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Morning Skate Update: Mrazek starts; Mitchell returns

Mrazek starts again while the Blackhawks will have a different look on the blue line.

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NHL: JAN 17 Sabres at Blackhawks Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A few bits of notes, news, and musings prior to the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night in Pennsylvania.

The Hawks are vying to break a 27-year regular-season losing streak for regular season games at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as they have not won there since 1996.

As Blackhawks fans like to point out, though, this record does not apply to postseason games:

And as a nice little touch of nostalgia, the Flyers are making Thursday’s game a part of their Throwback Thursday series, where they will commemorate the Flyers team from the 2000s.

John Tortorella, the coach of the Flyers, spoke to the press after their morning skate on Thursday, answering more questions about defenseman Ivan Provorov’s recent comments on the Flyers’ Pride Night, but said that he was not worried at all about the team’s unity.

The Blackhawks prepared for the game with another practice on Thursday morning. Jonathan Toews missed Wednesday’s practice for “maintenance” but appears good to go for this game.

Petr Mrazek will again be the starting goalie, filling in for Alex Stalock, who remains in concussion protocol:

The main lineup change the Blackhawks made is on the defense, replacing Caleb Jones’ D-partner Isaak Phillips with Ian Mitchell on the third pairing. Mitchell’s last game was Jan. 8 against the Calgary Flames, where he had no points while skating 13:57. Phillips was recalled from Rockford in December after Tinordi’s facial fracture, and has played in the last three games, scoring a goal and an assist. Mitchell has been competing for playing time all season, so hopefully he can keep up his physicality against the Flyers to earn a more permanent position.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune (published Thursday morning), coach Luke Richardson talked about how he isn’t afraid to make mistakes— admitting that he regrets a lineup choice made in a game against the Calgary Flames on Jan 8. He says he should have played Tyler Johnson at a key faceoff in the third period, and once he realized his mistake he apologized to Johnson, saying that it is important that his players know that he is also holding himself accountable.

Let’s see if it works.

Blackhawks projected lineup

T. Johnson — Domi — Kane

Kurashev — Toews — Raddysh

Dickinson — Lafferty — Athanasiou

Blackwell — Entwistle — R. Johnson

McCabe — S. Jones

J. Johnson — Murphy

C. Jones — Mitchell



Scratched: Isaak Phillips, Boris Katchouk

Injured: Jarred Tinordi (facial fracture), Jujhar Khaira (lower back), Alex Stalock (concussion)

Flyers projected lineup

van Riemsdyk — Frost — Tippett

Farabee — Cates — Konecny

Hayes — Laughton — Allison

Deslauriers — Brown — MacEwen

Provorov — York

Sanheim — DeAngelo

Seeler — Ristolainen



Scratched: Justin Braun, Kieffer Bellows

Injured: Sean Couturier (back), Tanner Laczynski (upper body)