Blackhawks: Scouting the Tampa Bay Lightning ahead of game one

Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Blackhawks finally start their season later today against one of the best teams in hockey.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in the same division this season, and tonight they find themselves starting their new rivalry. Chicago will be starting their season in a new role tonight as an underdog, and it will be exciting to watch.

Based on some unlikely shuffling of money, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves under the cap limit for the 2020-21 season. With 16 million of cap space on LTR, the Lightning are ready to go, but it comes at a cost as Nikita Kucherov is one of the players hurt and out for the foreseeable future.

We saw how good Tampa Bay was last season during the playoffs. They tore their way through the playoffs last August and easily took home the Stanley Cup. Chicago can get that big matchup out of the way tonight and it will be important to catch the Bolts sleeping.

Here is a look at how the Tampa Bay Lightning’s lines could look tonight.

Obviously, the Lightning are a deeper team than the Chicago Blackhawks they have a lot more skill and are a lot faster all around. For the Blackhawks to succeed it will come down to goaltending.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is an amazing NHL goalie that can drastically impact a game. At only 26 years old the young netminder has already been so successful and has a lot of hockey ahead of him. For the Blackhawks to beat the Bolts tonight they will need to try and get in front of Vasilevskiy.

Everyone will have to play a little chippier hockey for Chicago to come away with a win. This is not the same team we used to see pass the puck around and set up the “pretty” goals the 2010-2015 Blackhawks used to always score.

I think the key line for the Blackhawks tonight will be the Janmark – Wallmark – Shaw line. The presumed third line of the Blackhawks will be one of the best lines to use in all situations, and I hope they can crash the net to score some goals.

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The Blackhawks are going to have to score early and often tonight if they want to have any chance at winning. Tonight will be the first opportunity one of Chicago’s goalies will have in net to prove they deserve to be the team’s starter, and I hope that whoever gets the start can begin the year on the right note!