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Blues at Blackhawks Preseason Preview/GameDay Thread

Tonight marks Zach Bolduc’s debut.

St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Believe it or not, the Blues haven’t played the Blackhawks since an exhibition game in the Edmonton bubble way back on July 29th of last year. If there’s one thing that the Covid-necessitated division did last year, it’s make Blues fans almost miss playing the Hawks.

The rivalry is back, and the schedulers have jumped into it this weekend. Tonight’s game is at the United Center in Chicago; tomorrow night’s game is in Independence, MO, at Cable Dahmer Arena, home of the Kansas City Mavericks.

The lines tonight are pretty solid for a preseason game:

The first line especially is intriguing - Jake Neighbours has been slotted into Brendan Saad’s spot on a line with Robert Thomas and Vladimir Tarasenko, which is a huge opportunity for the prospect to show off his skill set. It’s becoming more and more clear that the coaching staff wants to give Neighbours every opportunity to succeed; while not a sign that he’ll be staying in the NHL after the preseason wraps, it is a sign that the team expects him to play a major role in the future.

An even better sign for both Neighbours and Perunovich are tonight’s powerplay units:

Those are both decent units designed to get some of the younger players a look with experienced guys. Neighbours and Perunovich will benefit, but you’ll notice that Zach Bolduc is slated to be in on the top unit. Bolduc, who was the team’s first round (17th overall) pick at the 2021 NHL Draft, has been injured and did not participate in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament as he had planned to do. He’s been easing himself into play at camp, and tonight will give fans a good first look at his skill set.

Well, it would be a first look if the game was being televised in the St. Louis area. You can catch the game on ESPN 101, via stlouisblues.com, or on the NHL app with Chris Kerber and Joey Vitale on the call tonight at 7:30.