The wait is over – well, at least the wait for the schedule is over.
After an extended break for both teams, which continues, the Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks will begin the Western Conference Final at 2 p.m. CT Sunday at the Honda Center.
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That start date means the Blackhawks, who completed their four-game sweep of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, will have nine days between games. The Ducks, who eliminated the Calgary Flames on Sunday night, will have nearly a week off.
Game 2, also at the Honda Center, will be at 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks will host Game 3 at the United Center on May 21 and Game 4 on May 23. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. CT. Game 5 will be in Anaheim at 8 p.m. CT on May 25, Game 6 is in Chicago at 7 p.m. on May 27 and Game 7 is at Honda Center at 7 p.m. CT on May 30.
Times for Games 5-7 are if necessary.
Here’s that schedule again (all times CT):
Game 1 at Anaheim Sunday 2 p.m.
Game 2 at Anaheim Tuesday 8 p.m.
Game 3 at Chicago Thursday 7 p.m.
Game 4 at Chicago May 23 7 p.m.
*Game 5 at Anaheim May 25 8 p.m.
*Game 6 at Chicago May 27 7 p.m.
*Game 7 at Anaheim May 30 7 p.m.
* — if necessary
Host Pat Boyle is joined by Blackhawks Insider Charlie Roumeliotis, and NBCS Chicago producer Slavko Bekovic as they debate the nuclear line of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, have the Hawks found their identity as a team, predictions for the next few games as the Hawks head to the bye week.
(1:00) - Hawks forced to use Kane and Toews on the same line
(6:15) - Dominik Kubalik is doing well with Kane and Toews
(9:55) - Colliton doesn't have a healthy roster right now
(14:12) - What is the identity of this team?
(17:18) - Maybe the Hawks have a chance at a Wildcard spot
(20:24) - Kirby Dach is getting opportunities on the power play
(23:48) - How will the Hawks play vs the Panthers and Joel Quenneville?
(26:30) - Predictions on the next few gamesListen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
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The Blackhawks announced Thursday that they have placed forward Dylan Strome on injured reserve with a right ankle injury, retroactive to Jan. 7. In a corresponding move, forward Brandon Hagel was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League and will join the team in Toronto ahead of Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs.
Strome was originally listed as "day to day" with a right ankle sprain, but it appears he needs some extra time to recover despite skating in Chicago over the past few days. The Blackhawks have three games remaining before the NHL All-Star break and, at this point, it looks unlikely Strome will return before that.
Head coach Jeremy Colliton did tell reporters in Montreal on Wednesday that Brandon Saad could join the team in Toronto depending on how he's responding to the skating sessions, but whether he plays is a different story. By making a corresponding move, the Blackhawks remain at 22 players and have room for one more spot on the 23-man roster.
Saad has been sidelined since Dec. 16 with a right ankle injury and must be activated from injured reserve whenever he's cleared to return.
Hagel has been a bright spot in Rockford this season and will likely make his NHL debut on Saturday. He leads the IceHogs with 13 goals and ranks second on the team with 21 points and 80 shots on goal in 38 games. He's a hard-working player, is physical and can finish around the net, which is something the Blackhawks could always use more of.
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