Are we excited about the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft coming to Chicago for the first time on Friday? Nah. We’re talking about the return of the No. 3 overall pick from 2019. Kirby Dach makes a somewhat triumphant return to the United Center wearing bleu, blanc et rouge. Of course he isn’t playing center any more… and isn’t playing for Jeremy Colliton… but here we are with him bringing 17 points in 20 games into an afternoon start against his former team (what’s left of it). We’ll see how the reception is for the former top pick.
The best part of this game legitimately might be big Jim Cornelison knocking out the Canadian national anthem in French before puck drop. That’s always fantastic and a personal favorite of mine.
Puck Drop: 1:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Andreas Athanasiou — Max Domi — Patrick Kane
Philipp Kurashev — Jonathan Toews — Taylor Raddysh
Jujhar Khaira — Jason Dickinson— Colin Blackwell
Boris Katchouk — MacKenzie Entwistle — Reese Johnson
Jack Johnson — Seth Jones
Jarred Tinordi — Connor Murphy
Jake McCabe — Caleb Jones
🥅 Arvid Söderblom
Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Kirby Dach
Evgeni Dadonov – Christian Dvorak – Brendan Gallagher
Joel Armia – Sean Monahan – Josh Anderson
Michael Pezzetta – Jake Evans – Juraj Slafkovsky
Michael Matheson – David Savard
Joel Edmundson – Kaiden Guhle
Arber Xhekaj – Johnathan Kovacevic
🥅 Sam Montembeault
Tyler Johnson and Alex Stalock are still on IR. Sam Lafferty (upper-body) might miss today’s game and a couple more days and is not in the lineup vs. Montreal.
Carey Price has been out the entire season. Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron have been on IR. Mike Hoffman and Chris Wideman have been in and out of the lineup.
What to Watch For
- Montreal’s top line of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Kirby Dach has 61 combined points in 20 games this season. The Canadiens have one other player with more than nine points this season. If there’s such a thing as a top-heavy offense, it’s Montreal. That line has scored 27 of their 60 goals as a team.
- The Canadiens are scoring 3.00 goals per game and allowing 3.55 per game, which isn’t good. So the Blackhawks have a chance.
- The Habs come in ranked 11th in the NHL, winning 51.7 percent of their faceoffs as a team. Of course a big part of that is Dach being a permanent winger now. We’ll see how their young centers do against Jonathan Toews and Max Domi, both of whom are among the league’s leaders.