Hawks @ Buffalo Lineups and Notes

Blackhawks take their show out east tonight to take on the Buffalo Sabres (1-1-0) at HSBC Arena tonight at 6:00pm central time.

Patrick Kane will be suiting up in his hometown as a Blackhawk for the third time.  He’s posted a goal and an assist in two games there in his career.

Last December, the Hawks exhibited a lackluster effort in Buffalo during a 2-1 loss to the Sabres.  Patrick Sharp posted the lone Chicago tally.  Clarke MacArthur (now with Toronto) and Thomas Vanek scored the goals for Buffalo.

Ex-Blackhawk Patrick Lalime got the start that night and did have to make 39 saves in the win.  Cristobal Huet took the loss for the Hawks in a 31 save performance.

As for tonight’s game, Corey Crawford will make his season debut between the pipes for a Blackhawk team in the midst of four games in seven nights to start the ’10-11 season.

Chicago returns home Wednesday night to face division rival Nashville for the first time since knocking the Predators out of the playoffs in April.  Nashville will have played just one game before Wednesday’s tilt, an impressive 4-1 drubbing of Anaheim before a capacity crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

Patrick Sharp says he will return to the lineup tonight after missing Saturday’s home opener against the Wings with a slight concussion.

I’m not sure what the difference between a slight concussion and simply a concussion is?  Either you have one or you don’t.  Considering all the problems NHL players are having these days with head trauma and information we’re learning about the long-term effects of head injuries, I’m absolutely certain all parties concerned, including Sharp, could afford to sit out another game or two and rest his brain.

Anyway, doctors are supposed to be smarter than we are.  Here are tonight’s projected lineups: 

Left Wing Center Right Wing
26-Thomas Vanek 19-Tim Connolly 29-Jason Pominville
63-Tyler Ennis 9-Derek Roy 21-Drew Stafford
55-Jochen Hecht 20-Rob Niedermayer 25-Mike Grier
42-Nathan Gerbe 28-Paul Gaustad 36-Patrick Kaleta
  Left Defense Right Defense
Goalies 27-Shaone Morrisonn 57-Tyler Myers
30-Ryan Miller 3-Jordan Leopold 4-Steve Montador
40-Patrick Lalime 44-Andrej Sekera 52-Craig Rivet

— Subs: D-6-Mike Weber…. D-34-Chris Butler…. C/W-8-Cody McCormick
I could see a chance McCormick gets in for some added toughness.  McCormick, mostly with Avs, has had a history of mixing it up with the Hawks.

Tonight should be another night the Hawks realize they can no longer out skate teams whenever they need to.  Buffalo can really move and play at a high tempo when they choose to.

Blackhawks lineup: 

Left Wing Center Right Wing
82-Tomas Kopecky 19-Jonathan Toews 81-Marian Hossa
29-Bryan Bickell 10-Patrick Sharp 88-Patrick Kane
22-Troy Brouwer 36-Dave Bolland 15-Fernando Pisani
25-Viktor Stalberg 28-Jake Dowell 20-Jack Skille
  Left Defense Right Defense
Goalies 2-Duncan Keith 7-Brent Seabrook
50-Corey Crawford 4-Niklas Hjalmarsson 24-Nick Boynton
30-Marty Turco 32-John Scott 8-Nick Leddy

 — Jordan Hendry is expected to be the only scratch.  Brian Campbell (right knee sprain) remains out until early November… Brandon Pirri, who was recalled to fill Sharp’s spot for Saturday’s home opener, and slight concussion, was returned to Rockford on Sunday…

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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