Goalie Carter Hutton likely to make debut in finale
By Mark Lazerus email@example.com April 26, 2013 11:02PM
Chicago Blackhawks Vs Calgary Flames 1St-Period Chicago Blackhawks No.16 Marcus Kruger checks Calgary Flames No.46 carter Bancks. Friday April 26, 2013 I Photo by Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
BLACKHAWKS AT BLUES
The facts: 7, Ch. 9, 720-AM.
Updated: May 29, 2013 8:03AM
The Blackhawks’ regular-season finale on Saturday comes 21 hours after Friday night’s home game against Calgary, and it will be in St. Louis against a physical Blues team that loves nothing more than smashing Hawks into the boards.
So it’s little wonder that coach Joel Quenneville has picked that game to give some of his regulars a night off.
With Ray Emery out with a lower-body injury and Corey Crawford having played in his fifth consecutive game Friday night, Carter Hutton is likely to make his NHL debut in net for the Hawks.
Defenseman Ryan Stanton, called up Friday morning and on the ice for the morning skate before the Flames game, also is likely to play.
Later on Friday, the Hawks called up eight more players from Rockford — forwards Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri and Ben Smith; defensemen Adam Clendening, Shawn Lalonde and Steve Montador; and goaltender Henrik Karlsson. With Rockford’s season over, the “Black Aces,” as they’re known in hockey parlance, are expected to simply be along for the Stanley Cup playoffs ride, but some of them likely will play in St. Louis.
“We might look at resting some guys,” Quenneville said.
Quenneville didn’t offer specifics. But with the playoffs not starting until Tuesday or Wednesday — and Patrick Kane saying that from what he hears, the Hawks likely won’t have their first game until Wednesday — the players aren’t exactly begging for a night off.
“I don’t know yet, we’ll see what happens,” Kane said. “I don’t really care either way, to be honest with you.”
When asked if he wanted to sit out a game, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson shrugged and said, “Not really. It’s up to Q.”
Three teams remain in the running for the eighth seed — and the right to face the Hawks in the first round — in the Western Conference: Detroit, Minnesota and Columbus. And the Hawks are watching.
“Very interesting,” Quenne-ville said. “There’s still a lot to be determined [in the West], 4-5-6-7-8, and I think everyone’s been jockeying, everyone’s [playing] like the points are valuable. “
Kane said the Hawks aren’t thinking about potential matchups yet. In fact, he listed the eliminated Dallas Stars instead of Columbus when he was talking about the race for the eighth seed.
“Sometimes you start thinking about matchups, and they always seem to go against you and not in your favor, so we’ll just watch and whoever we play, we’ll play,” he said. “We know it’ll be a tough matchup. You saw a team like L.A. last year, an eight seed winning the whole thing. Nothing’s for granted.”
Emery and center Dave Bolland are “day-to-day,” according to Quenneville. He said both should be ready in time for the playoffs.