Whatever the explanation — the return of goalie Corey Crawford after he tested positive for COVID-19, having Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on fresh legs, an impressive exhibition victory against the Blues or a combination thereof — the Blackhawks seem to have a good collective vibe heading into their best-of-five series against the Oilers in Edmonton, Alberta.
‘‘I think everyone feels very comfortable now and excited for Saturday,’’ coach Jeremy Colliton said.
They aren’t the only ones with a positive view of the Hawks’ road ahead.
‘‘Polling Place’’ — your weekly home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter — asked how the Hawks, the 12th and final team in the Western Conference postseason mix, will fare against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the rest of an Oilers group that was, when the NHL put things on hold in March, 11 points better in the standings.
No doubt, the Oilers are the favorites. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this being Hawks territory and all, a majority of voters didn’t see it that way.
Also, we asked about baseball without fans as a TV product and about the NFL preseason. This year, those preseason games have been called off. What good are they, anyway?
‘‘The preseason is not for fans,’’ @scottbears85 commented. ‘‘It is for coaches to evaluate the roster. [Over] four preseason games, your starters play about one game. If you don’t like it, don’t watch.’’
Don’t watch? As if we have something better to do even in non-pandemic times.
On to the polls: