Jonathan Toews out with injury as Blackhawks face Canucks
It’s a game between two teams with no playoff aspirations left.
In their first game since being officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks will host a team with similar postseason plans when the Vancouver Canucks travel to the United Center for a Thursday night game.
Injuries are all over the Canucks roster, part of the reason why Vancouver currently occupies the basement in the Western Conference. Rookie sensation Brock Boeser injured his back two weeks ago and likely won’t be back this season. Boeser’s 29 goals and 55 points still lead the team, which says a lot about how difficult it’s been for the Canucks to score this season. Elsewhere, Sven Baertschi (14 goals, 15 assists), Loui Eriksson (10 goals, 13 assists), Brendan Gaunce, Markus Graslund, Erik Gudbranson and Ben Hutton all remain out with various ailments. The Sedin brothers remain on the team, playing out the final seasons of their contracts with a combined minus-41 rating. But Sam Gagner is also here, so there’s potential for someone from Vancouver to put together an eight-point game for reasons that will never meet logic.
Switching sides, the big news from the morning skate was the upper-body injury sustained by Jonathan Toews during Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, putting the captain out of the lineup for “a few games,” according to coach Joel Quenneville. That injury forced a lineup shuffle: Nick Schmaltz is now the No. 1 center with Patricks Sharp and Kane on his wings, giving Schmaltz a good test to see how he can handle the No. 1 center workload. Artem Anisimov’s line is now the second one with Tomas Jurco and Alex DeBrincat as wingers, Vinnie Hinostroza centers a third line with Brandon Saad and Matthew Highmore, while the fourth line features David Kampf between John Hayden and Andreas Martinsen.
The defensive pairings appear to remain the same and Jean-Francois Berube gets the nod in net. The eight-game march to the longest offseason in a decade begins tonight.
|F1||Patrick Sharp - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane|
|F2||Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Alex DeBrincat|
|F3||Brandon Saad - Vinnie Hinostroza - Matthew Highmore|
|F4||John Hayden - David Kampf - Andreas Martinsen|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta|
|D2||Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook|
|D3||Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy|
|F1||Brendan Leipsic - Bo Horvat - Nikolay Goldobin|
|F2||Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Reid Boucher|
|F3||Darren Archibald - Brandon Sutter - Sam Gagner|
|F4||Jussi Jokinen - Nic Dowd - Jake Virtanen|
|D1||Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev|
|D2||Michael Del Zotto - Troy Stecher|
|D3||Derrick Pouliot - Alex Biega|
*Lines are subject to change.
How to watch Canucks at Blackhawks
Start time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago