Between the Circles
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
That's when Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville usually turns to the trio of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.
Based on Saturday's morning skate, those three will skate together as the Hawks' top line in Game 5 tonight at the United Center.
"For us three we played together a lot my first couple years in the league and just kind of developed some chemistry to where it was pretty instant," Kane said. "I think we just have to remember how to play with one another. We haven't done it in a while. Hopefully we can have a good first couple shifts and get some chemistry back right away.
DETROIT - Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said the team needs more from defenseman Brent Seabrook starting in Game 4 tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
Seabrook played less than 18 minutes in the Hawks' Game 3 loss and was minus-1. He let Gustav Nyquist go around him on Detroit's first goal.
"We're looking for more," Quenneville said after Thursday's morning skate.
"Whether it's a matchup or the way the game is being played, how we're playing, how he's playing, I think reflects that," Quenneville said of Seabrook's reduced ice time in Game 3. "I think our defense has been pretty solid throughout most of the season, but we need everybody to be strong and we have to be comfortable with everybody against anybody."
DETROIT - Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson and Kings captain Dustin Brown are the three finalists for the 2012-13 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone.
The Messier award goes to "the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season."
Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and league personnel and NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier's alone.
The NHL announced Friday the finalists for the 2013 Jack Adams Trophy, given annually to the coach of the year. Named the three finalists were the Blackhawks' Joel Quenneville, Anaheim's Bruce Boudreau and Ottawa's Paul MacLean.
Quenneville led the Hawks to an NHL-best 36-7-5 record and 77 points to capture the second Presidents' Trophy in franchise history. With Quenneville at the helm, the Blackhawks began the season with points in an NHL-record 24 consecutive games (21-0-3) and finished the season with a .802 points percentage, which was good for fifth best in NHL history.
The team's 77 points set a league record for the most points in a 48-game season, topping the 1938-39 Boston Bruins (74 points).
Patrick Kane on Thursday was announced as one of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy given to the player who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Kane was named along with Matt Moulson of the Islanders and Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay.
Kane ranked fifth in the NHL with 55 points while generating only 8 penalty minutes – the lowest total among the league’s top 20 scorers.
“Anytime you’re up for an award it’s exciting,” Kane said. “I thought maybe I had a chance for this one. It kind of speaks volumes of where my game has gone since my rookie season. I remember I used to take a lot of penalties that were kind of unnecessary. I kind of got that out of my game.”
After getting snubbed in voting for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews on Wednesday was named one of the three finalists for the Selke Trophy, which goes to the league’s top defensive forward.
Toews was voted one of the three finalists by the Professional Hockey Writers Association along with Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron.
“It’s a good feeling for sure,” Toews said. “For a while it was Kaner (Patrick Kane) and I being mentioned in the Hart conversation and I don’t think you get to the point without great teammates and a great team behind you, and the same goes for this.
The Blackhawks will play the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, sending their long-time rivalry out with a bang.
Seventh-seeded Detroit advanced with a 3-2 win over No. 2 seed Anaheim on Sunday night in Game 7 of that first-round series.
This will be the first playoff meeting between the Hawks and Red Wings since the 2009 Western Conference finals.
The best-of-seven series will start Wednesday night at the United Center with Game 2 on Saturday night. Games 3 and 4 are tentatively set for Monday and Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings are leaving the Western Conference next season for the East.
Apparently Jonathan Toews’ monster season wasn’t good enough for some media voters.
Toews was not among the three finalists announced Friday for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL’s most valuable player.
Instead, Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby, Washington right wing Alex Ovechkin and Islanders center John Tavares got the majority of votes from members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Although he missed the final 12 games of the regular season due to a broken jaw, Crosby still finished fourth in scoring with 56 points. He was plus-26.
Dave Bolland was to miss his fifth straight playoff game Thursday with a groin injury, but the veteran center vowed to be ready for the second round if the Blackhawks advance.
“For sure, I’m working at it to make sure it gets better,” Bolland said.
Bolland said there was a 50-50 chance he would play Thursday if the series with Minnesota wasn’t 3-1 for the Hawks.
“It eats at you a lot, it’s pretty painful, actually,” Bolland said of watching. “It’s not fun being out and spending all your time in the training room and workout room while the other guys are on the ice playing.”
Duncan Keith is the proud father of a baby boy.
The Blackhawks defenseman flew back to Chicago on Monday night for the birth and was expected to return in time to play in Game 4 on Tuesday.
It’s the first child for Keith and his wife, Kelly Rae.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said it was a no-brainer to allow Keith to leave the team to attend the birth.
“It’s a good day for the Keiths,” Quenneville said. “It sounds like everything went well and we’re happy by the whole situation. We’re encouraged that he’ll be here today. It’s good news all the way around.
“I think family comes first in a situation like that. We’d want him to be there for his first child born. It was an easy decision. I’m very happy he was there in time and it all worked out.”