This game is Chicago’s official Hockey Fights Cancer night, where players and broadcasters don lavender threads later auctioned for the NHL/NHLPA initiative supporting national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.
The Hawks are also teaming up with Make-A-Wish Illinois and the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation to acknowledge six local children on-ice in a special pregame ceremony. More children have been invited to ride the Zambonis during intermission and those chosen to “Shoot the Puck” at intermission are fighting cancer themselves, cancer survivors, or persons working to find a cure, according to the Blackhawks Web site.
Eight-year-old Brock Iverson from Cary, Ill., who is fighting Acute Lymphoid Leukemia, will do the game’s ceremonial puck drop.
(Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, helping them maintain their spirits during incredibly difficult medical treatments. Bear Necessities, a national organization focused on eliminating pediatric cancer and maintaining hope and support for those impacted by the illness, has two programs–the Bear Hugs Program and Bear Discoveries. Bear Hugs focuses on uplifting experiences for children battling cancer. It also provides financial support to families.)
On a grander scale, purple is the official NHL/NHLPA Hockey Fights Cancer color. The league’s charitable partners are the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Prostate Cancer Canada, Zero–The End of Prostate Cancer, The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and the Movember Foundation. Donations can be made here.
Also, team/league Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise is for sale online–with the following disclaimer: When the NHL’s online store purchases Hockey Fights Cancer products from its licensee partners to sell on shop.nhl.com, NHL Enterprises, LP and the licensee partners donate funds to the National Hockey League Foundation, a US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt private foundation, toward the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. Your purchase tells us that you support the NHL’s efforts to raise awareness in the fight against cancer.
Players throughout the league have made statements professing why they “fight.”
For the Blackhawks, Andrew Shaw has a personal stake in the fight against cancer as well. His mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2012. In fact, he auctioned off the stitches he received from a puck to the face in the 2013 Stanley Cup-winning game, donating the proceeds to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
For tonight’s game, players will wear special lavender jerseys for warmups, while coaches and broadcasters will don lavender ties.
All jerseys and ties will be auctioned, along with signed photographs, to fans on chicagoblackhawks.com beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and running through 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to Chicago Blackhawks Charities, with portions being distributed to various local cancer awareness organizations.
Tonight the 7-5-0 Blackhawks, sixth in the Central Division, take on the 8-3-1, second place Blues. Each team’s most recent game was against the Los Angeles Kings, with the Hawks winning 4-2 in a third period comeback Monday night and the Blues falling in a 3-0 shutout last night.
The teams are tied at 2.17 in goals-against per game, but St. Louis has Chicago beat 2.50 to 2.33 in goals-for and 31.6 to 31.2 in shots-taken. They also have the edge in shots-against, 26.8 to 28.5. However, the Hawks have the lead for the power play, 19.5 to 9.5 percent, likely thanks to their puck-possession style of play, as well as the penalty kill–84.4 to 83.0 percent.
The Blackhawks expected forward lines are Artemi Panarin–Jonathan Toews–Ryan Garbutt, Teuvo Teravainen–Artem Anisimov–Patrick Kane, Marko Dano–Tanner Kero–Ryan Hartman, and Andrew Desjardins–Marcus Kruger-Shaw.
The Hawks are 6-1-0 at home this year, while St. Louis is 4-2-0 on the road.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. CT on NBCSN and TVAS.
Sure, it’s Rivalry Night. And, sure, there’s not much love between Chicago and St. Louis–two talents with very different styles of play.
But it looks like tonight the Blackhawks are turning NBC’s “night we love to hate” into a night we can’t help but love.