Some news and notes from Tuesday morning ahead of the game this evening between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens.
Rookie Jaxson Stauber will be in net for the Blackhawks, looking to continue his perfect record in the NHL, which is definitely something we all expected to be saying on Valentine’s Day:
Looks like Jaxson Stauber and his 3-0-0 record will be starting for the Blackhawks tonight in Montreal.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 14, 2023
No other lineup changes were evident, with Ian Mitchell apparently headed back to the press box:
Blackhawks lines at morning skate in Montreal are the same:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 14, 2023
Stauber in starter’s crease, ready to test his undefeated record
One injury update emerged on Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock, who hasn’t played since Jan. 14. The last word on Stalock had been that he was in concussion protocol, but apparently that’s not quite accurate:
Doctors have determined Alex Stalock actually doesn’t have a concussion but rather a “cranial thing that affects his eyesight and tracking,” Richardson said.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 14, 2023
“When they ruled out a concussion, that took some worry out of his mind and he was back to his usual personality.”
The other interesting note from the morning media sessions came from Patrick Kane, who spoke about the performance this season from former Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach, who was traded to Montreal in the summer.
Kane on Dach, continued: "It’s not surprising that all of a sudden he’s starting to play a lot of minutes and playing in a good position and he’s producing. Happy for him."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 14, 2023
Seems like a bit of a swipe at the former coach from Kane, doesn’t it? Hard to say he’s wrong, either. Dach may not quite be setting the league on fire but he does have new career-highs across the board this season, with 35 points (12 G, 23 A) in 53 games this season while averaging 18:18 of ice time.
The good news is that the Blackhawks’ front office — and coaching staff — has plenty of different faces this time around so any mistakes associated with Dach’s time in Chicago could be a thing of the past. The bad news is the Dach discourse will likely be beaten to death as a discussion topic for the rest of the day.
Based on the lineups tweeted from the Canadiens’ official account, Dach will be skating at second-line center against his old team.
Harvey-Pinard — Suzuki — Anderson
Dadonov — Dach — Hoffman
Armia — Dvorak — Drouin
Pezzetta — Belzile — Ylonen
Harris — Savard
Matheson — Barron
Kovacevic — Wideman