Blackhawks

Blackhawks look to close out road trip against Oilers on high note

Blackhawks look to close out road trip against Oilers on high note

EDMONTON, Alberta – The Blackhawks have played a lot of hockey lately and the upcoming break will give them a chance to recharge and regroup for the stretch run.

But before they relax, they have to get through one more team. And that team gave them a heck of a time in November.

Scott Darling will get the start as the Blackhawks face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. This is the Blackhawks' second visit to the Oilers' new home, Rogers Place. The first trip was forgettable as the Oilers pummeled the Blackhawks 5-0 on Nov. 21. The Oilers, who are coming off their bye week, lost three of four entering their break.

The Blackhawks have won four in a row and, regardless of Saturday's outcome, will finish above .500 on the Ice Show trip. Still they'd like to go into their bye week on a positive and keep pace with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild, who are idle tonight, have a five-point lead over the Blackhawks in the Western Conference.

"It's been a great trip for us," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Every game we played well and we want to make sure we keep doing the same things. Playing the right way is important as well. When we do it, it seems we're better, we're deeper and that balance can be the difference. We'll need a better effort than we saw in here the last time against this team. We lost our negative streaks against Minnesota and Winnipeg. We'll try to delete our last game in here as well."

Quenneville said he'd make one more lineup change but wouldn't divulge what it'll be.

Broadcast information

Time: 9 p.m.

TV: WGN

Radio: WGN 720 AM

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vinnie Hinostroza

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Gustav Forsling-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Scott Darling

Injuries/illnesses: Michal Rozsival (lower body).

 

Edmonton Oilers (via team website)

Forward lines

Patrick Maroon-Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot-Drake Caggiula-Anton Slepyshev

Anton Lander-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian

Defensive Pairs

Andrej Sekera-Matt Benning

Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson

Brandon Davidson-Jordan Oesterle

Goaltender

Cam Talbot

Injuries/illnesses: Jujhar Khaira (wrist), Darnell Nurse (ankle), Tyler Pitlick (knee), Kris Russel (undisclosed).

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Out of tradition and superstition, the Stanley Cup is never in the building until after puck drop during a Stanley Cup Final game in which it could be won, unless it's a Game 7 when both teams have a shot.

On June 15 in 2015, when the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history, old Stanley was a little late to his own party at the United Center.

As the Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard tells host Pat Boyle on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, fans were already celebrating the Hawks Cup-clinching win over the Lightning outside the UC as the trophy was pulling in.

Broadcasters 'Doc' Emrick and Eddie Olczyk were filling time waiting for the Cup to arrive, which was still absent during the handshake line.

According to Pritchard, the Cup left the hotel around puck drop and it was the stormy weather that made the Keeper and the best trophy in sports tardy for the celebration.

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"People that weren't (at the game yet) were in traffic and just leaving their cars and walking and the roads were flooded, the highways were flooded, the bypass was like a lake. And as we were coming out towards the arena, we realized then that we were going to need some help, not just Mother Nature help, but we're going to need security help with it as well," Pritchard said.

"As we pulled into the arena — obviously the game had finished and the Blackhawks won — the home team's going nuts, the hometown fans are going crazy. So we presented (the Conn Smythe) to Duncan Keith and then we brought the Stanley Cup out and I remember on the ice talking to Jonathan Toews and he said, 'That was so cool that it took so long and the fans were loving it.' And I was telling him what went on and he goes, 'Really? I just thought it was part of the effect.'"

Report: NHL 2020 training camp, hub city report, playoff start dates emerge

Report: NHL 2020 training camp, hub city report, playoff start dates emerge

Friday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported some key dates being targeted for the NHL's Return To Play plan, including the start of the 24-team playoff format.

McKenzie said the new slated date for team training camps (Phase 3) is July 13. Teams would report to the hub cities (reportedly Edmonton and Toronto) on July 26 with games and Phase 4 beginning on August 1. 

Bob also shed some light on when Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery and the conclusion of the playoffs may pan out.

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"The second phase of the NHL draft lottery will occur immediately following the best-of-five, play-in qualifying series, so around Aug. 10-12 if all were to go well. Stanley Cup final would wrap up in early October. NHL draft would happen soon after that," he tweeted Friday.

Related: Report: Edmonton expected to host Stanley Cup Final

In Phase 1, the No. 1 overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft went to a placeholder team. Each of the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the postseason format will have a 12.5 percent chance of getting the top pick in Phase 2. 

Related: What if Blackhawks get No. 1 pick and select Alexis LaFreniere?