The Blackhawks play their second afternoon game in a row -- highly unusual in the NHL -- due to today's Presidents Day holiday. The quick trip to St. Louis will be followed by a well-deserved two days off, as they won't play again until Thursday.
This is also an important game, as the Hawks lead the Blues by only three points, and even with their shootout win over the Penguins yesterday, they still need all the wins they can get. The bunchup in the Western Conference shows no signs of abating. Only nine points separate 13th place from fourth, and if the Blues win today, they close that gap to seven (and only one behind the Blackhawks).
Coach Joel Quenneville, released from the hospital Saturday afternoon, will miss yet another game recovering from bleeding ulcers. There's still no word on when he'll return; Thursday's game is another road contest in Nashville. It seems likely that Corey Crawford will again get the start in goal, but nothing official has been announced.
The game begins at 1 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN (Chicago only).