Tonight's game is the final preseason test before the Blackhawks depart for Europe, meaning, for some, it could be one last chance to make a quality impression before final cuts are made to the camp roster and a traveling squad is set.
"The guys who are in (Wednesday's roster), it's another chance to leave an impression, but those decisions aren't final," Colliton said after practice on Tuesday. "There's going to be changes throughout the year. We tell these guys that you build a body of work and ultimately you'll earn what you get … those guys that would consider themselves bubble guys, yeah, of course it's a chance to make one more impression."
Two of those bubble guys getting back into the lineup tonight are Adam Boqvist and Anton Wedin. Neither saw action against Boston on Saturday, but each has impressed over the nearly two weeks the team has been in Chicago.
Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman told reporters that the traveling party will be finalized following tonight's game, meaning Boqvist and Wedin will find out if they're taking a nearly 4,500-mile flight on Thursday.
"Obviously you always think about those things, but you live day-by-day in training camp and try to do your best and improve everyday," Wedin said. "Like always, I'm just trying to relax and play (my) game. Keep it simple the first shifts and get into the game and just try your best and what you're good at."
"It's going to be fun to play against the big names," Boqvist said as Washington brings a roster full of NHL talent that could serve as a true benchmark for his readiness. "It's a big opportunity for me to show them I want to be here, so I'm just going to go out there and play my best hockey."
Chicago and Washington meet for the second time this preseason, essentially bookending the Blackhawks North American exhibition schedule. On Sept. 16, the Capitals took a 4-3 OT win at Capital One Arena. Aleksi Saarela, Alexander Nylander and Boqvist scored for Chicago before Tom Wilson tallied the overtime winner.
The Blackhawks annonced just before taking the ice for morning skate that Zack Smith (lower back) and Robin Lehner (right hip) will not practice today. Jeremy Colliton confirmed after that neither injury was serious in nature and both were being given an extra day to rest.