The Chicago Blackhawks had a big announcement before practice even started this morning.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Goaltender Alex Stalock will not practice today (concussion protocol).— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 17, 2023
#Blackhawks announce goaltender Alex Stalock is back in concussion protocol.— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 17, 2023
Tough news. He missed a month and a half earlier this season because of a concussion.
In a corresponding move. they’ve officially recalled goaltender Jaxson Stauber from Rockford.
Stalock took some hard contact during practice on Monday, which ended with him being placed in concussion protocol on Tuesday.
Richardson confirmed Stalock's concussion symptoms were caused by the hit he took in practice yesterday.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 17, 2023
"Hopefully it settles down quicker than last time... We left him at home to rest, and he'll see the doctors tonight and we'll get a little more information."
Concussions are no joke, and this would already be Stalock’s second this season — the first was suffered during the Nov. 1 game against the New York Islanders and caused him to miss six weeks.
Stalock’s return to form after only appearing in one NHL game last season and solid overall play this season has been one of the few bright spots for the Blackhawks, so here’s to hoping he gets healthy soon and stays that way. Stalock was expected to get the start against the Sabres, so Petr Mrazek will man the crease in his absence.
Ben Pope of the Sun-Times did a deep dive into the Blackhawks offensive numbers (or lack thereof) this season and it’s a great read if you want to make your own stomach hurt:
The Blackhawks' even-strength offense literally couldn't be worse:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 16, 2023
Goals per 60: 1.68 (32nd)
Shot attempts: 45.8 (32nd)
Shots on goal: 24.6 (32nd)
Scoring chances: 21.5 (32nd)
Expected goals: 1.99 (32nd)
More numbers like that in here: https://t.co/BJwyDyvug7
The lines this morning were slightly changed since Saturday night, with Tyler Johnson being bumped up to play with Max Domi and Patrick Kane while Philipp Kurashev slots in with the Jonathan Toews line. Sam Lafferty is back on the third line — with Jason Dickinson sliding over to wing — and MacKenzie Entwistle looks to be centering the fourth.
Blackhawks lines in morning skate vs. Sabres:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 17, 2023
Mrazek in starter’s crease
As for the Buffalo Sabres, it sounds like an old friend might be on the move.
Buffalo Sabres Looking To Move Vinnie Hinostroza https://t.co/Bs2BizVay7— NHL on Scoreboard Page (@NHLonSP) January 17, 2023
While another move was already made:
We have recalled Peyton Krebs from @AmerksHockey and loaned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to Rochester.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 17, 2023
Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen started for the Sabres during their 4-1 loss to Florida on Monday. With him being sent down, it sounds like old buddy Craig Anderson is probable to get the start:
T. Johnson — Domi — Kane
Kursahev — Toews — Raddysh
Dickinson — Lafferty — Athanasiou
Blackwell — Entwistle — R. Johnson
McCabe — S. Jones
J. Johnson — Murphy
Phillips — C. Jones
Skinner — Thompson — Tuch
Peterka — Cozens — Quinn
Mittlestadt — Jost — Olofsson
Asplund — Girgensons — Okposo
Samelsson — Dahlin
Power — Jokiharju
Bryson — Lyubushkin