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[Open Thread] Game Forty-Eight: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

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23-21-4
4th in Central Division
13th in Western Conference
25-15-7
3rd in Pacific Division
5th in Western Conference

Welcome to the Tuesday night mystery.  As in it's a mystery which Sharks team will show up, assuming it shows up at all.

The Blackhawks take being streaky to a whole new level.  Note their record over the past sixteen games: four wins in a row, followed by eight losses in a row, followed by four wins in a row.  Aren't there easier ways to go .500?

Chicago's resurgence this year has been led by the young lads Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  Toews is currently out of the lineup with a sprained knee, but Kane has been hot with three goals and three assists in the past four games.  You know, those four straight wins for his team?  Not to be overlooked is how Patrick Lalime has been on a tear of his own lately, allowing naught but five goals in the past four games.

Meanwhile back at the Tank, Evgeni Nabokov has successfully proven a day off can be a most disadvantageous tactical maneuver, as he has been lit up in the past three days.  Yes, it can be argued much of this is due to Kyle McLaren's absence and a corresponding disintegration of the Sharks defensive work ethic, but they're still tallied on his watch.  However, there is a bright side to this equation: the Sharks have defeated the Blackhawks in eight straight games, and Nabokov has kept them well in check.

So who knows what we'll see tonight.  These are Los Tiburones de San José we're talking about.  Hence the reference to tonight being the Tuesday night mystery.  Actually, every game is a mystery with this team.  But hey.  Even with all their issues, they're still in the thick of the playoff chase.