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NHL on NBC: Blues take on shorthanded Blackhawks

Apr 6, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

NBC continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign today when the Chicago Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues at the United Center at 12:30 p.m. ET.

During back-to-back games this weekend, the St. Louis Blues receive tastes of what they could face in second-round series in the 2014 playoffs, assuming they can make it that far.

On Saturday, the Blues were walloped by the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 in a game that became ugly in the end. Now they turn around for a matchup against the Avalanche’s virtually guaranteed first-round opponent in the Chicago Blackhawks, aka the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Granted, the champs might look a little different than most teams and fans are used to seeing. The Blackhawks’ two marquee stars won’t make it into action on Sunday as both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are nursing injuries from a long season that includes a normal 82-game schedule plus the 2014 Olympics.

Chicago’s goal at this point in the regular season is to keep it simple, as the team told CSNChicago.com on Thursday:

“I think if you play the right way, you give yourself a chance (to win),” Head coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think keeping it simple is something that we stressed a lot. And we got ourselves up to speed here tonight. If you have balance, keep yourself mentally aware of what you need to do and play the team system well, everybody compliments each other.”

St. Louis is also likely to play a straightforward game, as that’s the Blues’ preferred style and they’re finishing up a set of back-to-back games, anyway. They’ll be a little shorthanded in their own right, as sniper Alexander Steen is out of action with an upper-body injury today.

Ultimately, it’s about tuning up and improving postseason positioning. The Blues continue to fight for the top spot in the West and the Presidents’ Trophy while the ‘Hawks still have a shot at getting home-ice advantage in the first round against Colorado.

To do so, one of these teams will need to overcome one of their biggest rivals on NBC this afternoon.

  1. jpat2424 - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Blues suck

  2. patshal - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Go hawks

  3. comeonnowguys - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Hmmmmm.

    Quick initial check shows a certain someone was nowhere to be found after her team lost big to the Avalanche. Shocker.

    Chances that she will be instantly on here if and when the Blues beat a team missing Kane and Toews? Very high.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Even better odds are Backes going after Teravainen.

      Nope. Don’t feel good about that one at all.

      • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        Have no fear, TT will be perfectly safe. He’ll be in the press box again today.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Oh, if anyone outside my own head cares, I don’t “feel good” about my half-hearted trolling attempt.

        Big if.

  4. muckleflugga - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    hide your babies, david backes is due in town should he clear his rabies pre-screen

    blues have got a pet monkey who likes to get drunk and sing boogie woogie and it sounds real funky

    come on your turn boy … sing one monkey

    lets hear it for the monkey

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      I can’t even really hate on Backes. Not when Barrett Jackass is still on that team.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Muckle the least you can do is tell us the monkey’s name….

  5. comeonnowguys - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    From Chris Kuc:

    Scratches for #Blackhawks vs. Blues: Toews, Rundblad, Carey, Oduya, Teravainen and Saad.

    Sounds like the biggest phoned-in game since they dressed half of Rockford against St. Louis late last year.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Plus, Blues are without Steen and Miller today.

      Disappointing to have these teams play late in the season on national TV without so many big names.

      Not nearly as fun to watch as it should be.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        It really does feel like a preseason game.

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