by Vince Maranto on 09/30/11 at 11:00 AM ET
The Hawks continue their pre-season schedule tonight with a home game at the United Center. The game against the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin at 7:30 (Central). It can be seen locally on CSN-Chicago as well as being heard on WGN radio, 720. Ray Emery is expected to be in net for the entire contest as the battle for Corey Crawford’s back-up continues. Both Emery and Alexander Salak have played well, but I still give the edge to Salak being younger and actually having a contract. (Emery is here on a try out basis) Being a home game, we should see most of the starters - who aren’t injured, (more on that in a minute). Hossa and Kane made their debut against Detroit, at home, on Wednesday, with both contributing a goal in the 4 - 3 win.
Currently out is Patrick Sharp, (out since September 12, emergency appendectomy), who is rumored to start practicing today. Viktor Stalberg left the game against the Wings with a lower body injury in the first period and will likely miss three weeks according to Quenneville.
“Stally’s looking at three weeks. He seemed okay this morning, but that’s probably what we’re looking at.
“He had a great camp. He was skating well and had a little something going there on Johnny’s line. We don’t expect him to be too far away from coming back in terms of conditioning (once he recovers)”, Coach Q said yesterday.
Ben Smith was knocked out of the game in the 3rd period by Wings Brandon Smith (you hate to see Smith on Smith crime) with a shot to the head. It resulted in a 5 minute major and ejection. The league, which has handed out at least 7 suspension so far this pre-season, should add another one here. According to Coach Q who said,
“Ben’s okay… I guess okay. We don’t want to put a timeline on him. It’s tough to say [when he could return].”
Dave Bolland has an upper body injury that is unrelated to last year’s injury which kept him out at the end of the season until his big return against Vancouver in Round 1 of the playoffs.
All of this is of course bad news for those players but possibly the break the two Brandon’s, Saad & Pirri, need to see more playing time. Both of them, 18 & 21 years old respectively, have looked good throughout camp.
Finally, Dan Rosen from NHL.com is picking the Hawks to be the team to come out of the West this year. He cited Crawford in goal, as well as the core players being the reason. So much for predictions, we’ll see.
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