We're Back In Action Tonight, Career Years, Injury Updates, IceHogs Still Winless, and Other Blackhawks Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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We’re Back In Action Tonight, Career Years, Injury Updates, IceHogs Still Winless, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Finally it’s gameday again for the Chicago Blackhawks. The three-day layoff has felt like an eternity, but that’ll happen when you are used to games every other day. Chicago is in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets for the third mini-series this season tonight. But before that, a couple notes to get you caught up to speed in the Blackhawks world (two-game series preview coming later).

•   If you haven’t been paying attention, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat are having the best years of their careers this season. While neither player will be able to finish the season with the highest point totals in their career because of the condensed schedule, they are producing at the best rates in their professional careers. And that’s very awesome. More here:

•   Kane and DeBrincat have been paired together for the majority of the season now, having built upon an already fruitful chemistry. It has been special to see DeBrincat bounce back from a down year last year and play to complimentary piece to Kane in the Blackhawks’ lineup puzzle.

•   DeBrincat is starting to play the role that Artemi Panarin played when he was with the Blackhawks and helping Kane earn his only league MVP award back in 2015-16. Those days are long behind us though. For Panarin, he finds himself taking a leave of absence from the New York Rangers after a Russian media outlet published a story that included an incident involving Panarin physically assaulting a woman in 2011. The wide-spread understanding is that the story is a political hit-piece on Panarin as retaliation for his outspoken support of Vladimir Putin’s political opposition leader Alexi Navalny. It’s wild.

•   The Chicago Blackhawks had a number of injury updates on Monday morning. In case you missed it, defenseman Connor Murphy is back healthy and could return to the lineup as soon as tonight after dealing with a hip injury. But with the return of Murphy, the Blackhawks lose defenseman Lucas Carlsson to a groin injury and centreman Dylan Strome is in concussion protocol.

•   Without Strome, the Blackhawks are now without their top three centers from last season with Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews both still out. Strome hasn’t been having a stellar season overall, going without a point over a stretch of his last six games. With the Blackhawks having played 11 forwards and 7 defensemen in the lineup more frequently this season, it will be interesting to see how head coach Jeremy Colliton configures the roster with the latest round of injury returns and losses.

•   A double Blackhawks birthday today for Nick Schmalt and Jordan Hendry!

•   The Rockford IceHogs are still looking for their first win of the season. They fell 7-3 to the Cleveland Monsters last night to fall to 0-5-1 the begin the 2021 AHL season. They’ll have another go with Cleveland tonight at 6 p.m. CT.

•   On a lighthearted note, the Avalanche and Golden Knights squared off last night, a continuation of their mini-series that saw them play at Lake Tahoe on Saturday in the great delayed game of 2021. So they naturally need to have some fun with the debacle that was Saturday’s outdoor game.

•   That’s a pretty solid bet on the under, if I do say so myself.

•   Before we get to our preview, here’s some gambling info before the series, if you’re so inclined:



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.