Blackhawks

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with former Blackhawk Brian Campbell

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with former Blackhawk Brian Campbell

Pat Boyle is joined by former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell to discuss the impact of the 2010 champion Blackhawks on Chicago hockey, his issues with former coach Joel Quenneville and how he's using his experience as a champion to help young players.

(1:14) - Being a part of the rebirth of hockey in Chicago

(4:20) - Not getting along with Joel Quenneville in the beginning

(11:00) - The moment Campbell knew the Hawks could win the Cup

(16:10) - Coming back from a tough injury in 2010 due to a hit by Alex Ovechkin

Listen here or below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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(19:18) - Theories on where the 2010 game winning puck is

Listen to your captain: Jonathan Toews reminds everyone to stay home

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USA Today

Listen to your captain: Jonathan Toews reminds everyone to stay home

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is showing off his leadership skills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Toews appeared on the Blackhawks’ Instagram to remind fans of the importance of social distancing as part of the "We Are Not Playing" movement.

Toews has been doing his part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic by staying home, as well as donating $100,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund through the Jonathan Toews Foundation. 

Patrick Kane has decided to join Toews to encourage fans to practice social distancing. Kane posted a video to Twitter for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzger’s All In Illinois campaign, thanking healthcare workers and reminding Illinois residents to do their part and stay inside. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.