Michal Kempny back in lineup when Blackhawks host Avalanche

Michal Kempny back in lineup when Blackhawks host Avalanche

Michal Kempny will draw back into the lineup and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the United Center.

The Blackhawks have won three in a row and four of their last five games entering tonight’s contest. They’ve gotten great performances out of Crawford and their penalty kill has improved (9 of 9 over the last three games). But they’re still looking for that consistent game across the board.

“Obviously finding a way to win is important, especially in an 82-game schedule. We played a really good game against [Los Angeles] then were a step down in the first period against Calgary,” Duncan Keith said. “We want to focus on having a good start, carrying it through to the second period and set ourselves up for a good third.”

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Kempny was a healthy scratch last game when Gustav Forsling returned to the lineup. Michal Rozsival looks to be the defensive scratch tonight.

Nick Schmaltz has played wing for the Blackhawks recently but coach Joel Quenneville said Schmaltz could be moved to center tonight. Schmaltz centered Dennis Rasmussen and Jordin Tootoo at the morning skate.

Meanwhile, Quenneville said Andrew Desjardins (lower body) is still likely to play Sunday against the Dallas Stars. Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk is still not skating; Quenneville said he’s still on the original timeline to come back from his upper-body injury.


7:30 p.m.


Radio: WGN

Chicago Blackhawks

Richard Panik-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Marian Hossa

Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger-Tyler Motte

Dennis Rasmussen-Nick-Schmaltz-Jordin Tootoo


Duncan Keith-Brian Campbell

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling-Niklas Hjalmarsson


Corey Crawford


INJURIES: Andrew Desjardins (lower body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body).


Colorado Avalanche

Gabriel Landeskog-Matt Duchene-Jarome Iginla

Mikhail Grigorenko-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen

Rene Bourque-Carl Soderberg-Blake Comeau

Andreas Martinsen-John Mitchell-Joe Colborne


Nikita Zadorov-Erik Johnson

Francois Beauchemin-Tyson Barrie

Patrick Wiercioch-Fedor Tyutin


Semyon Varlamov

NHL Draft Profile: F Andrei Svechnikov

NHL Draft Profile: F Andrei Svechnikov

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Andrei Svechnikov

Position: Right wing
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 188 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He thinks the game a couple steps ahead and will make decisions with or without the puck that not many can make. He's on a very powerful line but teams focus to stop him. He lets the play and pressure come to him, and he can survey the ice so well. The vision and smarts are impressive."

NHL player comparable: 

Fit for Blackhawks:

In TSN Bob McKenzie's latest final draft ranking, one scout told him that “Svechnikov may be closer to [Rasmus] Dahlin for No. 1 than the rest of the field is to Svechnikov." So yeah, Svechnikov is going second overall. The question is, will Carolina be the one making that pick?

Under new ownership and a new regime, the Hurricanes are open to just about anything. And the word is they won't be moving out of the second spot unless they're blown away by an offer. 

The Blackhawks have been connected with the Hurricanes because the latter possesses a ton of immediate assets, including Scott Darling, Justin Faulk and even Jeff Skinner, all of whom would be a significant upgrade for Chicago. Would it cost more to center a deal around any of those players or the No. 2 overall pick?

Svechnikov is one of probably two players who are absolutely ready to step into an NHL lineup right now. He would look tremendous on the right wing with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. But the price to pay just doesn't seem to be worth it.

NHL Draft Profile: D Adam Boqvist

NHL Draft Profile: D Adam Boqvist

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Adam Boqvist

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 168 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"Boqvist is a finesse defenseman who is very skilled, possesses excellent vision and tons of talent. He is fun to watch and full of surprises on the ice. He often plays bigger than his size and skated in his first games with Sweden's Senior National Team in April."

NHL player comparable: Erik Karlsson

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks would love to have Karlsson, who is probably being traded out of Ottawa this summer. Every team would love to have him. But that's not realistic for Chicago. So what if they drafted his potential mini me?

Boqvist is electric with the puck and has drawn comparisons to the Swedish defenseman as a best-case scenario.

There are two concerns, though. One is that he may need some time to develop at just 17 years old and his defense a work in progress. The second is that he's sustained head injuries over the course of his young career, which adds a little bit of risk to the equation.

If he can stay healthy and his development isn't rushed, there's major upside here. But are the Blackhawks willing to be patient? We're not so sure.