Blackhawks Start Very Important Three Game Road Trip

Tyler JuranovichCorrespondent IIIMarch 17, 2010

WASHINGTON DC, DC - SEPTEMBER 23:  Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks defends his net against the Washington Capitals during their preseason game on September 23, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With one of their better defenseman out, forcing coach Quennville to switch the lineup just a little but, this three game road trip is a test for the "new" Hawks team.

The Hawks start in Anaheim tonight with, surprisingly, recently recalled goaltender Corey Crawford  in the net. Cristobal Huet has fallen under the weather this week so Crawford, who was called up earlier this week, will take Huet's position as back-up behind Antti Niemi.

Its one game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "That's how we are approaching it.

"It's just a chance for him to get to play. He's played well for a real segment of games down there ... We're only looking at him one game and then we'll see."

Crawford hasn't played a game for the Hawks since the 2007-2008 season against the Red Wings.

"It's kind of weird, I haven't been nervous in a while," Crawford said. "When I got the call yesterday, I was pretty nervous.

The Hawks are near their first Conference title since 1993, but a not so stellar weekend has overshadowed the Hawks 6-3-1 record over the last ten games. The defense has let down the goalies those past two games, and now losing Campbell could doom the Hawks for the rest of the season if the rest of the defense can't pick up the slack.

"Frustrating weekend, considering we got one point instead of four," captainJonathan Toews said after the loss to Washington. "We've got the most skill in the league, on any team. There's no reason, up 3-0, we can't go out and finish the team off."

No doubt it's frustrating, but the Hawks play a much easier team than the Capitals tonight. Anaheims' playoff chances are pretty much gone. They are ten points behind the Red Wings who currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Anaheim have to come out strong against the Hawks, who have a much better record at home (26-7-3) than away (18-11-3).

The Hawks open the trip tonight at 10pm est in Anaheim. Then they pack up and head out to Los Angeles  to play the Kings Thursday night at 10:30pm est. Finally, they close the mini road trip in Phoenix on Saturday at 9pm est.