Wild Gameday Preview: Chicago Blackhawks – 10/2/22

The Minnesota Wild will bring their undefeated preseason resume to Milwaukee to participate in the “Home Away from Home” game against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild’s preseason started with two straight wins against the Colorado Avalanche, one at home and one in Colorado. They followed it up with another road win against the Dallas Stars, where five different players had goals. Of those five only one of them (Marco Rossi) is back in the lineup for tonight.

Related: Wild’s Top Prospects Wallstedt & Rossi Shine in Preseason Win

The Wild are also without their preseason points leader Tyson Jost, who had a three-point night against the Stars to improve to five points in the two games he has participated in. The former top ten pick has been an offensive machine playing with the likes of Matt Boldy, Sam Steel, and Mats Zuccarello while trying to prove he deserves a larger role in the regular season.

Minnesota Wild Projected Lines

The Wild have opted for a more veteran-heavy lineup for their fourth preseason game as Freddy Gaudreau, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Marcus Foligno make their 2022-23 preseason debuts.

Gaudreau – Hartman – Boldy
Dewar – Rossi – Duhaime
Petan – Eriksson Ek – Foligno
Cramarossa – Fogarty – Walker

Lambos – Goligoski
Mermis – Johansson
Hunt – Hicketts

Fleury – McIntyre

Frederick Gaudreau Milwaukee Admirals
Frederick Gaudreau, Milwaukee Admirals (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

With Jordan Greenway expected to start the season on injured reserve, his spot on the shutdown “GREEF” line is being filled by Nic Petan. One of last year’s first-round picks, Carson Lambos, is being given an opportunity to play big minutes as he slots in next to Alex Goligoski on the first defensive pair. Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod as the starting goaltender, and it is possible we see him in net for the full 60 minutes, as was the case with Jesper Wallstedt against the Stars.

Chicago Blackhawks Projected Roster

After being shut out by the Detroit Red Wings just last night, the Blackhawks roster has a couple changes and more than likely a few different line combinations as they try to find some chemistry. By committing to a rebuild this offseason, they may be in for a tough year, but expect them to come into Milwaukee with a little more fire against a divisional rival in the Wild.

Forwards: Max Domi, David Gust, Sam Lafferty, Luke Philip, Colin Blackwell, Kale Howarth, Buddy Robinson, Samuel Savoie, Cole Guttman, Michael Teply, Patrick Kane, Andreas Athanasiou

Defense: Seth Jones, Filip Roos, Kevin Krochinski, Riley Stillman, Alex Vlasic, Caleb Jones

Goalies: Petr Mrazek, Arvid Soderblom

Players to Watch

Minnesota Wild – Freddy Gaudreau

After spending parts of five years with the Milwaukee Admirals, collecting 172 points in 280 games during that stint, Gaudreau will return in his preseason debut as a top-line winger for the Wild. He is coming off of a career year where he put up 44 points in 76 games as the second-line center for Boldy and the now Los Angeles King Kevin Fiala.

“I have no control over those things, but I’ll be honest, I would have been a little mad if I wasn’t in the lineup for [this game]”

Freddy Gaudreau

Gaudreau has consistently been given more responsibilities during his time with the Wild and has been able to fill basically any gap in the lineup without much difficulty. He is expected to start the season on a line with Boldy and potentially any of Rossi, Jost, or Sam Steel.

Chicago Blackhawks – Patrick Kane

Even on a struggling team last season, Patrick Kane managed 66 assists and 92 points in his 78 games played. While someone of his caliber is usually not going all-out in preseason competition, he always has the potential to take over a game. Wild fans will remember how deadly he can be from his performances in the 2014 and 2015 Playoffs that saw the Blackhawks drop the Wild in the second round in back-to-back seasons.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kane is in an interesting position this year as he will no doubt be the epicentre of trade rumours as the struggling Blackhawks have fully committed to a rebuild. Any team in a position to make a run at the Stanley Cup this season will be watching him closely in hopes that he may be able to help them reach that goal. Of course that all hinges on him continuing to be a dominant offensive force this season.

*Fans can catch the game tonight on Bally Sports North.

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