Game Time: 8 PM Central Time
Watch Live: ChicagoBlackhawks.com (in Chicago and Edmonton markets only)
Vannieuwenhuizen Haters: Putting On The Foil
It has been 147 days since the Blackhawks were defeated by the Vancouver Canucks and eliminated from the playoffs. 147 days since that dagger through the heart ended the hockey season in Chicago. 147 days since the Hawks came so close to mounting the impossible comeback. That sick feeling you just got in your stomach is why we love this game so much. Rooting for this team gives us something to look forward to. Its something we can pin our hopes to. Without it, we are lost in a summer which we try to drown out with beer and the two minor league baseball teams in this town. Well, tonight we sorta get our hockey team back. It may be preseason, but by god at least its a group of guys wearing the indian head against guys wearing someone else's jersey.
So enough of that flowery poetic crap. HOCKEY IS (KINDA SORTA) BACK!!!
According to Tracey Myers, the Hawks roster will look like so:
David Toews, Jonathan Toews, Kyle Beach, Jamal Mayers, Viktor Stalberg, Rusty Olesz, Mark McNeill, Brandon Saad, Jimmy Hayes, Ben Smith, Marcus Kruger, Phillip Danault.
Brian Fahey (Free Agent Camp Invite), Joe Lavin, Nick Leddy, Sami Lepisto, Steve Montador, John Scott, Ryan Stanton.
Alex Salak and Ray Emery will split time in net.
Unless this sickness I have right now is causing me to count wrong, I count one extra skater on this squad. Not sure exactly what the deal with that is. Maybe they're planning on having John Scott get used to warming up the press box.
What to Watch for:
Obviously we'll all be interested in the goalie battle as Salak and Emery slug it out for the backup job. Salak will really have to out-play Emery to get serious consideration for the job.
Kyle Beach is coming off an awful year in the AHL. The Hawks don't necessarily need a guy with a mean streak thanks to the additions of Carcillo and Mayers. He can't get by on potential alone anymore. Beach will need to work his ass off to prove his worth to the franchise.
Will the Toews brothers have some magical mind connection?
There's a lot of physical forwards in this young group. McNeill is a monster for an 18 year old, at 6'1" 211 lbs.
There are 5 guys playing in this game who you couldn't legally buy a beer for. I hope you feel old.
Finally, I'll leave you with this awesome video: