Chicago takes on cancer as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight as the city hosts its cancer awareness portion of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer campaign during this Original Six matchup.
The Blackhawks’ unique lavender-laden warmup uniforms will join ties worn by coaches and announcers in an auction on chicagoblackhawks.com until 12 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
Auction sale proceeds go to Chicago Blackhawks Charities, with portions being distributed to area cancer awareness associations. The NHL and NHLPA will also host an online auction of autographed game-used sticks from select players, taped with special lavender tape, on its site: auctions.nhl.com.
The ceremonial puck drop will be performed by Jack O’Donoghue, a 9-year-old from Carol Stream, Ill., who is battling Burkitt Lymphoma.
The Blackhawks have partnered with the Make-a-Wish and Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer foundations for a pregame on-ice recognition of six local children, while six more children will ride the Zambonis before the game and during each intermission.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation works to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions by granting wishes, which often serve as a source of inspiration for kids undergoing difficult medical treatments.
The Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a national organization dedicated to eliminating pediatric cancer and providing hope and support to those who are affected by it. The foundation has three unique programs: the Bear Hugs Program, Bear Discoveries and Bear Empowerment. The Bear Hugs Program customizes experiences aimed at brightening the lives of children diagnosed with cancer, in addition to providing financial and essential support to families.
For fans in attendance, the organization’s wives and girlfriends, known as Blackhawks Better Halves, will sell player-autographed pucks with lavender writing and logos. Proceeds from those puck sales, as well as the game’s split-the-pot raffle and silent auctions will all benefit Chicago Blackhawks Charities and local cancer awareness charities.
Cancer prevention and awareness groups will be posted throughout the concourse level. Hockey Fights Cancer gear will be sold in the Blackhawks Store near section 117.
This is Hockey Fights Cancer Month’s fifteenth year. The NHL and NHLPA is expected to donate more than $200,000 in grants to national and local cancer organizations in all 30 markets, bringing the total since the initiative’s 1998 start to approximately $13 million.
The game starts at 6 p.m. CT.
After some lackluster performance by the Blackhawks in recent games, Coach Joel Quenneville is mixing up lines against the Leafs tonight.
“We’re just trying to find the chemistry, the finish we need on each line,” Andrew Shaw said. “Everyone can play with everyone on this team, that’s what’s so great about it. But we just have to see what fits best right now.”
In practice, Marian Hossa joined the top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. Patrick Kane was with Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp on the second line. Bryan Bickell, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw made up the third and Brandon Pirri anchored the fourth line with Brandon Bollig and Joakim Nordstrom.
“Scoring comes from confidence, when you’re getting the results you want and seeing the puck go in,” Toews said. “When you score a goal, you definitely feel the energy, play loose. When that happens more naturally, the rest of the game will come along, too.”
Asked if the team is nervous to take on Dave Bolland, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for them last year, Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp joked, “”His tricks aren’t going to work against us. We’ve seen them far too many times.”