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Game Day: Hawks vs Panthers

March 10, 2023, 7:05 PM ET [153 Comments]
Zach Jarom
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
After dropping a close one to the Redwings on Wednesday, the Hawks are back on the ice for the first game of back to back Florida games. Tonight’s matchup sees them taking on the Florida Panthers who by all accounts have underachieved this season following last season’s Presidents Trophy win. Despite this they still find themselves in the hunt for playoff positioning sitting just 4 points out of a wild card spot. They have had a great stretched of games winning 3 of their last 5 games and only allowing 5 total goals in that span. Coming off a big win against the West leading Golden Knights, having two days of rest, and seeing a weak Hawks line up coming to town; you have to imagine the confidence is high the cats locker room and they are looking to grab these two points to keep their playoff hopes alive.

A big reason for their good stretch of hockey has to be on the shoulders of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky finding his game. In his last 4 starts he has gone 3-1 with a .957 SV% and allowing just one even strength goal in those games. When Bob is on, he is an elite goalie that is going to single handily win his team games. It’s good to see him find his game after it feels like a goalie carousel all season.

For the Hawks it’s just a matter of showing up and just playing the game and just not get blown out. It’s sad that this is the expectation for this team but in reality, it’s all you can really ask for, keep it close and don’t get blown out and let’s have an entertaining game. Since the 08/09 season the Hawks have fared well against Florida with a 18-11-3 record. They also handed them a 4-2 loss back in October at the UC during the shock and surprise run this team had at the get go.

The Hawks are turning to Goaltender Petr Mrazek in this one who is 0-2 in his last two starts but has done everything in his power to help keep these games close as he owns a .914 SV% in those two contests.

Next Up Florida Panthers 32-27-6
Players to Watch

Matthew Tkachuk 28 goals 53 assists 81 points
Carter Verhaeghe 32 goals 23 assists 55 points
Aleksander Barkov 17 goals 36 assists 53 points

Projected Starter
Sergei Bobrovsky 20-17-2 2.93 GAA .907 SV% 1 Shutout

Roster Moves
The Hawks made a couple of smaller roster moves the past few days as they announced they have signed Luke Philp to a one-year two way extension that will see him carry a $775 cap hit. He has been having a good season with the IceHogs putting up 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points in 45 games. He saw a little bit of action with the big club playing in two games and notching his first career point as well.

The other move was the placing of Pavel Gogolev on waivers for the purpose of contract termination. Gogolev came over in the McCabe/Lafferty trade last week.

Not sure about everyone else but I have still been following Patrick Kane after the trade and seeing his slow start out there with the fan base getting very vocal about their displeasure, it was great to see him get his first point and then his first goal for the Rangers.

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