Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Game Preview: 10/10 vs. San Jose Sharks

By Zach Kuehn
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) skates off with an injury against the San Jose Sharks in the first period on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) skates off with an injury against the San Jose Sharks in the first period on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) /
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Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks faceoff against the San Jose Sharks at home.

After a long six days, the Chicago Blackhawks are back in action tonight against the San Jose Sharks. The long break did not help fan attitudes towards the team after the 4-3 loss to the Flyers in Prague, which mimicked many of the Hawks’ defeats last season.

Lately, the discussion has focused around the Hawks’ defense, or moreover the lack of, as this was their main problem last season.

The game in Prague itself was disappointing but does not reflect on the talent of this team. Coach Jeremy Colliton announced this morning that Connor Murphy will be making his season debut, helping the defense core greatly. Calvin de Haan skated with the team during the morning skate, but will not suit up just yet for the ‘Hawks.

Colliton also announced that Corey Crawford will be starting in net. Ironically, Crawford was injured against the Sharks last season at the United Center, after being run into by Evander Kane. This sets Robin Lehner up to make his 2019-20 season debut over the weekend.

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Tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Sharks, have had a disastrous start to this season. Their record stands at 0-4-0, with goaltending being a major issue for Peter DeBoer’s squad.

Their starting goaltender, Martin Jones, is 0-3 with a 4.55 goals-against average and .854 save percentage, which is not the way the Sharks wanted their franchise goaltender to start the season.

For tonight’s game against the Blackhawks, the Sharks are going with Aaron Dell in net, who has one start this season. His other start was a loss to the Anaheim Ducks in which he saved 30 of 33 shots.

Another notable piece of news for the Sharks is the re-signing of forward Patrick Marleau, who has spent most of his career with the Sharks. He will make his season debut tonight.

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The Sharks are going to be a desperate hockey team tonight, as they really need a win to stay afloat. It’s early in the season, but being 0-5 is not an ideal start.

For most teams, this is a do-or-die game, and I think the Sharks will play like their season is on the line. With the ‘Hawks having six days of rest, the only advantage that they have is that they’re at home.

The home crowd should help the ‘Hawks play better, as well as having Connor Murphy back in the fold for defense. Corey Crawford had a questionable performance in Prague, but will look for a bounce back.

Game time is 7:30 PM, with the Blackhawks hosting their annual red carpet event for the home opener at 6:30 PM. This game should be a fun one, but the ‘Hawks will most likely have to fend off an early barrage of Sharks attempts. If they can get through that, the Chicago Blackhawks will be in a great spot for their first win of the season.

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