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Gamethread #4 - Hawks @ Flames

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Next Game

Chicago Blackhawks
@ Calgary Flames

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009, 7:00 PM PDT
Pengrowth Saddledome

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Overshadowed by all the trash talking antics and discussion of potential suspensions is the fact that this contest tonight is extremely important for both clubs: CHI can go up 3-1 and take a stranglehold on the series. The Flames, in contrast, can even things up at 2 and make this thing a best of 3.

Calgary played a better game on Monday but I don't think they've given the Hawks their best shot yet. Calgary's top 6 forwards haven't really done anything at ES in this series and we know that the likes of Langkow, Iginla and Cammalleri have it in them to do some damage. I'd include Bertuzzi in that group, but the dude's an anchor by pretty much all measures: sore thumb has 1 goal 4 points in his last 20 games played, he lagged behind most of the forwards in terms of corsi all year and he got scored on a lot. He's looked better than terrible at certain portions of the first few games, but many of the annoying habits that make him a liability (inopportune, needlessly complicated passes, bad decisions) have persisted. Of Calgary's top 9 skaters from Iginla to Glencross, I'd like to see Bertuzzi get the least amount of ice. But we all know that's not going to happen, so let's just hope the puck happens to bounce off the big guy and into the net at some point.

Notes:

- Kane is back in this evening. Expect the Flames to target him every time he's on the ice.

- Bourque skated this morning and is a "game time decision". I fully expect him to play.

- Lots of talk about the Hawks "awakening" Iginla by infuriating him at the end game 3. Let's hope so. Iginla, in many ways, has been one of the worst Calgary forwards 5on5 thus far.

- the Flames have taken way more penlaties than CHI so far (18-10 I believe). A trend they should try to reverse starting tonight.

- Will Jokinen build on his play from last game or fall back into obscurity?