Blackhawks Forced To Use Unorthodox Lineup vs. Blues


The Blackhawks will roll with 11 forwards and six defensemen against the defending Stanley Cup champions due to injury.

After back-to-back embarrassing losses to the Colorado Avalanche this past weekend, things don’t get much easier for the Chicago Blackhawks in the upcoming games. The 17-5-6 St. Louis Blues come to the United Center on Monday night, then the Blackhawks will travel to Boston to take on the Bruins, who are currently 11-0-4 at home this season.

To make matters worse, the Blackhawks are currently decimated by injuries. They will play one skater short against the Blues after two players were unexpectedly added to the injury report on Monday morning. Due to financial reasons, the Blackhawks are unable to recall a skater from their AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs.

Here’s a quick look at the Blackhawks injury report:

  • Drake Caggiula (concussion) – Caggiula has been in concussion protocol since taking a puck to the face Nov. 10 against Toronto. The fourth-year forward has been skating by himself for about a week now, but he’s not eligible to be activated off long-term injured reserve until Dec. 5 against Boston.
  • Duncan Keith (groin) – Keith tweaked his groin Friday night vs. Colorado and won’t play for the second consecutive game against St. Louis. There’s still no timetable for Keith’s return.
  • Dylan Strome (concussion) – Strome has missed the last three contests after feeling symptoms of a concussion during the Tampa Bay game. The 22-year-old skated with the Blackhawks during Monday’s morning skate but has not been cleared to play.
  • Andrew Shaw (undisclosed) – There’s yet to be any update as to why Shaw won’t play Monday night. Shaw did get in a fight with Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves on Friday and also took a stick to the face on Saturday.
  • Robin Lehner (flu) – Lehner is dealing with flu-like symptoms (probably sick of the Blackhawks defense) and won’t dress on Monday. The Blackhawks recalled goaltender Kevin Lankinen from the Rockford IceHogs to serve as Corey Crawford’s backup. For the Hawks to stay cap compliant, defenseman Ian McCoshen was reassigned to Rockford.

According to Cap Friendly, the Blackhawks have just $362,499 in cap space as of Monday. Stan Bowman’s hands are tied in this situation, so the Hawks will have to dress only 17 skaters against the Blues. Dressing 17 skaters isn’t something that happens often in the NHL, but according to coach Jeremy Colliton, it’s not uncommon in the AHL.

“Happens all the time in the American League,” Colliton said. “Guys will get to play more. We haven’t played since Saturday and we don’t play again until Thursday. So of course, there are guys missing we’d love to have, but it’s no excuse.”

The Blackhawks will need to give their best effort, especially with a man down, in order to pick up a much-needed two points on Monday night vs. St. Louis.

For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author (@JackBushman2) on Twitter. Make sure to check out the author’s podcast, Talkin’ Hawkey, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Twitter (@TalkinHawkey).