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Chicago Blackhawks: Four Players To Watch In Montreal

By Keith Schultz
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The Chicago Blackhawks travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens tonight in their third preseason game of the week.  Yes, in the middle of all of the Patrick Kane craziness there is some actual hockey to be played on the ice tonight so as we take a break from the craziness, so here are a few players to watch tonight from Montreal.

3. Jan Hejda and Lubomir Visnovsky

The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of options for their third defensive pairing, and as discussed earlier I have no faith in David Rundblad.  This gives Hejda and Visnovsky a huge shot to make the Blackhawks squad especially when Michal Rozsival doesn’t appear to be ready to take the ice in game action for sometime still.

Both of these veterans have a real shot to make the team especially when everyone knows that Joel Quenneville likes his veterans. Both have a shot and it will be two players that I will be watching tonight.

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2. Ville Pokka

Again, we are looking at defense and instead of veterans we are looking at a young defenseman.  As we all know Coach Q doesn’t like playing young defenseman, which is why for a couple of years we all thought the cupboard was full in Rockford with Dman and now it appears to be pretty empty. In the past Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck, and Stephen Johns all looked to be the next defenseman to join the team, but in the end we are still signing the likes of Rozsival to bolster the blue line.

So, Pokka may not make the opening day line up, but this is a huge time for him to show off his skills to give a good impression on the coaching staff that he belongs in Chicago and not with the Ice Hogs.  Pokka looked pretty solid in Detroit so I will be watching tonight to see if he can build on his last performance.

1. Marko Dano

Dano has been the star of the Chicago Blackhawks training camp and early preseason, so tonight he gets to play with what is really the Chicago Blackhawks B-Team.  Dano will be playing most likely with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, but neither of those stars will be in Montreal tonight. Tonight we get to see Dano without Hall of Famers and it will be exciting to see what he can do with the likes of Garrett Ross or Ryan Garbutt playing along side.

I’ve been excited to see him play all year so him not getting the night off will make tonight good TV to watch for preseason hockey.

A quick look at the full rosters for tonight’s game:

Chicago Blackhawks

Forwards: Andrew Desjardins, Viktor Tikhonov, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Ryan Garbutt, Daniel Paille, Kyle Baun, Michael Liambas, Brandon Mashinter, Marko Dano, Chris DeSousa, Garret Ross, Dennis Rasmussen, Tomas Kopecky, Teuvo Teravainen

Defensemen: David Rundblad, Trevor Daley, Ville Pokka, Jan Hejda, Viktor Svedberg, Sam Jardine, Erik Gustafsson, Kirill Gotovets, Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders: Scott Darling, Mac Carruth

Montreal Canadiens

Forwards: Zack Kassian, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec, Torrey Mitchell, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jacob De La Rose, Brian Flynn, Gabriel Dumont, Daniel Carr, Jeremy Gregoire, Charles Hudon, Nicolas Blanchard

Defensemen: Jeff Petry, Nathan Beaulieu, Brett Lernout, Mark Barberio, Alexei Emelin, Ryan Johnston

Goaltenders: Carey Price, Zachary Fucale

Who will you be watching tonight?

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