Kukla's Korner Hockey
"Every team is getting better and tightening up. They get up to play us, we're on TV and we're in the playoffs a lot. We have to understand -- and it's not something new -- that teams are ready to play against us and I think that showed the first part of this season.
"As a group, we can all do better."
-Duncan Keith fo the Chicago Blackhawks after losing to the Washington Capials last night. Read more on the Blackhawks from Mike Spellman of the Chicago Daily-Herald.
via Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Several hours later, following a cathartic 5-0 victory over the Canadiens, Toews did his best to put a brave face on a new concern — an injured Patrick Sharp, who will be out “a bit” with an apparent right knee injury, according to coach Joel Quenneville. For Kris Versteeg, “a bit” meant a couple of weeks. For Daniel Carcillo, it meant a month. Quenneville said he’d know more in the next day or so.
Sharp was hurt in the third period when he was hit in the corner by Alexei Emelin. Sharp had to be helped off the ice and back to the dressing room.
With Carcillo already sidelined, that leaves the Hawks with just 11 healthy forwards, meaning a call-up is imminent.
“We’ve got some guys that have some skill and want more ice time,” Quenneville said. “So we’ll see how that works out. A lot of important ice time [is available], and someone should look to take advantage of that.”
from Kelsey Patterson at ESPNChicago,
Joel Quenneville is trying to jumpstart the Chicago Blackhawks' offense by shuffling his first two lines.
In the hopes of waking his team’s slumbering forwards, Quenneville will put Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews together on the first line when the team takes to the Bell Centre ice Tuesday evening against the Montreal Canadiens.
“These guys should be leading our offence,” said Quenneville of Kane and Toews. “Usually we like them spread out to give us a little bit more of a balanced attack, but putting them back together… They like playing with one another, and right now we are looking for a little more scoring.”
The Hawks have scored just two goals in their last two games and 12 in their last seven. The team is on a two-game losing streak. Their last time out, the Blackhawks were shut out by the Winnipeg Jets at home.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I don't think anybody should be surprised to see the NHL's top two powerhouses with middling records as the NHL's second month gets going. For teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, the regular season just doesn't mean a whole lot.
You won't hear anybody from either team ever admit this, but it's just hard to get up every night during an 82-game season when you know the real hockey awaits in the spring. It's just the truth. So you're going to see stretches like this for the Kings and Blackhawks this year, and each coach is going to use those struggling stretches to find ways to motivate his players.
But these players are human, you can't fool them. Their true hunger comes in the playoffs. Both of these teams have won two Cups apiece over the past half-decade. It's just hard to get excited and pretend to truly care about regular-season division titles. That means a lot more to teams trying to prove they're for real, teams worried about home ice in the playoffs, teams wanting regular-seaon glory. The Kings and Hawks? Sure they want to win every game, but from a mental and physical standpoint, it just wont' be there every night this early in the season.
read on for the rest of the hockey writers at ESPN for Blues/Rangers talk...
Below, watch a Legends of Hockey feature on Glenn Hall.
His consecutive game streak ended at 502 and one which will never be broken.
The Ducks beat the Blackhawks 1-0.
from Scott Powere of ESPNChicago,
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane was celebrating his own milestone after reaching 500 career points on Sunday, but he preferred to divert the attention to what teammate Marian Hossa was on the verge of accomplishing.
“I think a couple games or next game we’ll get an even better milestone when big Hoss reaches a 1,000,” Kane said on Sunday.
Kane’s statement was partially about Hossa being two points shy of 1,000 career points, but it was also about how much respect he possesses for Hossa. It’s a feeling that’s shared by most of the Blackhawks. While the numbers Hossa has put up throughout his 17-year career are impressive, it’s his work ethic in all zones and how he is as a teammate that has made him so revered in the locker room.
from Chris Peters of CBSSports,
As a familiar horn sounded to let Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling know he just earned his first win in his first NHL game, the emotion was obvious. The 6-foot-6 goalie became a little smaller as he crouched and rattled his hands in celebration. It was probably part joy, part relief and part realization of both a dream and the seizing of a second chance.
Chicago is the 13th different team that Darling has played for since the 2010-11 season, a winding road that started with a closed door. After two seasons at the vaunted University of Maine hockey program, Darling was released from the team and decided to try the pros at 21 years old.
A sixth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes three years prior, he remained unsigned, but they continued to control his rights. Instead of trying to catch on with another college program via transfer, Darling decided to embark on his pro career.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
“We’ll know more in the next day or so but he’s not playing (Sunday),” said Quenneville, referring to the Blackhawks’ game against the Ottawa Senators. “It could be a little bit more than (a week or two). I don’t think it’s that bad.”
Mike North of the Chicago Daily Herald,
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