Lineup Adjustments in Buffalo, Junior Producers, Canucks Make a Trade, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Lineup Adjustments in Buffalo, Junior Producers, Canucks Make a Trade, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Happy sports equinox weekend folks! Monday is not only Halloween, but it will also be just the 29th time in history that the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB all play on the same day (the World Series isn’t playing on Sunday this year because they’re scared of the NFL). So yeah, Monday could be a fun day. But the Blackhawks have two games to play before we wake up on Monday, so let’s dig in to what’s up on Saturday morning.

  • Did you know Patrick Kane is from Buffalo?
  • I’m only partially kidding. Every time the Blackhawks have played in Buffalo for the past 16 years there have been a flurry of tweets and stories reminding us that Kane grew up there. While I won’t have to deny Ryan Miller trade rumors this year like I did back in the day, there are some in the Sabres’ community/fandom that wouldn’t mind 88 going home if/when he opens himself up to a trade.
  • Chicago was able to bring Boris Katchouk back from IR for the weekend; he had been out since Oct. 2 because of an ankle sprain. Ironically, Tyler Johnson suffering an ankle sprain created roster space for Katchouk.
  • So how/when/where/why would Katchouk find space in the lineup? It looks like he’s headed to the fourth line tonight.
  • I was interested to see the Blackhawks are going to bump Philipp Kurashev up to the second line tonight (at least to start). The Blackhawks’ lines were rolling so well before Tyler got hurt, and then inserting Reese Johnson saw him score a goal against Edmonton. The third line of Kurashev-Dickinson-Lafferty was such a spark for the team… but Katchouk isn’t a top-six guy and head coach Luke Richardson isn’t going to try to force it in his first game of the regular season. Jujhar Khaira got the bump against Edmonton but he’s getting a night off in Buffalo.
  • Another guy who is fighting to stay in the lineup every night is Caleb Jones, whose up and down season last year made him receiving a qualifying offer a bit of a surprise this past summer. Even though his brother is the top defenseman in Chicago, Caleb has never been able to establish himself as an every night guy in the NHL in Edmonton or here last year. Richardson has complimented Caleb’s game recently, but with Filip Roos waiting to get back into the mix he knows the pressure is on.
  • Richardson talked about what Arvid Söderblom brings to the blue paint in his first start this weekend. I really liked what he showed in his preseason start — so much that my preseason prediction was that Söderblom, not Petr Mrazek or Alex Stalock, would lead the Blackhawks in goalie wins this season. Saturday is his first opportunity to pick up a win.
  • Kevin Korchinski looked great in the preseason in Chicago, so many of us hoped he put up big numbers once he was assigned back to junior. Well, so far so good. Korchinski has 13 points in seven games with Seattle in the WHL. Here’s his 12th assist of the season from last night:
  • Next Saturday, I’m co-hosting a road watch party! If you enjoy cigars, bourbon and hockey, this might be a fun one for you to attend. I’ll be at Ultimate Cigar Lounge in Villa Park with the folks from Oliva Cigars for the matinee against the Jets. Feel free to join us for a fun afternoon!
  • The Canucks and Canes made a deal on Friday. Defenseman Ethan Bear is headed to Vancouver. Pederson, 25, was traded to Carolina with Brent Burns this summer. He has not appeared in an NHL game.
  • Colton Dach hasn’t returned to the lineup for Kelowna yet, but there’s another player on that roster who is increasingly interesting to me. Andrew Cristall is a 2023 draft-eligible forward who has a lot of high-end skill. He isn’t in the conversation for a top-five pick; many consider him a mid-first to early-second round option. Cristall scored the OT GWG for the Rockets last night and now has nine goals and nine assists in 11 games.
  • Paul Ludwinski picked up his fifth assist of the season last night. He has six points in six games since returning to the Kingston lineup from concussion protocol in Chicago.
  • Finally, DeMar DeRozan joined a pretty impressive club last night. The Bulls’ star scored his 20,000th career point against his former coach/team from San Antonio. Congrats, DeMar!

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab