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« Two-Point Diversion: 'Hawks Lose In NY, New Cub Opens Mouth, Words Come Out As the Bulls Turn: Even Zombies Get Hurt Edition »

Blackhawks Wed Mar 03 2010

Trading day counts down as Hawks return home

Today is the NHL trading deadline (ending at 2 p.m. CST, and following last night's 5-3 loss to the Islanders, many are waiting to see if the Blackhawks will make any deals for goaltending, especially as both Antti Niemi and Cristobal Huet let in some softies in the defeat.

While neither goalie is a true top-tier netminder, they've combined to give the Hawks the third-best record in the league, though granted, the duo have been helped by a team that is limiting opponents to a league-low 24 shots a game. Chicago is built to control puck possession and limit chances, while having an overwhelming offensive presence, and so far, that strategy has worked well. Though games often get tighter and defense becomes a priority in the postseason, I'm not fully convinced this team can't succeed with the roster they have.

Chicago made one move last night, bringing in defenseman Nick Boynton from Anaheim for future considerations, and last week saw a minor league deal with the Blues for goalie Hannu Toivonen and defenseman Danny Richmond in exchange for Rockford goalie Joe Fallon. And of course, the Cam Barker for Kim Johnsson trade from before the Olympic break, which will probably be the biggest deal the team makes.

Check back for updates to this post as any potential moves are announced.

In other news, the Blackhawks and their four Olympic medalists will be in action tonight at the United Center against the cellar-dwelling Edmonton Oilers, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet. Edmonton's 44 points is 17 behind the next closest team, in a season that has seen injuries and poor play turn the Oil into a disaster. Edmonton's won just 4 of thier last 30 games since Dec. 14, and lost 4-3 in Nashville last night, picking up where they left off before the Olympic break.

Following the Hawks disappointing return to the ice last night in Long Island, expect the team to come out fired up in front of the home crowd, and the woeful Oilers provide a great opportunity for Chicago to refind their mojo and focus on what will be a tough upcoming strech of games in the condensed last-month schedule.

Beginning Friday when the Blackhawks welcome the Vancouver Canucks to town, 8 of their next 9 games are against playoff-bound teams as of today, including a pair of games against the L.A. Kings and a tough back-to-back at Philadelphia and hosting the league-leading Washington Capitals on next weekend.

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