The Chicago Blackhawks are officially back tonight as they take on the St. Louis Blues.
The Chicago Blackhawks are officially back tonight! The season came to a pause right after a big 6-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks on March 11th. COVID-19 became the biggest health crisis in the modern era of the world and it made sports come to an untimely pause. Well, with a lot of hard work and determination, the NHL has put together a return to play format that will allow the Stanley Cup to be awarded for the 2019-20 season.
The Blackhawks are going to have a series against the Edmonton Oilers as part of a play-in series which is going to be so fun to watch. The Hawks weren’t a great team this year so they are a bit lucky that they received an invite. The Oilers have a lot of offense much like the Hawks do so this should be a lot of fun.
Tonight, they are going to have a chance to fine-tune their game against an opponent wearing different colors. The St. Louis Blues were the team selected to play the Hawks as the NHL went with local rivalries for each exhibition game played despite being in a bubble. They are the defending Stanley Cup champions with a roster that absolutely feels they can go back to back.
Head coach Jeremy Colliton claims that he is going to use a full NHL lineup in the game vs St. Louis. He believes that the guys need a game to “get used to things”. That is the smart decision because this team hasn’t played any real games since mid-March. It feels like it was just yesterday but it was actually many months ago now, as you know. This is a good opportunity for the Hawks to use their best players against a really good team.
Last night we saw some of the other teams that had their one exhibition game use two of their goalies. The Hawks are only ever going to use Corey Crawford unless there is an injury so it will be interesting what decisions they make as far as how many minutes he will have in this game. Seeing guys like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith fine-tune their game should be a blast to watch as well.
This game is also an opportunity for players who were hot to end the year to try and reclaim that momentum and the players who were struggling feel better about themselves. An example of a player that was hot is Dominik Kubalik. This guy had a great year and hopefully, it can continue. It would be nice to see guys like Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome bounce back a bit before the real games begin. After all the struggles that we are going through as a nation, it is nice to have some hockey back in our lives!