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Monday, October 26

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Blackhawks Fri Dec 11 2009

Sabres pose staunch test for Hawks

While some of the mainstream media is trying to build tonight's Blackhawks-Sabres game into the latest gossip due to Patrick Kane's return to his hometown scene of the crime, but it will also be a matchup with a talented team and the league's hottest goalie. In a lesser storyline to the one above, it's also the first time back in Buffalo for Brian Campbell, who spent eight seasons with the Sabres before being traded in Feb. 2008 and ultimately signing with the Hawks that summer

After firing 41 shots at the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist before a brekaway overtime goal by Dustin Byfuglien gave the Hawks a 2-1 win Wednesday, Chicago now finds themselves facing Buffalo's Ryan Miller, who leads the league in goals against average (1.82) and save percentage (.938). In a stretch where the Blackhawks offense has cooled considerably, scoring more than 2 goals only once in the past 6 games, solving Miller will be a tough test for the forwards (assuming he gets the start in the first of a back-to-back sequence for the Sabres).

The Sabres are stingy as a whole on defense, giving up only 2.21 goals a game (though the Hawks are tied for 1st at 2.14) , and their penalty killing is 3rd in the league at an 85.4% rate. Chicago leads the league with 6 short-handed goals and is 6th on the penalty kill, so the first team to break through on special teams may end up victorious.

Despite the scoring lull, the Hawks have still been winning games, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 to stay 3 points ahead of Nashville in the Central Division. Chicago has also proved dominant over the Eastern Conference this season, going 5-0-1, but only one of those games has been on the road. In fact, the Hawks are making the trip to Buffalo for only the 2nd time in the past 7 seasons, where the Sabres have gone 10-5-2 so far this season. The Blackhawks also face an Eastern team Sunday, when they return home to face Tampa Bay.

Last thing, Kaner, win or lose...just please take the bus back to the hotel tonight.

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V / December 13, 2009 8:07 PM

I think Kane is just a lowlife thug for assaulting that cab driver. Shameful that so many NHL players supported Kane when they were questioned about it. Violence should never be condoned the way it has been by these athletes!

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