The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the strongest teams in the NHL, but with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews helping to helm two different teams in the NHL All-Star Game, the strong bunch will be separated into rival factions for the game.
Toews will captain one of the teams, and the squad will be coached by Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette. Joining Toews on his team will be defenseman Brent Seabrook and goaltender Corey Crawford, both of whom are playing in their first All-Star Game.
As for Kane, he is an assistant captain for the team that is led by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno. Joining Kane on Team Foligno will be defenseman Duncan Keith.
Keith was selected in the second round of the draft, joining Team Foligno as the first defenseman the team selected. He is the defending Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman, and he’s making a good run at earning the award for the second year in a row. He has six goals and 21 assists in 46 games for the Blackhawks this season.
Seabrook is one of two Blackhawks making his All-Star debut in the game. A long-time partner of Keith’s on the Blackhawks’ top defensive pairing, Seabrook has seven goals and 18 assists so far this season for the Hawks, and he’s been one of the team’s steadiest defenders. Seabrook was selected in the seventh round of the draft, and was only the second defenseman taken by Team Toews.
Crawford is also making his All-Star debut for the Blackhawks, and he will play one period of the game, with Roberto Luongo and Jaroslav Halak each taking one turn in net for Team Toews. Crawford has an 18-10-2 record this season, with a .921 save percentage and a 2.26 goals against average.
The five Blackhawks All-Stars will all compete on Saturday night in the Skills Competition in Columbus, with the All-Star Game to follow on Sunday night. Both events will be televised on NBCSN.