Hawks notes: call-ups, flu, skate event


Hawks notes: call-ups, flu, skate event

Some random musings and notes from Day 2 of Blackhawks camp:

Three more Rockford players came to camp on Monday: forwards Brandon Saad and Brandon Pirri and defenseman Ryan Stanton. Neither Saad nor Pirri were on one of the four Blackhawks lines Monday while Stanton formed a fourth defensive pair with Michal Rozsival.

Coach Joel Quenneville saw Stanton in Rockford this fallearly winter and likes what hes seen.

I really enjoyed the way hes played this year. Hes stable and adds depth back there, brings consistency on the back end, he said. Hes got some experience, got some physicality. Every game, you knew what he was going to do.

Hes very close to playing up here; hes seeing our system and learning from that as well, Quenneville continued. A lot of guys are going to get a chance to play. Hes earned it.

Getting the call

But the Rockford call-ups havent ended. Late Monday, forward Jimmy Hayes was recalled and will likely be at Tuesdays practice. Hayes has 17 points and a plus-2 rating in 37 games with the IceHogs this season.

Hayes may have been recalled due to the absence of Marcus Kruger, who missed Mondays practice with the flu. Quenneville said he wasnt sure if Kruger will return Tuesday. The flu has been bad this winter it was near epidemic in the Chicago area last week and Quenneville said its something the staff will watch.

Ive seen it happen and it can cause major disruptions, Quenneville said about flu bugs going through a locker room. Were aware of how bad it is this year. Well make sure, with a 48-game season, that were on top of it.

Alumni skate

The Blackhawk Alumni Association will host Skate with the Greats on Feb. 1 at Soldier Field. Blackhawk greats Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito will sign autographs. Blackhawk alumni taking shifts on the ice include Cliff Koroll, Eric Daze, Phil Russell, Brian Noonan, Al Secord, Grant Mulvey, Reggie Kerry, Dave Mackey and Peter Marsh. Player list is subject to change.

Tickets, 100 for adults and 50 for kids 12 or younger, provide attendees with a 30-minute skate and 30-minute autograph session. There will be four sessions, each limited to 125 registrants. Fans will be able to request their preferred session when they order tickets. Proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

The session schedule follows:

SESSION 1: 7:30-8 p.m. On ice, 8:30-9 p.m. autograph session
SESSION 2: 7:30-8 p.m. Autograph session, 8:30-9 p.m. on ice
SESSION 3: 8-8:30 p.m. On ice, 9-9:30 p.m. autograph session
SESSION 4: 8-8:30 p.m. Autograph session, 9-9:30 p.m. on ice

To buy tickets, go to www.RonaldHouseChicago.orgskatewiththegreats.

Heading to the UC

The Blackhawks will practice at the United Center for the first time on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m.

Marcus Kruger activated off IR ahead of Blackhawks-Lightning

Marcus Kruger activated off IR ahead of Blackhawks-Lightning

Dennis Rasmussen or Marcus Kruger could play Tuesday night and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Rasmussen did not skate Tuesday morning due to illness but coach Joel Quenneville said the center could still play vs. the Lightning. Quenneville said Kruger is "close" to playing — he was activated off injured reserve on Tuesday afternoon — and his status could depend on how Rasmussen feels.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The Blackhawks, sitting in second place in the Western Conference, are on a three-game winning streak entering Tuesday's game. The Lightning, the Blackhawks' 2015 Stanley Cup opponent, has struggled with injuries (Steven Stamkos has been out since November) and is last in the Eastern Conference. Despite the Lightning's struggles, Quenneville isn't taking the team lightly.

"Obviously they've had some health issues, significant guys missing big stretches of their year, but they still have guys out there that are skilled and it's an extremely dangerous team and a very competitive East side," Quenneville said. "I'm sure they'll be ready for tonight."

Andrei Vasilevskiy will start Tuesday night for the Lightning. Coach Jon Cooper said J.T. Brown and Jason Garrison are game-time decisions.


7:30 p.m.
Live stream: CSNChicago.com or NBC Sports app
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Ryan Hartman-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Vinnie Hinostroza-Tanner Kero-Marian Hossa
Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Nick Schmaltz

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk


Corey Crawford

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Marcus Kruger (right arm), Dennis Rasmussen (ill).

Tampa Bay Lightning (projected; some are game-time decisions)

Forward lines

Ondrej Palat-Vladislav Namestnikov-Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn-Tyler Johnson-J.T. Brown
Bryan Boyle-Valtteri Filppula-Jonathan Drouin
Michael Bournival-Cedric Paquette-Gabriel Dumont

Defensive Pairs

Victor Hedman-Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison-Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn-Nikita Nesterov


Andrei Vasilvskiy

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Steven Stamkos (knee), Brayden Point (upper body), Ryan Callahan (lower body), Jason Garrison (illness).

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

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