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Morning Skate Update: Mrazek to start against Senators; Toews still out

Updates on the lineups for Friday night’s game.

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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:

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:

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:

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.

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:

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:

If you’re interested, our sister site Silver Seven has a beautiful tribute to Neil that you can read here:

Senators lineup:

Tkachuk — Stützle — Joseph

DeBrincat — Greig — Giroux

Brassard — Pinto — Batherson

Motte — Gambrell — Kelly

Chabot — Zaitsev

Brannstrom — Zub

Larsson — Hamonic