Mar 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Daniel Alfredsson (11) looks for the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
It’s here! Well, almost.
The Chicago Blackhawks will kickoff the preseason tonight, against the Detroit Red Wings, at the United Center, in Chicago. The puck will drop at 7:30 PM, which will be the standard start-time for home games, this season.
Tonight’s game will be televised on CSN+, and aired on 87.7 FM, The Game.
Preseason is a little tricky, it is hard to know who will be playing, in each individual game. During the morning skate, the Hawks’ lines were as followed:
[table id=74 /]
The top-six is exactly as expected and if everything goes according to plan, this will be how it looks during the regular season. Hawks fans will get their first look at that intriguing 2nd-line, with offseason acquisition Brad Richards, in actual game action. The bottom-six is where everything gets all “preseasony”. Ben Smith is used to playing with different players night-in-and-night-out, so who better to stabilize a 3rd line comprised of prospects than him? The bottom-six is comprised of likely Rockford-bound players, who are getting their biggest taste of real NHL action, of their still-young careers.
Both Teuvo Teravainen and Joakim Nordstom will be absent, from tonight’s roster, due to injuries. However, there’s no need to panic as both will likely eventually find their way onto the preseason lineup.
As for the Red Wings, established players such as: Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Justin Abdelkader, Stephen Weiss, and Gustav Nyquist will all find their way to the United Center ice at some point, tonight.
The injuries have already started, for Detroit, as Pavel Datsyuk will miss about a week, with a shoulder injury, and Darren Helm will be out with a broken nose. If the Red Wings can stay healthy, they will make a lot of noise in the Eastern Conference, this season.
Yes, it’s only preseason, but it’s NHL teams playing against NHL teams. After a summer that was longer than Hawks fans are accustomed to, this is a big deal.
The regular season is almost here, just hold on a little bit longer.