Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Teravainen likely to start season at wing

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Blackhawks: Teravainen likely to start season at wing

Teuvo Teravainen spent most of the preseason adjusting back to center, a position he hadn’t played in a few years.

Now he’s heading back to the wing.

Teravainen was at left wing on the Blackhawks’ top line on Monday, and he’ll be there on Wednesday night when the team opens the regular season against the New York Rangers. Teravainen finished Saturday night’s preseason game at that spot, playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Coach Joel Quenneville said he liked the combination, and Teravainen’s earned the opportunity.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

“Him in the middle is fine. But maybe he can play against top players and top D men and he’ll get an important matchup as well,” Quenneville said after Monday’s practice. “It’s a big step but it’s real good quality ice time when you play with those guys. It’s not an easy job but we feel he’s capable of playing the offensive side of things there and the defensive side as well.”

Teravainen made huge strides last postseason and is getting more responsibility. Quenneville said there could be some penalty killing in Teravainen’s future, although that may be further down the road. Regardless, Teravainen’s versatility is beneficial.

“It’s a great asset to have,” Quenneville said. “Over the course of a game he can play in all situations as well. You can use him on penalty killing – we may not start him in that role but I see him growing into that opportunity if it comes about. He’s on the power play, he’s going to be on 4-on-4 and play 3-on-3. His overall game both ways puts him where he’s not slotted in one area. He can do a lot of things for us. Based on that, he can pick up a lot of ice time in those other situations.”

[MORE: Panarin more at ease after preseason debut]

OTHER NOTES 

- Quenneville said he liked Bryan Bickell’s response on Saturday night. Bickell had been placed on waivers on Friday but remained with the Blackhawks after he cleared. The move was deemed more of an attempted wake-up call for Bickell’s game. “I thought he had a real good game,” Quenneville said. “Much more effective, more noticeable.”

- Michal Rozsival still could start the season on long-term injured reserve, although Quenneville wasn’t sure when that would transpire. The defenseman is far from ready to play.

- The Blackhawks’ regular-season opener will be the same night as the Cubs’ wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Quenneville said, “it’s too bad we can’t watch them. We’ll be rooting for them.”

- Projected starting lines for the season opener:

Teravainen-Toews-Hossa

Panarin-Anisimov-Kane

Bickell-Shaw-Baun

Desjardins-Kruger-Garbutt

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Capitals

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USA Today

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Capitals

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they take on the Washington Capitals at the United Center on Sunday, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after morning skate. This will be his fourth start in six games.

Crawford is coming off a game in which he stopped 27 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .964, which earned him the No. 1 star of the game in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. He stopped 10 of 11 shots and six of seven inner slot shots, saving his team an extra 2.43 goals above average, according to The Point. It was a fantastic performance.

Crawford is 3-5-2 with a 3.61 goals-against average and .881 save percentage in 10 career starts against the Capitals.

The Blackhawks are on the second game of a seven-games-in-12-days stretch, so expect Crawford and Lehner to both get consistent reps over the next two weeks.

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Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach set to make NHL debut on Sunday vs. Capitals

Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach set to make NHL debut on Sunday vs. Capitals

It's official: Kirby Dach is slated to make his NHL debut on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Washington Capitals. He found out the news when he got to the rink in the morning.

"It's pretty exciting," Dach said. "Grew up my whole life wanting to do this, so for me to get this opportunity now, it's awesome. Kind of speechless and at a loss for words. I've just got to go out there and play my game and focus on all the little things that the coaching staff wants me to do."

Coach Jeremy Colliton said who Dach draws in for and where he will slot into the lineup will be determined during warmups, but don't be surprised if he starts on the wing.

"I think he can play either one, which is a big benefit for us," Colliton said. "Probably long term he’s a center, but it’s only a benefit to be versatile."

Dach, who was taken No. 3 overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, missed the start of training camp with a concussion and appeared in three games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint before getting recalled on Friday. His mom, dad and sister will be in attendance for his debut.

"It's a pretty surreal feeling," Dach said. "It's kind of a whirlwind. You're just kind of getting thrown in right away and you don't really have time to react. You just got to focus on the game and not really sit back and realize what's going on. You've got to be pretty mentally dialed in and ready to play.

"There's going to be a little bit of nerves with it, but I'm excited to get out there and have fun."

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