Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Ehrhoff to make Blackhawks debut vs. Red Wings

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Blackhawks: Ehrhoff to make Blackhawks debut vs. Red Wings

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.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”