Blackhawks face Jets in Winnipeg for Saturday afternoon game
Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks (8-2-3, 2nd in Central) will play at Winnipeg vs the Jets (3-5-2, 7th in Western wildcard), their first time playing each other as Central division rivals. It will be the first of four games between them this season. The two teams have not played each other since October 2011.
Due to the annual "Circus trip", the Blackhawks play the majority of their games on the road in November; just five of fifteen games will be at home. After Saturday afternoon's game, the Blackhawks will return to the United Center to face the Flames on Sunday, and then on to Washington, DC, for their visit to the White House.
The Blackhawks are coming off a 6-5 come-from-behind win versus Ottawa on Tuesday night; the Jets lost to the Blues that same night in St. Louis.
It will be the first game where Michael Frolik plays against his former team after being traded this summer. Frolik was a PK specialist for Chicago last season; this year, the Blackhawks' PK has plummeted to the bottom of the league at just 72.5%. The team is still looking for one of their players to fill the "Michael Frolik role".
"Facing the old team" continues to be a common storyline in Winnipeg, as three of the Jets' players won Stanley Cups with the team - Dustin Byfuglien and captain Andrew Ladd in 2010; Frolik in 2013.
Chicago's captain, Jonathan Toews, is from Winnipeg, and he is beloved locally. It is expected that he will receive a warm welcome for his first regular-season game in his hometown.
Corey Crawford (7-2-2, .916 sv%, 2.23 GAA) is expected to be in net for Chicago; he will most likely face Ondrej Pavelec (4-6-2, .909 sv%, 2.87 GAA).
Michael Kostka (lower body), Brad Mills (lower body), and Michal Handzus (upper body) out for Blackhawks; Paul Postma (blood clot), Jacob Trouba (upper body), Jim Slater (lower body) are on IR for Winnipeg.
Watch the game on WGN in Chicago, NHL-Network in the US or CBC in Canada, 2 p.m. CDT