Kukla's Korner Hockey
Since the Olympic break ended, the Chicago Blackhawks have collected 7 points over 7 games...
from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,
So the edict has been read, and heard, loud and clear: the Blackhawks’ usually strong work ethic has been absent, and it has to return ASAP.
“I don’t think he’s happy. We’re not happy, either. A lot of the things that are costing us games are preventable and it’s up to us to apply why Q’s talking about,” said Patrick Sharp, who wasn’t going down the excuse path for what’s gone wrong lately. “It’s easy to point the finger at those things. Mistakes we’re making aren’t from lack of energy or fatigue, if that’s what you’re getting at. It’s more the mental focus and doing the little things to be successful.”...
“The last couple of (losses) were definitely winnable hockey games. Those are the games that bother us, me more than anybody. We didn’t play the right way to give us a chance to win,” Quenneville said. “We didn’t challenge pucks, weren’t hard in the puck area, we were easy to play against. They outmanned us in puck areas and came up with all the loose pucks. When you don’t come up with loose pucks anywhere around the rink, you’re going to be chasing. We were chasing the game and score in both games.”
And as far as players trying to do too much, coach Joel Quenneville said it’s more the opposite of that.
“I’d like to see more of doing something,” he said. “Our speed, pace, puck support and work ethic have eroded a little bit, particularly in the last two games.”
Patrick Kane with a nice move and a great backhand. The Blackhawks did lose 3-2 to the Avalanche.
Hossa was injured in the Stadium Series game against Pittsburgh Saturday night. Looks like a shoulder to me...
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have agreed to terms with forward Brandon Bollig on a three-year contract extension, which runs through the end of the 2016-17 National Hockey League season.
"We take a great amount of pride in having watched Brandon come up through our system and become a big part of our lineup on a daily basis”, Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said. “We are pleased to be able to come to this agreement with him, ensuring that he will remain a part of our organization. We look forward to seeing his continued development with the Blackhawks.”
Bollig, a member of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion team, has tallied a career-high 12 points (6g, 6a) in 62 games this season with the Blackhawks. He currently leads the team with 138 hits and 69 penalty minutes. He scored his first-career NHL goal/point in Chicago’s opening-night win over Washington on Oct. 1 and posted a career-best two points (1g, 1a) on Nov. 2 at Winnipeg.
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 2, 2014 -- NBC’s primetime coverage of last night’s NHL Stadium Series game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks (8-11:15 p.m. ET) from Soldier Field in Chicago registered a 2.1 overnight rating, making it the highest overnight ever on NBC for a non-Winter Classic NHL regular-season game, according to metered market data from The Nielsen Company.
For a 4-year-old, Nicholas Skretkowski handles being on the blades like a pro...
from Austin Knoblauch at the Chicago Tribune,
Hours before the start of the Blackhawks’ 5-3 win, Kane learned that his grandfather, Donald Kane, had died.
As difficult as it was for Kane to play, he put on an inspired performance against the Kings, scoring two goals and assisting on another to lead the Blackhawks to their third win this season over the Kings.
After the game, an emotional Kane said it was difficult playing knowing that the man who played such an important role in his life was gone.
read on and below, watch Kane post-game...
from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,
It was a rather forgettable month for the Blackhawks, who went 5-3-6 during it. They couldn’t have ended it much better, though, scoring five unanswered goals in their 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. It got the Blackhawks back on track after a rough outing in Calgary, and they sit at 1-0-1 heading into the next part of this road trip....
This team is not struggling. January wasn’t their greatest month but they got points in 11 out of their 14 games. Two seasons ago around this time of year, the Blackhawks had a nine-game winless streak (0-8-1). That was struggling. This is a hiccup, a blip on the radar, and in an 82-game season it’s going to happen, even to an elite group such as this. Hey, if you’re going to have some rough moments, might as well do it right before the break. The Blackhawks came out so strong, so determined to show they weren’t suffering a Stanley Cup hangover that they were bound to bump into a wall. It’ll be OK, my young grasshoppers.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Perhaps no team in the NHL boasts as many elite skill players as the Blackhawks do. Four-on-four hockey — with its wide-open ice and propensity for odd-man rushes — seems perfectly suited to the likes of Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews.
Yet the Hawks have played in 17 overtime periods this season, and haven’t scored in any of them.
And nobody can quite explain it.
“Yeah, it’s a good question,” Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said following Wednesday’s shootout loss to Detroit. “I don’t know the answer to that. You try to make plays, and you try to hold on to the puck and have possession, but you want to be smart at the same time. You want to create chances, but you don’t want to give up too many chances. We don’t really get scored on in overtime much, either. But I don’t know what it is. I have no idea.”
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The defending Stanley Cup champions are “struggling’’ — i.e., they no longer have the most points in the NHL (Anaheim does), are 4-1-5 in their last 10 games and have dropped to 4-6 in shootouts.
With three weeks until the Sochi Olympics begin and three months until the playoffs start, much of the fretting is devoted to an old, apparently comforting standby — the Lack of a Second-Line Center. This “failing” is the reason for all that has ailed the Blackhawks the last few years, not that there has been much ailing. The Hawks can win a game 6-0, and someone will bring up the deficiencies of Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger or Andrew Shaw centering the second line.
Still, it has to be a relief to goalie Corey Crawford, who used to be everybody’s target practice. Can’t win a Stanley Cup, they said, until he did. Not tough enough between the ears under pressure, they said, until he was.
But people move on to the next victim. It’s like a bored kid playing with his food.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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