The best news from Friday’s morning skate was that Alex Stalock will start against Columbus. The goalie hasn’t played since Nov. 1, when he suffered a concussion just 2:56 into the New York Islanders game. Before the injury, Stalock was 3-2-1 with a .914 save-percentage and 2.93 goals-against average — the top performance among Blackhawks goalie regulars.
Otherwise, lines Friday morning appeared to be the same as from the previous game. Jake McCabe was skating on the top pair with Seth Jones, even after taking a stick to the eye area in Wednesday’s game and having a maintenance day on Thursday.
#Blackhawks lines & pairings at the morning skate, per @CRoumeliotis:— Talkin’ Hawkey (@TalkinHawkey) December 23, 2022
One interesting note that came from Thursday’s optional practice was coach Luke Richardson discussing some of the issues the Blackhawks have been having on the defensive side of the game:
Luke Richardson has been fantastic about explaining things in detail this season, as bleak as they've been.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) December 22, 2022
This was him today talking about the Blackhawks' communication and D-zone coverage issues and the practice drills they did to try to fix that: pic.twitter.com/XgR7vf1KXT
For Columbus, injuries have been the major story for their season, but they do appear to be getting back at least one player for Friday’s game: defensemen Adam Boqvist, who hasn’t played since Oct. 25 when he broke his foot.
TRANSACTIONS: #CBJ have activated D Adam Boqvist and G Joonas Korpisalo off Injured Reserve, placed C Cole Sillinger on Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec. 17 and assigned G Jet Greaves to @monstershockey.https://t.co/LnyXCsp6PV— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) December 22, 2022
Goalie Joonas Korpisalo — who has been out with a lower body injury since Dec. 9. — was also activated from injured reserve, but it appears Daniil Tarasov will be the starter in net for Columbus.
From #CBJ HC Brad Larsen:— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) December 23, 2022
- Adam Boqvist in for Christiansen
- Forward group is the same as last game
- Daniil Tarasov starts in net
The Blue Jackets’ lines below are based on their Tuesday game against the Philadelphia Flyers:
Laine — Johnson — Gaudreau
Nyquist— Jack Roslovic — Marchenko
Robinson — Kuraly — Olivier
Foudy— Dunne — Meyer
Gavrikov — Bjork
Tim Berni — Gudbranson
Boqvist — Peeke