Some news and notes from Friday morning ahead of the game this evening between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Ottawa Senators.
The Blackhawks lines and defensive pairings at Friday morning skate were the same from the Toronto Maple Leafs game. Petr Mrazek was unsurprisingly in net.
Blackhawks lines in morning skate in Ottawa are unchanged:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 17, 2023
Mrazek in starter’s crease
There is a small chance that defensemen Connor Murphy may not play Friday as he rolled his ankle late in practice. Coach Luke Richardson didn’t think it was an issue, but said that Isaak Phillips would be ready if needed.
Murphy is “probable” tonight in spite of this, but Phillips will also take warmups just in case, Richardson said https://t.co/5T0spHkbkD— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 17, 2023
Jonathan Toews did not join the Blackhawks in Ottawa, something that was stated to be possible earlier this week. Instead, he continued skating back in Chicago with Alex Stalock. Neither player has a firm timeline on returning to the lineup.
Jonathan Toews has skated a couple of times with Alex Stalock back in Chicago, per Luke Richardson. He'll have a better sense of his timetable when they get back.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 17, 2023
Mrazek starts. Same lineup as last game, though Isaak Phillips will warm up just in case (Murphy is dinged up).
Not related to practice, but the Patrick Kane trade rumors are still heating up, and former NHL defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo threw in his own perspective on possible destinations for the start winger on TSN 1050 Tuesday:
"Based on people I've talked to, if Patrick Kane were to accept a trade somewhere, the two teams on his list are the Rangers and the Leafs..."@carlocolaiacovo shared an interesting nugget on First Up this morning regarding Patrick Kane.— TSN 1050 Toronto (@TSN1050Radio) February 14, 2023
Should the Leafs be interested in Kane? pic.twitter.com/MS2H1jKz7T
With their trade of Vladimir Tarasenko on Feb. 9, it feels like the New York Rangers are out on acquiring Kane, despite the latter’s interest. The Leafs are often bandied about as a destination for every big name, so it’s unknown how seriously Kane’s interest there might be — and vice versa.
One player in Toronto who would probably love the opportunity to play with Kane is Auston Matthews:
Auston Matthews on playing against Patrick Kane:— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) February 14, 2023
"It never gets old. He’s an unbelievable player & he puts you on the edge of your seat every time he’s out there. In my experience, it’s always fun lining up against him ..."
Former Blackhawks and now Senators forward Alex DeBrincat also got into the discussion Thursday about the trade rumors around Kane, specifically about how they may be impacting Kane as a person and player:
DeBrincat on Kane, continued: "He's so competitive. He's a guy who wants to win every night and be the best player on the ice every night. So I can imagine this is tough for him."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 16, 2023
He said the league's excited to see if Kane can find "a new home" and get comfortable there.
Moving onto the Senators morning skate, the only line up change for the Senators from their last game against the New York Islanders is that lower-line forward Austin Watson is out with a non-COVID illness.
Austin Watson is out with an illness #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) February 17, 2023
Mads Søgaard was announced as the starter in net for Ottawa Thursday. The 22-year Danish netminder has only had one NHL start this season so far, but he stopped 37 of 40 shots in that start against the Calgary Flames Monday.
Also of note, Søgaard is quite a large individual at 6-foot-7:
If you aren't aware of how large Mads Søgaard is... Mathieu Joseph is 6'1". pic.twitter.com/OOr8NGwfGC— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) February 13, 2023
Also of note, Friday will be the night that Chris Neil — who played 1,026 games over a 15 year career with the Senators — will have his No. 25 retired by the Ottawa franchise:
Senators legend Neil's No. 25 being raised to the rafters in Ottawa— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 16, 2023
MORE: https://t.co/0ee7fafgon pic.twitter.com/Z2zZMFAAe7
If you’re interested, our sister site Silver Seven has a beautiful tribute to Neil that you can read here:
Tonight, the Ottawa Senators retire #25. @Sheer_Rossyness penned a tribute to Chris Neil's unique career:https://t.co/SypaqA0qzM— Silver Seven (@silversevensens) February 17, 2023
Tkachuk — Stützle — Joseph
DeBrincat — Greig — Giroux
Brassard — Pinto — Batherson
Motte — Gambrell — Kelly
Chabot — Zaitsev
Brannstrom — Zub
Larsson — Hamonic