Photo: The Canadian Press/John Woods

When the backup goaltender debate was raging, the issue I raised (that everyone, and I mean *everyone* called me nuts for raising) was the prospect of injuries. What do you do if one of our top-two goaltenders gets hurt?

While it’s not looking like Corey Crawford isn’t healthy enough to go and more simply getting a night off, Ray Emery will start in net for the Blackhawks after battling the flu much of this week.

Alexander Salak was sent back to Rockford this morning, meaning Crawford will be on the bench with the baseball cap, pretty much indicating he’ll be back in goal against Boston on Saturday.

So while we should be concentrating on the incarnate unicorn in the form of the visiting team, the ressurected Winnipeg Jets borne of the ashes of an Atlanta Thrashers (who?) squad flown north and given snowblowers as part of their relocation package, and the new home for two integral members of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup winning squad from 2009-10; instead part of us will be focused on how Emery performs after a sub-standard preseason performance.

We have the privilege of being the first away game for the newest member of the NHL. Their first tilt was on home ice against Montreal, which let the Jets feel like they were in it until the 3rd period. After that it was all Canadiens, and before a sellout crowd that included the Prime Minister, the Jets fell 5 – 1. So apart from the Thrashers (who?) squad from last year and the one game they have on the books, there isn’t much to go on.

We do know this: there are familiar faces on the roster, and they are doing well in their new home. Former Blackhawks winger and current Jets captain Andrew Ladd leads the charge for the Jets. He posted a career best 29 goals and 59 points with the Thrashers (who?) last season. The hulking blueliner with an “A” on his sweater is former Blackhawk defenseman-turned-winger Dustin Byfuglien, who also set personal best marks with 20 goals, 33 assists, and 53 points.

Add to that youngster extraordinaire Evander Kane (no relation) and a reasonable complement of veteran talent, and you might have a recipe for a decent team. However, last year’s Atlanta squad was fifth-worst in shots allowed, and with the middling goaltending of Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason, that dooms you to a losing record and an April standing tee time.

Another name that should make Blackhawks fans’ ears prick up is Tanner Glass. The former Canucks meathead signed with Winnipeg in the off-season, and was one of the Canucks players Chicago hand grenade Daniel Carcillo called out during his meet-the-media press conference in July. Not to be outdone, Glass was quoted as saying, regarding Carcillo: “He’s a donkey, everyone knows he’s a donkey, that’s just his thing.”

Over/under on those two dropping the gloves currently stands at 1.4 seconds. Personally I think they may have trouble keeping the two of them apart during warm-ups.

Administrative nonsense: Winnipeg with be without the services of Ben Maxwell and Kenndal McArdle due to injury; Chicago wingers Ben Smith and Viktor Stalberg are still on injured reserve as well.

7:30 puck drop at the United Center. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet, and will broadcast live in Canada on TSN. WGN AM-720 has the game on broadcast radio; XM subscribers tune to channel 206; Sirius Premiere customers will find the game on channel 217.

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