All 32 teams will hit the ice tonight as 16 matchups loom large for a network trying to capitalize on a busy night. While it will be interesting to see how it is handled, for the city of Chicago as well as Blackhawks fans across the world it will all be about the Bruins coming into the United Center.
With an 8:30 EDT start time and the designation as "Hockey Night" again, the Blackhawks take center stage once more. The 5-0 Bruins come in still looking to prove that their hot start is not a fluke despite the expectation the franchise would take a step back from their 65-12-5 (135 pt.) season.
Not only are the Bruins thriving, but they are getting excellent play once again from their goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman. In lieu of the retirement of longtime centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci the thought was that the offensive chances for the opposing side may lead to more high danger attempts against said net minders. So far Ullmark has only allowed 3 goals in 3 starts while Swayman has only let 4 past him in 2 starts. Stopping 142/149 shots to start the season is going to lead to victories when the team still has David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.
The 2 elite forwards have 9 goals in the first 5 games and lead the team as the top 2 point getters so far. This will be the task tonight for the young Blackhawks squad looking to break a currently 2 game slide. Stopping the scoring chances of Pastrnak and Marchand while trying to generate high danger chances against elite goaltending.
Chicago heads into tonight with the news that top line wing Taylor Hall will be out for a few games, however it now looks like Philipp Kurashev will make his season debut. Will it be enough to break the narrative that Boston will continue it's hot start? Connor Bedard and company will need a balanced effort and timely saves in order to upend Boston on a night where all eyes will be on the Blackhawks once again.