Hockey, Hockey, Blackhawks Hockey
What an amazing feeling it was to watch hockey last night. I caught some of the Leafs/Habs game, as well as scouted the Oilers as they took on the Flames.
The one thing I will say that it was such a great feeling to see hockey on TV with my eyeballs, there were some blunders with the broadcast.
I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll say this, however, let's limit the complaints in terms of what we see as the final product on TV and/or hear on the radio. It's a hard job as it is and these broadcast and producer are in unchartered waters as well and they are doing the best they can as they get up to speed.
Moving on to a couple of notes from the Oilers/Flames game and how it relates to the Blackhawks.
Mikko Koskinen took the net for Edmonton so it sounds like he is your starter in game #1 unless Coach Tippett throws a Mike Smith-sized curveball.
Also, the game had an edge. There was some physical play from both teams, just ask Erik Gustafsson:
Lastly, the Blackhawks MUST stay out of the box if they want to have a sliver of hope against the Oilers. Their PP looked amazing last night.
Now, it's the Blackhawks turn tonight to play a real hockey game. Well, not real, it's still exhibition, but real enough for me.
All eyes will be on the Blackhawks' net and if Corey Crawford is there.
I suspect there is a good chance #50 starts the game. Will he play the entire game? Who knows, but he needs to see some NHL shots in an NHL game if he's going to get tossed into a playoff series.
If Crawford is there, it will be telling who his backup is sitting on the bench. Whomever is there would indicate that they have won that position and the next best chance of actually playing in a playoff game should Crawford falter or appear not ready.
In terms of the rest of the lineup, Colliton mentioned everyone participated in full practice yesterday. However, I wouldn't be shocked it Connor Murphy gets some extra time off as he did at the beginning of this 2019-20 season when the Hawks traveled to Europe. Groins are finicky things (there's a joke to be had here) and Murphy is a much-needed piece on the backend so I'd be cautious if I was Colliton.
Other than that, I would expect this tonight:
Why do I have Sikura and Carlsson in there? Well, looks like each team can dress 13 forwards and 7 dmen in these games. Those are my guesses for the extras.
QUESTIONS? I'll call this out again, if you have any questions about the upcoming series with the Oilers, Edmonton's players, etc. please let me know now.
I will be speaking with Sean Maloughney, Oilers writer here at HockeyBuzz to get his take on his team.
PM me with your questions by EOD and I'll include them when I talk to Sean.
Enjoy the game tonight, everyone!