Blackhawks

Blackhawks updates: Tootoo in, Crawford starting vs. Flyers

Blackhawks updates: Tootoo in, Crawford starting vs. Flyers

Corey Crawford will start and Jordin Tootoo will play when the Blackhawks host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at the United Center.

Tootoo did not practice on Monday due to illness but he was back this morning. Coach Joel Quenneville had considered dressing seven defensemen if Tootoo couldn’t go. Since he’s returning, the Blackhawks will go with the usual four-line rotation.

The Blackhawks are looking for their second consecutive victory. They’re also looking to once again improve their penalty kill. The Blackhawks have allowed seven power-play goals through their first three games. The Flyers’ power play is 0-for-6 in this early season.

“I think you always have stretches where the pucks are going in,” Quenneville said. “So I think it’s a combination of a few extra penalties we don’t need to take and it goes all the way down to making sure that, when there’s time to pressure, we have to pressure when there’s time to get in the shot lane or block a shot.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Hartman continues to progress over the lower-body injury he suffered last Friday in Nashville. He’s targeting a return on Friday.

“Yeah I think at first everyone thought it would be a few weeks. Obviously got some good news,” Hartman said. “Looking forward to getting back in it.”

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS AT BLACKHAWKS

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV: CSN-Chicago

Radio: WGN 720AM

Projected lineups

Chicago Blackhawks

Tyler Motte-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Vinnie Hinostroza-Nick Schmaltz-Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Jordin Tootoo

 

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling-Brian Campbell

 

Corey Crawford

INJURY REPORT: Jordin Tootoo (illness), Ryan Hartman (lower body), Andrew Desjardins (lower body, IR).

Philadelphia Flyers

Michael Raffl-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny-Sean Couturier-Jake Voracek

Nick Cousins-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Dale Weise

Chris VandeVelde-Boyd Gordon-Matt Read

 

Andrew MacDonald-Shayne Gostisbehere

Ivan Provorov-Mark Streit

Nick Schultz-Brandon Manning

 

Michal Neuvirth

 

INJURY REPORT: Michael Del Zotto (left knee, IR), Scott Laughton (lower body, IR).

SUSPENDED: Brayden Schenn, Radko Gudas.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Seth Gruen (Big Ten Unfiltered) and Jason Goch (SB Nation Radio) join Kap on the panel. 

The Blackhawks drop their 8th straight. So should their “One Goal” be to tank?

Plus, Jon Lester isn’t a fan of the new pace of play proposals. Is he right?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

With playoff chances all but over, what can Blackhawks do at trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

With playoff chances all but over, what can Blackhawks do at trade deadline?

After losing their eighth straight game and falling 12 points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks' playoff chances have dipped to a season-low 0.2 percent. It would take a miracle for them to extend their postseason streak to 10 at this point, where getting just one win seems like a monumental task.

The Blackhawks were probably never really going to be buyers before the Feb. 26 trade deadline even if they were still in the hunt, but it's hard to imagine they had plans to be sellers. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has reiterated over and over again that he's confident in this group, one that's getting younger and faster.

But now they've reached a territory where they have to consider selling off spare parts simply to coup some draft picks or prospects that they could perhaps retain or use as sweeteners in the offseason.

So which players could the Blackhawks realistically sell?

Let's start with the two players getting rewarded with top-six ice time as of late: Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels.

These are two players that play with high energy and go to the greasy areas, something that's important in the playoffs when scoring goals becomes more difficult. They can clean up rebounds. Wingels, particularly, likely has more value and it's showing given his recent success on the power play as a net-front presence guy. He also isn't a stranger to the playoffs with 54 games under his belt compared to Bouma's five.

Both of them are pending unrestricted free agents and are making $1 million or fewer, which certainly works in the Blackhawks' favor considering they won't cost much and their cap hits are easy to fit in on any interested team.

Maybe a team would like to take a flyer on Tomas Jurco, who's a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but that would be a move somebody makes as more of a longer term project than strengthening your depth for a playoff run this spring.

On the back end, Michal Kempny and Jan Rutta could be in play for a contender looking to ensure some depth as a sixth or seventh defenseman. Again, each of them are making less than $1 million so it's a low-risk situation for clubs whose Plan A or B fall through and may be interested in at least getting something.

While they don't have much NHL experience, they're both 27 years old and have played the sport long enough to know what they can bring to the table.

Once Feb. 26 passes and potential roster spots open up, expect the Blackhawks to start calling up the kids. 

Matthew Highmore deserves a look after leading the Rockford IceHogs with 20 goals and 32 points. John Hayden has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 15 games since joining Rockford, and belongs in the NHL. Even Anthony Louis, who's taken a step forward, should get a taste of the action as he continues his development.

Carl Dahlstrom is getting his shot now. Erik Gustafsson is in that process as well. Gustav Forsling had another extended look during the first half of the season before the team decided it would be wise to continue his development in Rockford, where he can play top-pairing minutes.

All of this would give the Blackhawks a better indicator of how they can approach the upcoming offseason, and which young guys they can possibly add into the mix for 2018-19. But first, we have to see how the end of February plays out before making those calls.