The Blackhawks practiced on Friday before leaving for a pair of road games against the Blue Jackets.
Chicago experimented with special teams during practice, which were disappointing on Thursday night against the Stars:
Weird special-teams work going on right now:— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 9, 2021
PP: Kane, Kubalik, Kurashev, Soderberg, Hinostroza
PK: Boqvist, DeBrincat, Hagel, Kalynuk.
Adam Boqvist has not played a ton of penalty kill time. Ever. Boqvist said his one shift on the penalty kill this season is pretty much the only time he’s played shorthanded in his career, through juniors and the AHL and his playing time in Sweden:
Boqvist said the one PK shift he got against Nashville last week is pretty much the only time he's ever played PK in his career, including juniors. He likes the idea, though.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 9, 2021
Alex DeBrincat has played 4:13 on the penalty kill this season and has played 30:30 shorthanded throughout his NHL career. He’s not as odd a selection for the shorthanded units but it’s still different seeing the 5-foot-7 forward on the defensive side of the puck.
The Blackhawks will have new players Riley Stillman and Brett Connolly meet the team in Columbus:
Brett Connolly and Riley Stillman will meet the Blackhawks in Columbus.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 9, 2021
Stillman and Connolly were acquired from the Panthers on Thursday. Henrik Borgstrom, who was also acquired in the trade, is expected to sign with Chicago in the offseason and perhaps join the team next year.
Speaking of Columbus, the Blue Jackets will be down a significant piece for the upcoming games against the Hawks and for the rest of the season:
NEWS: #CBJ have placed defenseman Zach Werenski on Injured Reserve due to an inguinal/sports hernia. He is expected to undergo surgery next week and will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season.https://t.co/MVxpExHTGq— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) April 9, 2021
The Rockford IceHogs game against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday was postponed. The IceHogs will resume action on Tuesday Apr. 13 against the Iowa Wild:
Game Update: Our game tomorrow at Grand Rapids has been postponed. We are next in action on Tuesday, Apr. 13 at Iowa at 7 PM. https://t.co/sH4inK60Jr— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) April 9, 2021
The IceHogs are sixth in the AHL’s Central Division this season with seven wins. They’re led in scoring by veteran defenseman Cody Franson who has 14 points this season. Evan Barratt, perhaps Chicago’s top forward prospect at the AHL level, has 12 points in 20 games.