The Blackhawks play their third game of the season tonight — their third 9 PM CT start, too. Which is great for those of us who hate getting a decent amount of sleep. San Jose is the third and final stop on the Blackhawks’ season-opening road trip before they get almost a full week off before opening the new year at the United Center next Friday. They should be ready to go after an off-day, and should feel free to empty the tank with the long layoff coming after the game.
However, we cannot play the San Jose Sharks without thinking about Hockey Hall of Famer and long-time Blackhawks defenseman Doug Wilson who left the Sharks after a long tenure as their general manager earlier this year to deal with health issues. We’re thinking about the Wilson family and happy we can celebrate Doug’s legacy in the league.
Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Chicago Blackhawks (0-2-0)
Andreas Athanasiou — Max Domi — Patrick Kane
Tyler Johnson — Jonathan Toews — Taylor Raddysh
Philipp Kurashev — Sam Lafferty — Jason Dickinson
Colin Blackwell — MacKenzie Entwistle — Jujhar Khaira
Jack Johnson — Seth Jones
Jarred Tinordi — Connor Murphy
Filip Roos — Caleb Jones
San Jose Sharks (0-3-0)
Timo Meier – Tomas Hertl – Luke Kunin
Steven Lorentz – Logan Couture – Kevin Lebanc
Oskar Lindblom – Nick Bonino – Matt Nieto
Jonah Gadjovich – Nico Sturm – Evgeny Scechnikov
Mario Ferrero – Erik Karlsson
Marc-Édouard Vlasic – Matthew Benning
Jaycob Megna – Radim Simek
Still no Boris Katchouk or Jake McCabe.
San Jose Sharks
What to Watch For
The Sharks played Carolina last night in their home opener, meaning Brent Burns returned to San Jose for the first time as a visitor. Carolina won 2-1, but James Reimer stopped 33 of 35 in the loss. In three games, only two Sharks — Luke Kunin and Mario Ferraro — have multiple points. This might be a good night to bet the under, because we all know the Hawks have their issues scoring as well.
In his career, Patrick Kane has scored 11 goals with 26 assists in 45 regular-season games against the Sharks. For his career, Jonathan Toews has 14 goals and 20 assists in 43 regular-season games against San Jose. They have four combined game-winning goals against the Sharks (three from Toews).
On the other side, Kähkönen was 3-0-0 with a .950 save percentage and 1.64 goals against average against the Blackhawks last year; he was traded to San Jose by the Wild during the season.
The Blackhawks looked better against an undefeated Vegas team on Thursday night, killing three penalties successfully and only allowing one goal. The effort has been there, but they’re still looking for a win. The Sharks are toward the Bad 4 Bedard Circle of Trust, so this is a solid opportunity for the Blackhawks to get Luke Richardson his first victory.