COLUMBUS, Ohio Corey Crawford will get the start in net and Viktor Stalberg will face the team he got a quarter of his points against last season when the Chicago Blackhawks face the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.
Crawford is 3-0-0 coming into tonights game, stopping 21 of 23 shots in a 3-2 overtime victory over Dallas on Thursday. Jamal Mayers, who got back into the lineup on Thursday, is expected to play again tonight. Steve Mason will get the starting nod for the Blue Jackets.
The Blackhawks have another massive slate of games this week Columbus tonight, Detroit on Sunday, then Minnesota, Vancouver and Calgary on Wednesday, Friday and next Saturday, respectively. But the Blackhawks arent looking past tonights matchup.
We want to make sure we play the same way and have consistency in our team game, Quenneville said. Lets be ready, because its going to be a big game. Lets sustain things.
The Blue Jackets have a lot of new faces this season and are off to a 1-2-1 start. Forward Cam Atkinson is out for tonights game.
Stalberg, meanwhile, has had a tremendous time against the Jackets. Of the 43 points he had in 2011-12, 10 of those (eight goals, two assists) came against the Blue Jackets. His four game-winning goals against Columbus were the most by an NHL player against a single opponent last season.
The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.
Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.
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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.
Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.
Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.
Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.