Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The Chicago Blackhawks were once the marquee team in the NHL. They were the envy of every team in the league with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. They still have that core but now, years older and making significantly more money, the Blackhawks are a shell of their once dominate selves.
But they've looked just fine to start 2018-19, and now have No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford back in the mix.
Artemi Panarin faces off against his old team and with each growing day this trade looks more and more favorable for the Blue Jackets. Panarin continues to be the leader offensively for the Blue Jackets with nine points in six games, while Saad has been dropped in the Blackhawks lineup and has just two points. He has also seen a major reduction in ice time down, over a full minute from last season.
The Jackets, who had everything rolling against the Philadelphia Flyers, will need that scoring to continue. They are still dealing with some uncertainty in net with Sergei Bobrovsky, but he is expected to get the start tonight.
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Foligno – Wennberg – Duclair
Jenner – Nash – Anderson
Milano – Sedlak – Bjorkstrand
Werenski – Savard
Murray – Nutivaara
Harrington – Kukan
- Seth Jones won’t be returning to the lineup tonight but he is getting very close. He participated in a full practice Friday and was cleared for some light contact.
- John Tortorella was recently named as the sixth best coach in the NHL. Tonight, he opposes one of the five above him in Joel Quenneville. Tortorella has more weapons at his disposal than Quenneville and with last change, Tortorella should have the coaching edge.
- The play of Sonny Milano. Milano had his best game of the season on Thursday. He scored a goal and drew two penalties to boot. Tortorella has mentioned he wants to try and give Milano some more ice and it will be interesting to see if Milano gets it.
- The next wave. The Blackhawks, as expected, are being led offensively by Toews and Kane who in six games have 10 and eight points respectively. They are also getting strong starts from their young players in Alex DeBrincat who is tied with Toews for the team lead with 10 points. They have also got some unexpected production from 19 year old defensemen Henri Jokiharju.
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