Preseason finale looms large for some Hawks
This might be center Brandon Pirri's last chance to impress the coaching staff and show he belongs on the Blackhawks' opening night roster.
Pirri, who was slowed by a lower body injury earlier in training camp, will be in the lineup Saturday when the Hawks close their preseason schedule against Washington at the United Center.
"I'm in the best shape of my life and you don't really lose that in a week," Pirri said. "It's been a little nerve-wracking, but you're in Chicago with your buddies so you just try to enjoy the experience."
Judging from the line rushes at practice this week where Pirri and Jeremy Morin were on the outside looking in, both might need to have an impressive showing Saturday.
"They want to see a consistent game," Pirri said.
"It's an ongoing process," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I'd say it's five guys for three spots. With that process, the clearest indication will be what happens after the game and how they play (Saturday). It's still being determined."
The only players who appear to have nailed down jobs are Ben Smith and Joakim Nordstrom.
"Whether it's Nordstrom kind of out there at the start of it, the way he has played, he's enhanced his positioning, but I think it's close at the other decisions," Quenneville said.
Ring it up:
The Hawks will receive their 2013 Stanley Cup rings on Sunday night at a private ceremony at a downtown hotel.
The rings were partly designed by captain Jonathan Toews, who worked with the Jostens company.
The Hawks' 2010 Stanley Cup rings were valued at $30,000.
Marian Hossa was kidding when talking about linemates Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus.
While Sharp has had a great training camp, winning the fitness award, both Hossa and Handzus are coming off injuries.
"I think we had some great games together (in the playoffs)," Hossa said. "We know we have something. Sharpie has looked extremely good this year. He's skating well and shooting, so that's a good sign.
"Zus is getting better and so am I. We try not to slow him down."
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