Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Final Preseason Game Preview

By Gail Kauchak
Mar 9, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Desjardins (11) and St. Louis Blues right wing Scottie Upshall (10) battle for the puck during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Desjardins (11) and St. Louis Blues right wing Scottie Upshall (10) battle for the puck during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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It looks like tonight’s Chicago Blackhawk’s game could be the last chance for some of the youngsters to impress

Tonight marks the final preseason contest for the Chicago Blackhawks before their home opener on Wednesday night.  Based upon the starting lineup, it looks like we’ll be watching mostly the youngsters as they fight for a spot on the roster.  Here is a list of the forwards that are making the trip to St. Louis.

8 Nick Schmaltz
11 Andrew Desjardins
14 Richard Panik
15 Artem Anisimov
16 Marcus Kruger
22 Jordin Tootoo
38 Ryan Hartman
41 Mark McNeill
48 Vinnie Hinostroza
53 Brandon Mashinter
64 Tyler Motte
70 Dennis Rasmussen
82 Alexandre Fortin

Desjardins, Panik, Anisimov, Kruger, and Tootoo are the only veterans in the lineup.  Based upon the practice lines over the last few days, it looks like Panik will start the season playing alongside Jonathan Toews on the top line.  Anisimov and Krugs are locks for the second and third line centers, respectively.  And Tootoo has been featured on the right wing of the fourth line.  He’s looks to be the physical presence that Coach Q just has to have.

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Desjardins, on the other hand, has been on the outside looking in.  I wouldn’t put much stock in this, though.  The coaching staff already knows what they have with Desi.  They’ve used this preseason to look at the youngsters instead.  But Desjardins is a veteran presence that could slot in pretty much anywhere within the bottom six.  If the youngsters continue to impress, I could see a few healthy scratches in his future.  But Desi certainly will play a role for the Hawks when the season starts.

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