Blues won’t face any of Hawks’ top players tonight

20 Comments

The St. Louis Blues can secure the fourth seed in the Western Conference with a win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Normally beating the Blackhawks would be a daunting task, but that won’t be the case tonight.

Chicago has already won the Presidents’ Trophy and will play without most of their best players, including Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

27-year-old goaltender Carter Hutton will be making his NHL debut as Chicago’s starter.

The Blackhawks decision hurts the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks in their quest to close the one-point gap between them and the St. Louis Blues.

“We’re worried about our own business,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “And I think we’ve got to give some credit to the lineup that’s playing tonight. Hopefully they surprise everybody.”

This is Chicago’s sixth contest in just nine days and it’s a one-game road trip. The star players that will not be in the lineup got to stay in Chicago.

For his part, Sharks coach Todd McLellan seems to respect Quenneville’s decision.

“They’ve earned the right to do whatever they want to do with their team,” McLellan said in a San Jose Mercury News report.