CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks completed a 3-1 series comeback and eliminated the Detroit Red Wings on an overtime game-winner in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup conference semifinals when the teams last met at the United Center.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane expected that to be on players’ minds when the two teams face each other again in a preseason game at the United Center on Tuesday.
“I haven’t seen their lineup, but I’m sure they have some players who were here last year that aren’t too happy with the way things went down, so they’ll probably be trying to get a little revenge,” Kane said. “I’m sure memories will fly if they have the same lineup as last year. …. I’m sure they’ll be thinking about the last time they were here and what happened in that Game 7.”
Last season’s playoffs and the fact it’s the Red Wings may add some flare to the Blackhawks’ preseason opener, but Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was more concerned about his players getting off to a good start and continuing to evaluate players.
“Guys like playing,” Quenneville said. “Whether it’s the first exhibition game, first regular-season game, I think there’s always that excitement in the air. I think the guys get a little nervous going into these type of games. I look forward to it. Detroit, I’m sure they’re excited about playing in it as well. It’ll be a good measuring stick for some guys as well. It’ll be a good part of our evaluation process watching a number of guys tonight.”
After four days of scrimmages, Kane was looking forward to playing against someone who wasn’t wearing a Blackhawks jersey, too.
“Just play the right way to start,” Kane said. “The big thing is you want to get used back to that game pace, especially you play some scrimmages and get used to it a little bit. Now you play some preseason games, so it’ll be ramped up a little bit more. You know you’re playing different players than on your own team. It’ll be fun.
"I think it’s always a fun game when you’re playing against Detroit, no matter the time of year. It’ll be nice to get back out in front of the ice in front of the United Center, get the season under way.”
Toews back for weekend: Quenneville said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews would probably sit out Thursday’s preseason game along with Tuesday’s game. Quenneville expected Toews to play over the weekend.
“I’m leaning more toward the weekend with him, but I’m sure he’s going to want to play,” Quenneville said.
Starting in net: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford will get the start against the Red Wings on Tuesday. Quenneville expected him to play the entire game.
Quenneville said Crawford would probably play in three preseason games, Nikolai Khabibulin would get a couple starts and Antti Raanta would probably play in one.
Handzus, Rozsival progressing: Quenneville said Michal Handzus and Michal Rozsival are expected at some point to play in the preseason. Neither has played in any scrimmages during the training camp and both are out of Tuesday’s game with undisclosed injuries.
Hossa to play Thursday: Quenneville said Marian Hossa was healthy despite sitting out Monday’s scrimmage and Tuesday’s preseason game. Quenneville said Hossa will be back in the lineup for Thursday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.