Reeling Sharks might be out for blood when they face Blackhawks on Thursday
Of all the teams the Blackhawks would want to face to open the home portion of their schedule, San Jose might be the at the bottom of the list.
That's because the reeling -- yet talented -- Sharks are off to an 0-4-0 start. They've managed just 5 goals in losses to Vegas (twice), Anaheim and Nashville.
"Yeah, they're going to be a desperate team," Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton said after practice Wednesday. "We need to be desperate too. … "We want to get started on the right foot with our home schedule and establishing that it's a difficult place to play."
Thursday's game begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Hawks earned just 46 points at the United Center last season, going 19-14-8. All eight Western Conference playoff teams earned at least 48 points at home, with Calgary (57) and San Jose (55) leading the way.
The Hawks managed to rebound after a 9-18-5 start in 2018-19, but they ultimately failed to earn a wild-card berth.
"It wears on you for sure," Colliton said. "It was a big hole to dig out of. … We had to play so well just to get back in the race, and then often at times that's what happens.
"You dig yourself out of a hole and we just got our nose above water and then we slid back a little bit. We want to have a good start."
Defenseman Connor Murphy practiced Wednesday and should be able to play against San Jose on Thursday. Meanwhile, Calvin de Haan (groin) remains out and probably will not suit up.
The defense pairings at practice were Duncan Keith and Erik Gustafsson; Olli Maatta and Brent Seabrook; and Slater Koekkoek and Murphy.
The Hawks have scored 16 goals in their last two home openers. They defeated Pittsburgh 10-1 in 2017 and lost 7-6 to Toronto in overtime last year.