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Preview: Party like it’s 2013, the Blackhawks are in town

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It’s a down year for the Chicago squad, something we can all appreciate.

NHL: Preseason-Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts

When: Today, 1 PM

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub, NHL Network

Rival SBN site: Second City Hockey

Know your enemy

  • Patrick Kane: 24G-39A-63PTS; Nick Schmaltz: 20G-25A-45PTS; Jonathan Toews: 18G-27A-45PTS
  • Anton Forsberg: 8-14-3, 3.02, .902; Jean-Francois Berube: 2-2-0, 3.11, .911

Game notes

  • A down year for the Blackhawks, and the rest of the league rejoices! The Blackhawks have been so good for so long that most of the rest of the league is celebrating their rough patch. The Blackhawks are in last place in the Central Division, and are tied for the 9th-fewest points in the league. Their likely headed for a top-10 draft pick, which should be a pretty big boost to a team that already has a ton of talent.
  • Corey Crawford has been on the shelf for the Blackhawks for a while, and that certainly hasn’t helped their spot in the standings. The netminder is reportedly suffering from a concussion, and hasn’t played in a few months.
  • One can’t help but wonder how much time is left in Chicago for the “Big 4” of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Joel Quenneville. It would be kind of dumb to fire Quenneville after one down season given all the success he’s had, but stranger things have happened. The Blackhawks have nearly $30 million in cap space tied up in Kane, Toews and Brent Seabrook. Will they move one (or Keith) to make room for a rebuild?
  • Given that the Bruins and Blackhawks are playing an old-fashioned back-to-back set, we’re going to see both Bruin goalies. I’d let Anton Khudobin start today, and give Tuukka Rask the game in Chicago.
  • Bruce Cassidy will probably shuffle his defense pairs again in an effort to keep everyone fresh. It’s unclear if it’ll be an Adam McQuaid/Nick Holden swap again, or if a guy like Brandon Carlo or Kevan Miller gets a seat for a game.
  • It is officially matinee game season. The B’s have two matinee-filled weekends in the next few weeks: this weekend’s doubleheader against Chicago, and a back-to-back with Florida and Philly on March 31-April 1.

Never forget

Daniel Paille, man. Thinking about that series still makes me mad.