Sunday, December 4, 2016

Blackhawks Recall Lars Johansson, Send Down Nick Schmaltz

 The Chicago Blackhawks this morning recalled goalie Lars Johansson from their AHL affilliate, Rockford Icehogs today and sent down forward, Nick Schmaltz.

With the sudden departure of Corey Crawford needing an appendectomy yesterday morning in Philadelphia, he will be unable to play for the next 2-3 weeks.  This  will put Scott Darling in the spotlight to be the big man between the pipes.

But for Johansson, this will be the first time he dresses for an NHL team.  The 28 year-old this year, is 3-4 with a 2.49 GAA and a .913 SV%.  Prior to signing with the Blackhawks this last summer, he has played in his homeland of Sweden.  The last 3 years, he has played with Frolunda HC of the Swedish-league.  There he compiled a 56-28 record, a GAA of under 2.00 and a SV% around .915.  With yesterday being the 2nd half of a back-to-back, and another one scheduled within the next couple of weeks, there is a good chance at some point Johansson gets to make his NHL debut.

For Schmaltz, a former first round-pick of the Blackhawks (2014), this year was a year to where he was to make a difference with the departure of Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell.  Although he has shown promise, his game is not quite where the Blackhawks need it to be yet.  In 26 games this year, he has just 4 points (1G 3A).  The time in Rockford should help his confidence and his decision making.

Next game for the Blackhawks is tonight at 6PM CT against the Winnipeg Jets, where they lost their first meeting of the season in Winnipeg on November 15th.  A 4-0 loss to start the circus trip.


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