Connor Murphy making season debut Sunday

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, March 30, 2018, in Denver. The Avalanche won 5-0. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

by Scott King

Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy is set to make his season debut on Sunday ( 5 p.m.) at the United Center vs. the Montreal Canadiens. Murphy had been out with a back injury.

“Everyone’s working hard and wanting to win, and we’re not getting the results,” Murphy said. “But we show spurts in games and playing hard and doing things well. So I think it’ll come and I’m really happy to start contributing.” 

The Hawks could be very glad to see Murphy back on the ice. Chicago, 9-16-5 on the season, has been outscored 30-17 in a six-game losing streak.

The team could use a big defensive body to help clear the crease, something that’s been missing in Murphy’s absence.

“I think he’ll be a really good fit,” Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “He’s very physical, wants the contact, wants to make a stop for us in the D zone. We could use a little of that. Just make clean, hard plays when he has the chance and be predictable for his teammates. And that’ll be a help for us.”

Light at the end of the tunnel?

According to the Hawks head coach, there are signs of hope with one of the two struggling teams that play in the United Center.

“The last few games, yeah,” Colliton said. “I think we had a five-six game stretch where it wasn’t very good and we didn’t look good doing it. But I think the last probably three games have been much better.

“You could argue that we deserve better, but I think you’ve got to put together a longer stretch before you think you deserve anything. So tonight we can take another step forward there.”

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