scoring change gives Nash his first Rangers hat trick

    Dec 24, 2014, 6:40 PM EST

    Nash goal

    The goal was initially credited to Martin St. Louis.

  13. Hextall impressed by Zepp, but cautious when predicting his future

    Dec 24, 2014, 5:54 PM EST

    Rob Zepp Getty Images

    Will he eventually earn a full-time NHL roster spot?

  14. Lightning returns top goalie prospect Vasilevskiy to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 4:31 PM EST

    Andrei Vasilevskiy Getty Images

    His stint with the Lightning was brief, but memorable.

  15. Video: PHT’s top five moments from 2014

    Dec 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Not surprisingly, the Kings feature prominently.

  16. Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’

    Dec 24, 2014, 2:22 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    League rules that Jackman wasn’t expecting to be punched, “nor should he be.”

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (3002)
  2. S. Crosby (2525)
  3. B. Elliott (2381)
  4. C. Perry (2374)
  5. J. Howard (1998)
  1. J. Schwartz (1942)
  2. S. Varlamov (1915)
  3. S. Mason (1793)
  4. T. Johnson (1793)
  5. S. Weiss (1746)