John Jaeckel: Sharks at Hawks Gameday Preview

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San Jose Sharks @ Chicago Blackhawks

7PM Central/5 Pacific

CSN-CA, WGN

THE BUZZ

The Hawks at 7-6-1 are coming off an incredibly disappointing loss to the Capitals at home Friday night. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, everything fell apart late in the second period, where the Caps scored three goals in 5 minutes.

Then the Hawks couldn’t solve Braden Holtby the rest of the way. Two home points lost to a mediocre team.

The Sharks, at 8-5-2, are coming off a win last night in Dallas.

I wouldn’t read “punishment” into Marian Hossa moving to the third line. Let’s bear in mind, Bryan Bickell is now on the second line, which would seem like an undeserved reward. Rather, it appears Joel Quenneville is looking for balance and chemistry on all four lines. That said, one has to wonder how long Jeremy Morin, with 0 points in 11 games, will hold a roster spot while 2011 first round pick Mark McNeill (hat trick last night, 9 goals total) is ripping it up at Rockford, along with fellow 2011 draftee Philip Danault, and playing the kind of hockey the Hawks need more of from their forwards.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Nieto Thornton Pavelski

Marleau Couture Wingels

Hertl Sheppard Kennedy

McGinn Desjardins Burish

Vlasic Braun

Mueller Burns

Irwin Demers

Niemi

Chicago

Versteeg Toews Kane

Bickell Shaw Saad

Smith Kruger Hossa

Morin Richards Regin

Keith Seabrook

Oduya Hjalmarsson

Van Riemsdyk Rundblad

Crawford

Back tomorrow with a recap,

JJ

This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.