Welcome to the fifth Playoff Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s fifth postseason game on April 25, 2009.
So for like nine straight playoff games, Calgary had a lot of trouble with Nikolai Khabibulin. I don’t have to tell you that (I did anyway, though. Sue me).
But these last two? Yyyyyyyyikes. He’s been putrid. Worse than putrid. He’s been as bad as Miikka Kiprusoff at the end of the regular season. And Chicago is apparently going with him again tonight instead of giving the nod to Cristobal Huet.
From the AP preview of tonight’s game:
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t plan to replace goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin with Cristobal Huet even though the Flames scored 10 goals in the two games in Calgary – one an empty-netter.
Khabibulin has had success against the Flames and was in goal for Tampa Bay when it won the Stanley Cup against Calgary. Some sloppy defensive play by the Blackhawks has made his job even tougher.
“We need to be better and not give them point-blank shots they’ve had and take care of rebounds,” Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, might just cost Chicago this series, the one they should have taken in a walk. Khabibulin quickly went from very convincing in the first two games of the season to a complete and utter mess in the second two, and I can’t imagine not being on the shores of Lake Michigan had THAT much to do with it.
If the Flames can match the physicality of the games in Calgary for another 60, Khabi’s gonna get benched so fast it’ll make his head spin.
The Calgary Flames (the fifth seed in the West) and the Chicago Blackhawks (the fourth seed). The series is tied 2-2 and Calgary leads 14-12 on aggregate.
7 p.m. Mountain time and 9 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should hate good things.
United Center, Chicago, Illinois.
Calgary is now 19-22-2 away from home this year in all competition, and still has yet to win a game in Chicago this season. The Blackhawks were 26-9-8 at the United Center.
What (to hate about the Blackhawks):
Adam Burish — Let’s hope someone sorts out this punk’s problems tonight.
They injured our Bourque! — He probably won’t go tonight, and neither will Connie. Langkow, on the other hand (lol get it?), is good to go.
Lies related to Abraham Lincoln — Illinois refers to itself as “the Land of Lincoln.” Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. So I’m not impressed with you, Illinois.
Hospital shows — For the record, I hate hospital shows. And how many hospital shows are set in Chicago? All of them. “ER,” “Chicago Hope,” “House MD” (I think).. and I dunno, I gotta be missing some. Anyway, they’re always terrible. Sick person comes in -> cure is discovered -> cure is killing the patient -> new cure is found. EVERY EPISODE OF EVERY SHOW.
They got Andre Roy suspended — No one likes a tattle tale.
Because Chicago stinks! Just look at how the Bulls did the other night. Enjoy the game and start thinking about how nice it’ll be up to 3-2 in the comments section.