WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Nick Schmaltz should play, despite a hard fall into the boards at morning skate, and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks face the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night at MTS Centre.
Schmaltz went down hard toward the end of skate and was slow to get to his feet. He immediately went to the dressing room but coach Joel Quenneville said Schmaltz, “came out of it all right,” and was “very likely” to play.
The Blackhawks are entering this Circus Trip — their final one according to the Chicago Tribune — on an 11-game point streak. Success has come aplenty for the Blackhawks at home. Now to get that same game, which has steadily improved, on the road.
“That was what we’ve been talking about. We want to build on what we’ve done in the past 11 games,” Andrew Desjardins said. “It’s good to have that confidence coming in but, again, it’s a tough schedule. We just have to play the right way, do the right things, and everything will take care of itself.”
The Blackhawks start this seven-game road trip with a Jets team that, despite having several injuries, has collected points in five of its last six games (4-1-1).
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
“You look at Winnipeg, [the Jets] have done a nice job here despite missing several guys. They find a way to get points and put themselves in a good spot,” Quenneville said. “There’s a real big pack in the middle; everybody seems to be just around the .500 mark. The way we’ve been playing, we’re fortunate where we are in the standings. We’ve been playing much better recently, coming off one of our better games all year last game. There’s a tremendous pack where everybody’s in the mix and there are no easy games.”
Meanwhile, on the injury front, Tyler Motte (lower body) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body) continue to skate in Chicago. Quenneville said there’s “potential” the two could meet the Blackhawks on this trip.
Live Stream: CSNChicago.com
Vinnie Hinostroza-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Dennis Rasmussen-Nick Schmaltz
Andrew Desjardins-Marcus Kruger-Richard Panik
Duncan Keith-Brian Campbell
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Tyler Motte (lower body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body)
Jets lines (via Winnipeg Sun)
Marko Dano-Mark Scheifele-Patrik Laine
Nikolaj Ehlers -Nic Petan-Blake Wheeler
Quinton Howden-Adam Lowry-Brandon Tanev
Alexander Burmistrov-Andrew Copp-Chris Thorburn
Josh Morrissey-Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom-Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot-Paul Postma
Bryan Little (lower body), Drew Stafford (upper body), Shawn Matthias (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (upper body), Joel Armia (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Kyle Connor (upper body), Alex Burmistrov (upper body)