Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Chicago Blackhawks

Carolina Hurricanes

Coming off of 2 wins against the Dallas Stars, the Carolina Hurricanes (5-1-0) are in Chicago to take on the Blackhawks (3-4-3).

Let’s take a look at how the teams compare.

Incomplete Lineups

Chicago came into the season without captain Jonathan Toews and sophomore center Kirby Dach. Winger Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Nicolas Beaudin, who have both been absent due to COVID protocol, could return to Chicago’s lineup tonight.

There’s good news for the Carolina Hurricanes as Teuvo Teravainen, Jaccob Slavin, Jordan Martinook, and Warren Foegele are expected to return to the lineup tonight after missing the last 3 games (COVID protocol). Petr Mrazek (upper body) and Max McCormick (upper body) are out, as is Jesper Fast who remains on the COVID protocol list.

Breaking Down the Offense

Through 10 games, Chicago has scored 26 goals (2.6 per game) while Carolina has put up 18 goals in only 6 games (3 gpg).

Here is a breakdown of each team’s leading scorers:

Chicago Blackhawks

PlayerGames PlayedGoalsAssistsPoints
Patrick Kane104610
Mattias Janmark10336
Dylan Strome10336
Alex DeBrincat6246
Dominik Kubalik10246

Carolina Hurricanes

PlayerGames PlayedGoalsAssistsPoints
Andrei Svechnikov6426
Vincent Trocheck6426
Sebastian Aho6156
Martin Necas6134
Jordan Staal4134

The return of DeBrincat certainly helps Chicago’s cause while Teravainen’s could prove huge for Carolina. Kane continues to be an elite player, one that the Hurricanes cannot afford to take their eyes off of; the possible reunion of the TSA line should be an immeasurable boost to Carolina. That’s not mentioning the depth that the Hurricanes have up front.

Advantage: Carolina Hurricanes

Defense and Goaltending

Through 10 games, the Blackhawks have allowed 30 goals (3 per game); the Hurricanes have allowed 10 through 6 (1.67 per game). Carolina’s blueline—one of the best in the league—will get a boost from Slavin’s return. Unfortunately, youngster Jake Bean will likely find himself back on the taxi squad after pairing nicely with Haydn Fleury.

In terms of goaltending, Chicago came into the year expecting to go with a tandem of Malcolm Subban and Collin Delia. Both goalies struggled, combining for a record of 0-3-1.

In stepped Kevin Lankinen.

The undrafted Finnish netminder has done everything he can to give the Blackhawks a chance to win on any given night.

For Carolina, the duo of Mrazek and James Reimer has been solid early on. With Mrazek out indefinitely, Alex Nedeljkovic comes off of the taxi squad and steps in as the backup to Reimer.

Here’s a look at the anticipated starters:

PlayerGPRecordGAASV%SO
James Reimer33-0-01.99.9180
Kevin Lankinen63-1-21.97.9370

Both goalies have posted nearly identical goals-against averages and, while Lankinen has the edge in save percentage, he hasn’t faced an offense as potent as Carolina’s. This one’s a coin toss.

Defense Advantage: Carolina Hurricanes

Goalie Advantage: Push

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