Blackhawks hockey returning to your eyeballs soon
This Saturday, February 1st marks the return of Blackhawks' hockey.
The 1st day of the month also kicks off a very difficult schedule for Chicago:
* 14 games in 29 days
* 3 home games / 11 on the road
* 3 back-to-backs
* 10 vs. Western conference teams with 5 of those against Central Division foes
* 9 games vs. team currently in the playoffs (as of 1/30)
This is going to be fun.
The Hawks took to the ice in Arizona today. They should be nice and rested after their 10-day rest.
Dennis Gilbert was recalled as expected to serve as the 7th D, however, Brandon Hagel was not. This is a good sign for Dylan Strome.
Here are what the lines looked like at practice today:
Zach Smith was out for a maintenance day.
So assuming Smith and Strome are both good to go for Saturday's game, what should the lines look like?
Dach looked fantastic in his last game before the break. Give the kid a chance to build off of that by playing with Saad and Kane. Having a better faceoff option on this line would help but maybe give Dach the primary FO responsibility would help him get in a groove.
Whatever the lines end up being, the Hawks better bring it. They will be playing a desperate Coyotes team who lost 4-2 to the Ducks on Wednesday and fell to the LA Kings in a shootout on Thursday.
This will be 3 games in 4 nights for the 'Yotes who have 1 win in 8 games.
They have 58 points which are good for that WC1 spot but Vegas is right behind them (57), as is Nashville (55) after their SO win Thursday.
Both Winnipeg and Chicago sit with 54 points as of Friday morning. So let the scoreboard watching continue for the few weeks leading up until the deadline.
Getting back to Arizona, they have been struggling lately which might coincide with Darcy Keumper going down with an injury. This also might be a good time for the Hawks to play them as they might be a little distracted:
That's not good. Interested to see how that situation shakes out.
That's all I have for now… I'm just happy hockey is back.
See ya out there!