DETROIT – Christian Ehrhoff will make his debut with his new team and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks face the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
Ehrhoff, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, will play with Trevor van Riemsdyk tonight. It’s a chance at a fresh start for Ehrhoff.
“It’s a great opportunity with a great team, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Ehrhoff, who has gotten a few practices in with the Blackhawks heading into this game. “It’s a little bit of an adjustment, playing-wise, a different system. Coach [Joel Quenneville] has talked to me a lot and it’ll be a work in progress. But I have a pretty good idea what’s expect and go from there.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Meanwhile Dale Weise, who the Blackhawks got from the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, should meet the team in Detroit tonight. Quenneville said Weise will not play against the Red Wings but there’s “a very good chance” Weise faces the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
The Blackhawks enter tonight’s game sitting atop the Central Division with 83 points – the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues also have 83 points, but the Blackhawks have the most regulation/overtime victories (38). It’s going to be an interesting stretch run.
“You’re watching,” Quenneville said of the standings. “You’re looking at the schedule, their games and obviously keeping a close eye, not just onthose teams but the whole division and conference, basically the whole league. There are big games every night: last night, big game in Nashville and tonight, big game in Detroit.”
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.
Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.
Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.
Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:
After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: