Morning Skate Update: Reichel, Vlasic sent to Rockford; Stalock starting

The latest information on line combinations, starting goalies and more as the Blackhawks face the Wild on Saturday night in Seattle.

Morning Skate Update: Reichel, Vlasic sent to Rockford; Stalock starting
Photo by Maurice DT / Unsplash

A few updates ahead of the Blackhawks games against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on Monday night.

As reported earlier, Lukas Reichel and Alex Vlasic were reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs Monday morning. The IceHogs have lost four of their last six games – including their most recent game on Saturday – so they're now just one point above the Chicago Wolves for the final playoff spot in the AHL's Central Division.

The Blackhawks also recalled Buddy Robinson because they just need bodies to play at this point and he's not really a loss to Rockford.

Robinson slotted into Reichel's spot on the second line, but the rest of the forward lines remained the same from the Seattle game.

On defense, Nikita Zaitsev and Anders Englund will draw back into the lineup in place of Vlasic and Jarred Tinordi (who was injured last game).

Alex Stalock will be the starting goalie Monday. He is also the Blackhawks' nominee for the 2023 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Coach Luke Richardson spoke after practice about how the Blackhawks have worked hard this season on creating a team identity around work ethic while subtly acknowledging the team just didn't have the talent to perform well this season. He mentioned that latter part could change with an influx of young talent in the coming years.

Captain Jonathan Toews also spoke briefly about how he and his family are still discussing what will come next for him in terms of his hockey career:

This comes after Toews spoke to the media this week about how he's treating the final two games at the United Center as his last with the Blackhawks:

As for the Wild, several players did not make the trip to play against the Blackhawks on Monday. There is a slim chance Minnesota could still get second in the Central Division, but it seems the team prefers resting their stars rather than pushing too hard for home ice.

The Wild will have reinforcements in two of their most highly touted prospects, as they did the following this weekend:

  • Recalled forward Marco Rossi from the Iowa Wild on Saturday, as noted in the game preview
  • Signed defenseman Brock Faber on Sunday. Faber was most recently a member of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, who lost in the NCAA Championship on Saturday.

Because of the above, Minnesota's lineup will look pretty different than normal:

Of note: Matt Dumba is with the team in Chicago but was skating outside the top-six on defense, so he's not likely playing Monday night.

In net, Filip Gustavsson will start – apparently the first time a goalie has played two games in a row for Minnesota this season. He has a .932 save percentage for the season.