The Blackhawks got their "circus trip" off to a good start in Edmonton on Wednesday night with a 5-0 shutout of the Oilers, their first shutout of the season. Shutouts seem to be in vogue this week for Chicago teams, with the Bears' shutout of the Dolphins Thursday night (their first since 2006), so perhaps the Hawks can do the same tonight in Calgary against an injury-depleted Flames squad.
The Flames have three key players on injured reserve: Ales Kotalik (knee), Raitis Ivanans (concussion) and Adam Pardy (shoulder) all on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are now back at full strength after missing Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland and Brian Campbell for varying lengths of time. This should go a long way toward having the Hawks get some consistency in their lines, something they've clearly been missing in their struggles so far this season.
It's a propitious time for the Hawks to have this meeting; they swept the Flames (4-0) last year and Calgary has lost seven of its last eight games to rank 14th in the Western Conference. The Flames made a trade just two days ago, acquiring Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos for Ian White and Brett Sutter, so they haven't yet worked the new players into their lineup.
Tonight's game begins at 8:30 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.