Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Most of you noticed the cavernous silence coming from Cheer The Anthem following the pair of weekend losses that shall be known henceforth as “The Alberta Ass-Whooping of 2011.” Between the two games, we were out-scored 14 – 4. That’s a High School JV football game.

The net effect was like a nature special with hyenas tearing apart a carcass: what could we say? Edmonton in particular was like watching a game of dodgeball between a class of fourth-graders and the University of North Carolina basketball team. Lambs to the slaughter.

Weekends like those are when being a blogger sucks the worst. You can’t talk up the positives, because there weren’t any; you don’t want to jump on the bring-up-the-IceHogs-and-fire-the-coaches bandwagon, because you know in a week they’ll be lighting up goalies like artificial Christmas trees. So what do you say?

Nothing. There’s nothing to say. All you can do is look forward, and that time is here. It’s game time again, tonight at the Shark Tank. San Jose awaits.

The Sharks made waves this off-season by trading away one third of their top line, sending Dany Heatley to the Minnesota Wild for (and this is where you go. “They did WHAT?!?”) oft-injured and underperforming winger Martin Havlat.Looks like somebody traded his Porsche for a Corvette that the owner swore was a Ferrari.

It is evident that Minnesota got the better of that exchange, with Heatley keeping pace with his offensive performance, and Havlat notching just one goal and 8 assists — while already missing 4 games due to injury — so far this season. I just hope Minnesota Head Coach Mike Yeo sent out the memo to players about not letting Dany give you a ride home from the bar.

But it’s not as if San Jose is hurting for offense. Forwards Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and youngster Logan Couture have combined for 32 goals and 72 points in the Sharks’ first 18 games. Those four will give the Blackhawks plenty to deal with on the defensive side, but we have a slight advantage looking at us from between the San Jose pipes.

Stanley Cup-winning former Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi will be in goal tonight, so with luck his former mates (including Jamal Mayers, who played with him on the Sharks last year) can use that first-hand knowledge of his weak spots to victimize the fickle Finn — who isn’t having a particularly good start to his season. Backup Thomas Greiss has a worse record, but better stats than Niemi while taking about one-third of the starts.

On the Blackhawks’ side, injuries remain the story of the day. Both Michael Frolik and Brent Seabrook are still questionable for tonight: Seabrook did not practice today, and Frolik was running drills as the extra forward, suggesting that he will sit on Wednesday. But further complicating factors, this morning’s practice took place absent Dave Bolland as well.

But the picture got clearer in the post-game presser: Bolland just had the morning off, Frolik is likely to play, and Seabrook is a game-time decision they will make after he takes warm-ups. So the ranks might be fully replenished for this evening’s game: let’s just hope that Head Coach Joel Quenneville has gotten this John Scott nonsense out of his system, and puts hockey players on the ice — instead of fucking Big Bird.

Late start tonight, 9:30pm Central for the puck drop. Comcast SportsNet has the TV coverage; WGN AM-720 has the game on broadcast radio; XM subscribers, the game is on channel 213 for you; and Sirius Premiere customers should look for the game on channel 214.

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