BOSTON — As if Dale Weise needed any extra motivation in his Blackhawks debut, it came Thursday against the Boston Bruins, a team that has grown to hate him over the years. The agitating Weise was a thorn in Boston’s side during his tenure with the rival Montreal Canadiens, particularly during the second round of the 2014 playoffs. That series ended with Boston’s Milan Lucic famously telling Weise during the handshake line,” I’m going to (bleeping) kill you next year.”
“I’ve seen plenty of these guys,” Weise said before the game. “A building I’m very familiar with, a team I’m very familiar with. I love playing here. There’s no better place to debut.”
Richard Panik was the odd-man out in the lineup with Weise finally joining the team after getting his work visa. But the eventual plan is for Weise to skate on the third line with Teuvo Teravainen and Tomas Fleischmann.
“We played probably the first 30 games together this year,” Weise said. “We had instant chemistry from the first day of training camp. He’s just such a smart player. He’s got really underrated skill. I’m more of a shooter, he’s more of a passer, so it’s a good combination. He’s always looking for me and I like to shoot the puck, so it’s perfect.”
Following a strong performance in his Hawks debut Wednesday in Detroit, Christian Ehrhoff stayed in the lineup on Thursday, with Michal Rozsival again a healthy scratch.
“I liked his game,” Quenneville said. “Really liked our defense [Wednesday] night.”
Quenneville said for the first time Thursday that he expects Marcus Kruger to play before the end of the regular season. Kruger, who underwent wrist surgery on Dec. 18, has been skating and shooting back in Chicago. Marian Hossa (lower-body injury) is expected to play either Sunday at home against Detroit or Wednesday at St. Louis.
Baun locked up
Kyle Baun, who cracked the Hawks lineup out of training camp but has spent nearly the entire season in Rockford, playing just 22 games due to injury, signed a two-year contract extension. It’s a one-way deal with an average annual value of $625,000.