Two tidbits of news today from Jeremy Rutherford that should put a smile on fans’ faces: David Perron (as mentioned before) will be on the second line with Patrik Berglund and Matt D’Agostini, and the Blackhawks will be starting Ray Emery in net.
The former piece of news has the non-silver lining of Chris Stewart being knocked down to the third line, but the non-silver lining has a silver lining as Stewart will be on a line with Vladimir Sobotka and Jason Arnott. Jamie Langenbrunner is on the fourth line with Ryan Reaves and Scott Nichol. With the first line remaining intact, there are no weak spots in this line-up. The problem of where to place a returning Andy McDonald whenever he gets back in is a good one for coach Ken Hitchcock to have, as it shows how well put together this team is.
The other piece of good news is that Razor Ray Emery is starting in net for the Blackhawks. Emery, in one of the feel good stories of the pre-season, won the Blackhawks’ starting job. So far, though, it’s been rough going for him. He’s 3-1-1, but those three wins came against the Winnipeg Jets (4-3 on October 13th), Columbus Blue Jackets (5-2 on October 29th) and the Calgary Flames (4-1 on November 11th). His GAA is a whopping 3.52, and his save percentage is .877. He allowed five goals against Tampa Bay in the Blackhawks’ 5-4 overtime loss on November 4th, and he let seven goals in on 27 shots against the Edmonton Oilers in their 9-2 drubbing of the Blackhawks on the 19th.
To compare: Emery’s November save percentage was a .851. Tonight’s starter for the Blues, Brian Elliott, has a .961 SV% with two shut outs. Hopefully the Blues can use this to their advantage.