The Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets resume their season on the ice in Columbus tonight. And according to the weather forecast for Columbus and vicinity, that might be literally true, both inside and outside Nationwide Arena:
Tonight...Freezing rain and rain in the evening...then rain... Freezing rain with isolated thunderstorms after midnight. Ice accumulation of up to one quarter of an inch. Lows around 30. Temperatures rising into the mid 30s after midnight. East winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
As of this writing, the game is still on. Precipitation is still many miles from Columbus, though by game time, it might be on the doorstep of the city.
In the meantime, the Blackhawks have a tough road in the second half of the season. Of their 32 remaining games, only 12 are at home. However, of the 20 road games, six of them are right now -- on the current "Disney On Ice" trip which has the Hawks away from the United Center until Feb. 16. If they can hold their position in the Western Conference -- or improve it -- by then, the home/road split is much more even.
The break certainly helped the Hawks get healthy, something they really haven't had all season. Marty Turco will get the start in goal tonight, if for no other reason than the Hawks are paying him a lot more than they're paying Corey Crawford and they want to keep him fresh.
The game begins at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.