After a few days of trades, the pencils have finally been put down, and the rosters are set for the rest of the NHL regular season. While normally not a big deadline dealer, Stan Bowman finally went for it a bit more than usual, trading for defenseman Kimmo Timonen from the Flyers and center Antoinne Vermette from the Coyotes. He also traded Ben Smith to the San Jose Sharks for Andrew Desjardins.
Timonen and Vermette are expected to make their Blackawks debuts tonight, but it is doubtful that Desjardins will be in the lineup. Expect to see a fourth line consisting of Joakim Nordstrom, Marcus Kruger, and Daniel Carcillo. Corey Crawford will start in net for the 'Hawks.
Opponent Breakdown: Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have been one of the NHL's bottom feeders this season, as they are currently in last place in the Metropolitan Division, and are the 5th-worst team in the NHL. However, they enter this game riding a three game win streak, including a 5-3 win over the Metro-leading Islanders on Saturday. With the Blackhawks struggles of late, this could end up being a bit of a trap game.
The 'Canes also boast top-10 special teams units in both categories, converting on 18.9% of their power play opportunities (10th in NHL), and killing off 88.2% of their own penalties, which is tops in the league. This could reperesent another danger area for the 'Hawks in this one, as the power play has been lacking of late, and the PK units will be a bit shaken up with the absence of Smith.
Chicago: Johnny Oduya (upper-body) and Patrick Kane (collarbone)
Carolina: Ryan Murphy (lower-body)
When: 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center