Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Avalanche (9:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Avalanche (9:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

And we back. And we back. And we back. And we back!

Credit to Chance the Rapper for the inspiration for NIGHT ONE of the NHL regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks! Hello and welcome to what should be one of the more fascinating seasons for the Blackhawks in a few years. Obviously the last two seasons have had their share of interesting factors to them, mainly COVID, but with a revamped roster, the headlines this season should be dominated on the ice by a Blackhawks squad that has legitimate Stanley Cup Playoff aspirations.

Some of the biggest stories for the Blackhawks center around their new core of players with Seth Jones and Marc-André Fleury headlining the group. Of course, not to be overlooked, the return of Chicago’s Captain Jonathan Toews seems like the biggest storyline to follow, at least for tonight. Chicago has a stiff test right out of the gate this season, taking on a Stanley Cup favorite in the Colorado Avalanche.

After not seeing the Avalanche all of last season because of the re-aligned divisions, the Avalanche and Blackhawks are reunited in the Central Division once again. Colorado is the favorite to win the Division this season and the Blackhawks will be able to see how they measure up early against a team many have picked to be playing for the Stanley Cup this season. Tonight also serves as the first night of the NHL on TNT, with the Blackhawks and Avalanche playing the second game of a double-header on the network. Lots going on tonight!

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. CT
TV: TNT
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (0-0-0)

Kubalík – Toews – Kurashev
DeBrincat – Johnson – Kane
Borgström – Dach – Hagel
Khaira – Entwistle – Carpenter

McCabe – Murphy
de Haan – Jones
Stillman – Mitchell

Fleury
Lankinen

Avalanche (0-0-0)

Landeskog – Kadri – Rantanen
Nichushkin – Compher – Burakovsky
Newhook – Jost – Ranta
Helm – O’Connor – Megna

Girard – Makar
Byram – E. Johnson
J. Johnson – Murray

Kuemper
Johansson

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Wyatt Kalynuk (Day-to-Day – ankle)
Alec Regula (Day-to-Day – back)
Caleb Jones (Week-to-Week – wrist)

Avalanche: 

Pavel Francouz (Week-to-Week – ankle)
Devon Toews (Indefinite – shoulder)
Nathan MacKinnon (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)

What To Watch For

•   I mean…what did you expect me to say?

•   Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, Tyler Johnson, and Marc-André Fleury come to the Blackhawks hoping for a number of things to happen this season. Fleury is hoping to lead Chicago back to prominence in what is likely a one-and-done year for the defending Vezina Trophy winner. Jones is hoping to revive his career with the Blackhawks after failing to capitalize on his career-best season in 2017-18. Johnson is hoping for his streak of Stanley Cup Playoff experience to continue with Chicago after winning back-to-back Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Finally, McCabe is just hoping to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs once in his career after spending that last eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres organization. Tonight, they all get their first chances to make impacts with their new club.

•   While the new guys will get a ton of focus, there’s also a lot riding on the shoulders of veterans of the Blackhawks locker room. Along with the return of Jonathan Toews, main-stays like Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Connor Murphy, and Dominik Kubalík need to mesh with the younger core of the team with Kirby Dach, Brandon Hagel, and Philipp Kurashev looking to continue to build upon their blossoming careers. If the “new-look” roster can mesh quickly, the Blackhawks are going to be a much different team than what we saw in 2020-21.

Get Caught Up …



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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