Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks take on Hurricanes tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks take on Hurricanes tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight on CSN and streaming live on Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

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Five Things to Watch:

1. Teuvo Teravainen returns to Chicago.

It will be a former Blackhawks reunion at the United Center tonight, the big name being Teravainen, who was instrumental in the team's 2015 Stanley Cup run. He enters the game with a five-game point streak, and has nine goals and 11 assists in 37 games this season, as he returns to Chicago for the first time since being traded to Carolina in the offseason along with Bryan Bickell. Former Blackhawks Klas Dahlbeck, Joakim Nordstrom and Viktor Stalberg are also all expected to suit up.

2. Scott Darling's second crack against Carolina.

Darling is likely to earn the start in the second of a back-to-back, and it'll be against the team he last faced in Carolina. He stopped 25 of 28 shots (.893 save percentage) in a 3-2 loss last week, but should fare better this time around. Darling is 6-2-1 with a 2.09 goals against average, .933 save percentage and one shutout in 10 games at home compared to 4-2-1 with a 2.77 goals against average and .904 save percentage in eight games on the road.

3. Here comes the top PK unit.

On Thursday, the Blackhawks faced the worst penalty kill unit in the league in the Buffalo Sabres. Tonight, they'll play the best. The Hurricanes have killed off 88.5 percent of their penalties this season, a success rate that would be the best since the New Jersey Devils finished the 2011-12 campaign with an 89.6 percentage. Carolina has hit a mini bump in the road, however, going 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) on the penalty kill in its last nine games.

4. Patrick Kane returning to MVP level?

After going pointless in his previous two games, Kane had a three-point effort in Thursday's 4-3 win over Buffalo, and scored the overtime winner for his 48th career game-winning goal. He has retaken the team-lead in points with 40, and ranks fifth in the NHL, trailing Connor McDavid by five for the league-lead. Kane has 12 points in his last 10 contests, but it still feels like he hasn't really hit his top gear yet — or maybe his 106-point season set a new unfair expectation. Perhaps a performance like Thursday's will be the beginning of a run that propels him back near the top of the NHL leaderboard as he aims to take home the Art Ross Trophy for the second consecutive season.

5. Vinnie Hinostroza promoted to top line.

Spencer Abbott's audition on the first line didn't go quite as planned. He logged only 8:34 of ice time in his season debut, and was demoted to the fourth line in the third period of Thursday's game. Vinnie Hinostroza joined Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on the top line to finish the game, and is likely to start there tonight. Hinostroza has a season-high five shots on goal in last night's 4-3 win against Buffalo, and will look to anchor that left-wing spot for the time being.

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All eyes on Blackhawks defensemen as prospect camp opens


All eyes on Blackhawks defensemen as prospect camp opens

The second wave of Blackhawks defensemen is on the way. That's exactly where all the attention was when prospect camp opened up Monday at MB Ice Arena.

Nicolas Beaudin. Adam Boqvist. Henri Jokiharju. Ian Mitchell. Call it the Big Four. Where are they all at in their development? When will they be ready to make an NHL impact? Who's the most pro ready? 

Lots of questions. Those will slowly start to get answered and it begins now.

While there may not necessarily be an open competition among the group right away, there's certainly a desire to make a strong first impression in front of the upper brass that included Stan Bowman, John McDonough and Joel Quenneville watching on Day 1.

"Every NHL team has a lot of good defensemen prospects, so I mean obviously when you want to go out there you want to showcase yourself as best as you can," Mitchell said. "Obviously you want to be the best defenseman here so that's my goal going into this, I want to prove to everyone that I'm a good defenseman, I deserve to play at the next level. Obviously there's lots of good players here, but you're trying to all succeed."

Said Beaudin: "There's a lot of competition. There's a lot of good, young defensemen. I think you just need to be different when you play when you show what you can do."

Said Boqvist: "I'm trying to be better every day. Of course I will play in the NHL one day and win Stanley Cups, so that's my mindset."

The theme? Focus on your own game, take what you learn out of this week and apply those tools in your game when advancing your development next season. The rest will take care of itself.

Mitchell will go back to Denver for his sophomore campaign to continue his development. Beaudin is expected to return to the QMJHL with the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Boqvist signed with the OHL's London Knights, where he will look to get accustomed to the North American style of play.

For Jokiharju, the goal is different. This is his second development camp. He signed an entry-level contract in June. Making the big club is a real goal and a legitimate possibility for a Blackhawks team looking for young, impact defensemen immediately.

"I think if Henri has a really good summer of training, comes into camp, I certainly thinks he gets a good look," Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley told NBC Sports Chicago last month.

Jokiharju showed poise and confidence with and without the puck during drills, like someone who knows this is only the first step towards that ultimate goal.

"Yeah," Jokiharju responded when asked if the expectation is to make it to the NHL this season. "You want to set the bar high, you don't want to set the bar too low. I want to dream big and that's the dream."

That's the dream for everyone. When that happens, it's up to them. This week is a chance to set an early tone.

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was identified as the victim in an early morning drowning on Sunday at the Hamilton Harbour, Hamilton Police confirmed. He was 35.

According to the Hamilton Spectator, Emery and his friends jumped in the water around 6:30 a.m., but Emery never resurfaced. His body was recovered later in the afternoon.

Emery played in the NHL for 11 seasons, two of which came with the Blackhawks from 2011-13, where he served as a backup goaltender to Corey Crawford.

In 2013, he teammated up with Crawford to win the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender(s) with the fewest goals against in a single season, before going on to capture his first Stanley Cup. During that season, Emery went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts.

The Blackhawks issued this statement following the confirmation:

The Chicago Blackhawks organization was deeply saddened to hear of Ray Emery’s passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray as a fierce competitor, a good teammate and a Stanley Cup champion.

The hockey community took to Twitter to offer their condolences when news began to spread: