Between the Circles
Posted by TimS on Tue, 11/22/2011 - 23:32
Coach Joel Quenneville admitted to reporters on Tuesday that canceling the Blackhawks' side trip to Las Vegas on Sunday and Monday was considered following Saturday's humiliating 9-2 loss at Edmonton.
But the trip went on as planned and now we'll see if it helped clear everyone's head going into Wednesday's game at San Jose.
“It was all probably visited, but let’s move forward,” Quenneville said. “Under the circumstances it was probably the worst time you’d ever want to walk into Vegas.”
Former GM Bob Murray once canceled a side trip to Vegas because the team was playing poorly. Patrick Kane admitted the thought did cross his mind after the Edmonton debacle.
Posted by TimS on Sun, 11/13/2011 - 22:51
The Edmonton Oilers, once the talk of the NHL for their fast start and earlier six-game winning streak, have now lost three in a row and four of five.
Young or not, Oilers coach Tom Renney let his team have it following Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center.
“No battle level, no sustained battle level, no forecheck; we weren’t heavy on our own sticks,” Renney said. “We scored 3 goals and should have been in a hockey game because of it. Didn’t do it.
Posted by TimS on Mon, 11/07/2011 - 14:17
The day after their ugly 6-2 loss to Vancouver, the Blackhawks showed up for practice Monday to find changes to every forward line and defense pair.
“Whether it was coming or not, last night was a game that gets your attention in a lot of ways,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “When you look at things, you don't mind making changes on a merit basis. Guys will get different opportunities and have a chance to enhance their opportunity going forward.”
The big change on defense will be reuniting Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, assuming Keith can return from his hand injury Tuesday at St. Louis.
Posted by TimS on Sun, 11/06/2011 - 13:11
Leave it to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to tell it like it is: Some NHL regular season games mean more than others.
Like the Hawks and Vancouver Canucks, even in the first week of November.
“There are always games that are marked on your calendar during the regular season,” Toews said following Sunday's morning skate. “You can't say that every game is the same because it's not.
Posted by TimS on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 13:31
Talk about uncharted territory.
The Blackhawks will play a game without Duncan Keith on Thursday against Florida for the first time since January of 2009, when the defenseman sat because of a concussion.
Keith suffered an injury to his left hand blocking a shot in Monday's win over Nashville that coach Joel Quenneville is calling a day-to-day situation. Quenneville said Wednesday that while Keith won't play Thursday, he expected him to return to the lineup soon.
This will be only the seventh game Keith has missed in seven seasons in the NHL.
The defense pairings for Thursday's game against the Panthers will look like this: Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy and Sean O'Donnell, Steve Montador and Sami Lepisto.
Corey Crawford starts in goal.
Posted by TimS on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 12:00
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said of Rostislav Olesz before training camp that he was eager to see where the veteran forward fit in with his new team.
That question remains unanswered a month into the season.
Olesz, acquired from Florida last June for Brian Campbell and earning $3.1 million, has been a healthy scratch for the last seven games and likely will sit again Monday night when the Hawks host Nashville.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said following Monday's morning skate John Scott could be in the lineup at forward on the fourth line for the second straight game. A spot has opened at forward because of Daniel Carcillo's two-game suspension.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 10/29/2011 - 17:59
Daniel Carcillo's first trip to the principal's office as a member of the Blackhawks didn't go well Saturday.
Carcillo was slapped with a two-game suspension by NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan for his hit on Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen in Friday's loss.
Carcillo was disciplined by Shanahan even though referees Eric Furlatt and Ghislain Hebert failed to call a penalty on the play.
Carcillo and Pitkanen were chasing a loose puck when the Hawks' winger bumped Pitkanen from behind into the end boards.
Pitkanen went to the dressing room briefly but quickly returned and finished the game.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wasn't happy with Shanahan's decision.
Posted by TimS on Tue, 10/25/2011 - 18:37
Blackhawks Joel Quenneville said he would be looking at all aspects of how the Blackhawks approach shootouts, but his best bet still is to use Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in his top three.
For their careers, Toews ranks 16th among active players in shootouts with a success rate of 48.7 percent (19-for-39) while Kane is 21st at 37.8 percent (17-for-45).
Both Toews and Kane are 0-for-2 this season in team shootout losses to Boston and Colorado.
If you are wondering about some of the other Hawks for their careers, Marian Hossa ranks 32nd among active players at 14-for-40, but Quenneville has yet to use him this season.
Patrick Sharp is just 7-for-32 in career shootout attempts, including a miss this season.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 10/22/2011 - 11:52
Now that Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull finally have their statues outside the United Center, are there any Blackhawks next in line?
Not unless you consider Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to be candidates way down the road.
“I'm just trying to get back on the scoresheet after two games,” Kane joked Saturday morning. “I'm not really worried about a statue, to be honest with you.”
Kane is a Hull and Mikita fan, just like everyone else, even though he never got to see the Hall of Famers play. Kane's dad and grandfather have told him all about their greatness.
“My grandpa actually knows a lot of the days of Bobby and Stan,” Kane said. “For him to remember that and tell me stories that you actually can look up and say were true is pretty cool.”
Posted by TimS on Mon, 10/17/2011 - 13:06
The Blackhawks left on their two-game road trip to Arizona and Colordao Monday with Marian Hossa along for the ride.
While Hossa missed practice again Monday with an upper body injury, coach Joel Quenneville did not rule him out of Tuesday's game against the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
“Hoss is doing better today and we're hoping he can play tomorrow,” Quenneville said.
Rostislav Olesz skated in Hossa's spot on the line with Patrick Kane and Daniel Carcillo at Monday's practice.
Carcillo took Hossa's spot on the second power play unit.
“I'm just hoping Hossa plays tomorrow,” joked Quenneville.
Corey Crawford will start in goal against the Coyotes, Quenneville said.