The last time the Chicago Blackhawks took on a team they eliminated from last years playoffs, they needed the greatest comeback in franchise history to win the game.
They are certainly hoping tonight goes a bit different against the Vancouver Canucks. The Hawks eliminated Vancouver in six games last year with a memorable series finale that ended 7-5.
"It's a new season, it's a new year," winger Kris Versteeg said after the morning practice. "Everyone is fighting for a new goal, but I expect they will come at us like Calgary did."
Former Vancouver center Andrew Ebbett makes his Hawk debut playing left wing on the fourth line.
"I'm looking to make a good first impression," Ebbett said. "I've been looking forward to this since I first heard I was coming here, so I'm definitely excited."
Ebbett knows there will be an adjustment to wing.
"Honestly, it's staying out of the middle with those center instincts I've had," said Ebbett. "I just need to keep it simple, and any pucks that come along that defensive wall I have to get my body in front and get them out."
Quenneville announced after practice that Jordan Hendry will make his season debut tonight as well. Hendry has been a healthy scratch for all eight games so far but will take the place of Brent Sopel on the blue line tonight.
"We wanted to get Jordan in there earlier but we didn't want to change a winning lineup," Quenneville explained. "He looked good in camp. I like the way he skates so we're happy to get him in there."
Sopel missed practice on Tuesday for personal reasons, but Quenneville says he's fine and is just sitting to get Hendry a game.
Ebbett, Hendry and company will skate in front of Antti Niemi while the Hawks will face Roberto Louongo, who is having his own problems to start the year. He's 3-5 with an .879 save percentage and a goals against average of 3.25. Those below average numbers seem eerily familiar.