WINNIPEG -- After being suspended six games for a vicious crosscheck on the arm of Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, Chicago Blackhawks tough guy Daniel Carcillo returns to face the team he committed the sin against.
“I served my time,” Carcillo said as he met with the media Friday morning. “I’ve moved past that.”
Mumbles around the Jets dressing room suggest that no one is out for retribution against the Blackhawks’ fourth-liner. Perreault, who missed two games because of the infraction, said he and his team have moved past the incident.
Carcillo played coy when asked about if he was expecting any sort of revenge from the Jets.
“I’m just thinking about the hockey game,” he said. “They beat us pretty good this year, both on the ice and little in the alley. I think we are all looking forward to tonight and getting our swag back.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said that Carcillo will bring an added dimension to the lineup.
“He can play and has some energy," he said. "We haven’t had that over the past couple of games, and we need that to change.”
Asked if there was any concern of retaliation against his club, Quenneville said his squad needs to be smart out on the ice.
Where's the offense? The Blackhawks haven’t scored a goal since last Friday, and they are getting set to face a Jets team that has allowed just three goals off Blackhawk sticks in as many games this season.
Needless to say, it’s an important game for the Blackhawks.
“We’ve been in some different games, I guess,” said Jonathan Toews, who commented that his team played well on its most recent road trip but just couldn’t get the wins. “We need to be a lot better than we were in the last game, and we know if we work and play the right way we are going to get the results.”
Patrick Sharp echoed that his club could really use a victory.
“We need a win in this locker room for a lot of different reasons,” he said. “Throw in the fact that these guys have had our number this year, they are a division opponent and seem to play us well every time we see them ... it makes us want it.”
The Blackhawks will be looking to find their scoring touch again and put some pressure on both the Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues, who are eight points up in the Central Division standings, and the Jets are looking to snap a five-game winless drought.
“For us to score goals we need to get to the front of the net,” Quenneville said.
Winnipeg rookie netminder Michael Hutchinson has been the Jets’ catalyst for success in each outing against Chicago, steering aside 98 of 101 shots by the Blackhawks, including a shutout performance back in early November. He'll get the start in goal again tonight, and Corey Crawford will start for the Hawks.
Notes: Brad Richards missed this morning’s pregame skate, but Quenneville said he would be good to go for puck drop … Kris Versteeg practiced and saw time centering the second line in the pregame skate. Quenneville said he he won’t play Friday or Monday but could return as early as Wednesday night.