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News Preview: Blackhawks vs. Coyotes

02/05/2010 3:32 PM

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We’ve seen what the Chicago Blackhawks are capable of against a middling team. What to do, then, as one of the NHL’s hottest skates into town?

Chicago played down to the level of their Central Division rival St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, hitting the snooze button for much of the second period and letting precious points slip through their gloves. The club was forced to attempt to acquit itself afterwards with a half-hearted “long road trip letdown” defense, which will sound more Lionel Hutz and less Atticus Finch unless the team skates to a convincing win Friday.

Not that such a win will be an easy task. The streaking Phoenix Coyotes have come howling into town, winners of five straight and eight of their last 10. And those two losses were no playing-down affairs, as they came at the hands of division-leading clubs like the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres.

Read Brett Ballantini's complete Blackhawks vs. Blues preview.