Blackhawks open preseason against old-rival Red Wings Tuesday
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter September 16, 2013 10:00PM
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55) is checked into the boards by Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) during the first period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: October 18, 2013 6:33AM
The Blackhawks open the preseason Tuesday night against a familiar foe, the Detroit Red Wings. But after this one, and another exhibition in Detroit on Sunday, the two will go their separate ways as Detroit heads to the Eastern Conference. They’ll play just twice a year from now on.
“There’s been a great history, great tradition, great battles and great wars,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’ll lose that type of rival, but I still think in those two games we can recapture that, and it’ll still take a while before it loses its luster. [Especially] coming off an amazing playoff [series] with them. A couple of our best games of the year in the regular season were against Detroit, too.”
Jonathan Toews, who skated but didn’t play in Monday night’s scrimmage, will not play as he continues to nurse his lower-body injury. But Quenneville did say that Toews “definitely” will see some preseason games, reiterating that the injury is not serious.
Quenneville said Teuvo Teravainen will again skate in Toews’ spot on the top line, between Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane.
Patrick Sharp earned the title of “Most Fit Blackhawk” for the first time, placing the highest after last Wednesday’s training camp testing. He said he won a gift card to Lululemon — “I’ll give that to the wife; I’m sure she’ll get her hands on it as soon as I get home,” he said — but more importantly, bragging rights.
“I’ve been chasing [Adam] Burish for a couple years, and Duncan Keith and [Niklas Hjalmarsson],” Sharp said. “I’m proud to win it this year. Hopefully it translates into some big things.”
There were a couple thousand empty seats in the 300 level for Moday’s Red-White scrimmage, but it was still an impressive — and enthusiastic — crowd for what amounts to a practice game.
“We can consider ourselves pretty lucky to play for the Hawks,” Sharp said. “A Monday night, you get a big crowd like that to support us. They were cheering for big hits, cheering for goals. It was a lot of fun to be out there — makes you proud to be a Hawk.”