Blackhawks

Blackhawks breakdown: Daniel Carcillo

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Blackhawks breakdown: Daniel Carcillo

CSNChicago.com Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers and PGL host Chris Boden will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Hawks roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.
In one hit on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert on Jan. 2, Daniel Carcillo received a five-minute major penalty, seven-game suspension and torn ACL that ended his first season in Chicago after just 28 games. While he was on the ice (for an average of 11 minutes, 24 second per game), Carcillo scored two goals and had nine assists. He delivered 76 hits, sat i the penalty box for 82 minutes and fininshed plus-10.

Boden's take: Like Steve Montador, Carcillo's season can't truly be assessed outside of the 28 games he played. He started the season serving a suspension carried over from the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, and earned two more sitdowns, including the play that eventually ended his season. As he shuffled between forward lines, he seemed at times to be trying to figure out the fine line between hard, clean play and a style that crept over "the edge." Sometimes it even seemed as though he was thinking whether to be more agitator or playmaker. When he found a comfort zone on the correct side of that line, he was good. Had he stayed healthy, he could have been useful in the playoff series against Phoenix. He's willing to dig in corners and protect the skill guys if he's on the top two lines.

Myers' take: Ah, Carbomb. When he was good, he was pretty good. And when he was bad he was suspended. Carcillo started the season where few expected him to: on a line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane. And for the most part, the experiment was a good one. Carcillo provided the protection for the Blackhawks stars and added a little offense of his own. But then there was that other side, the one that has led to 10 suspensions and fines, including three this season. Carcillos last was his most costly, both for the Blackhawks and him personally (seven games and a season-ending knee surgery).

2012-13 Expectations

Chris: Despite being sidelined with his major knee injury, the Blackhawks re-signed him to a two-year, 1.65 million deal, saying if they didn't, they'd be looking for a similar type of player on the market, anyway. He wasn't expected to begin skating for another couple of weeks after his January surgery. The play on which he was injured is a classic example of the quick decisions a player like him must make. He could have won the race to the puck behind the Oilers' net, but in my opinion, chose to slow down to make the physical (and illegal) play on Gilbert.

We know what he's capable of doing from a hell-raising standpoint. If he finds himself too often on the wrong side of discipline, the Blackhawks need to be much better penalty killers than this past season. He doesn't have to do his best Matt Cooke impression and go almost completely choirboy (the Penguin had a career-high 19 goals, but a career-low 44 penalty minutes after 129 and multiple suspensions the year before), but just find a way to play his game, and remain in the lineup.

Tracey: The Blackhawks gave Carcillo a two-year extension because they liked his edge. Now he needs to play on the right side of it a lot more often. His past is what it is, and the suspension lengths will only keep going up if he keeps getting into trouble. Guys like Cooke have shown they can clean up and be a strong -- and still edgy -- contributor to their teams. Carcillo has to do the same.

How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sure to chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out some of Carcillo's highlights above.

Previously: Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Steve Montador, Sean O'Donnell, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Patrick Sharp

Up next: Andrew Brunette

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 8:45 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Corey Crawford vs. ... Oscar Dansk? 

The Golden Knights have seen both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban go down with injuries, so they're scraping for goaltenders at this point.

On one end of the ice, you have one of the best netminders in the league and a two-time Stanley Cup champion in Crawford. On the other, you have a 23-year-old rookie in Dansk making his first official NHL start who will be backed up by a 24-year-old rookie in Maxime Lagace, who has never appeared in an NHL game.

In his first game action, Dansk stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief during Saturday's 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis.

2. Fast start.

The Blackhawks are tied for second in both goals scored (13) and fewest goals allowed (four) in the first period, which has a large reason for their early season success.

The Golden Knights aren't the kind of team that gets out to a blazing start. They've allowed only five goals in the opening frame, but they've scored only five as well, which ranks among the bottom 10 teams in the league. 

3. Beware of James Neal.

The Golden Knights became the first team in NHL history to win six of their first seven games of their inaugural season. And they probably don't have half of those wins if it weren't for Neal, who scored the game-winning goal in each of their first three games.

He leads the club with six goals and eight points, and serves as the motor for a team that doesn't have much offensive talent. He's the go-to guy, and somebody you have to keep an eye on when he's on the ice.

 

Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

Here are Three Things to Watch in the Bulls' Tuesday night tilt against the Cavaliers on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. LeBron James will be on your television

Love him or hate him, LeBron James is must-see TV. Now in his 15th NBA season, James has shown no signs of slowing down. Despite playing just one preseason game (against the Bulls), James has shown anything but rust in three games, averaging 25.0 points on 60 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 37 minutes. He's a threat every night to do something you've never seen on a basketball court, His Airness included. Justin Holiday and Paul Zipser will have their hands full against the game's best player.

2. Lauri Markkanen, Week 2

Small sample size alert! But through the season's first week Markkanen and Ben Simmons are the only rookies averaging a double-double (Dallas' Dennis Smith has played just one game, averaging 16 points and 10 assists). While the Bulls have struggled through two games, Markkanen's net rating is third best on the team and he leads the Bulls bigs in rebounds per game and rebound percentage. Markkanen has shown some versatility offensively, and his 7 free-throw attempts have been a nice surprise as well.

3. Don't forget: The Bulls swept the Cavaliers last year

OK, so expecting a victory Tuesday night in Cleveland isn't smart. The Bulls will be underdogs just like they were in each of the four games last season, all of which were Bulls winners. It was the first time in 52 division series that LeBron James had been swept, which is pretty remarkable considering the Bulls were the No. 8 seed and the Cavs coasted to a third straight NBA Finals. We're not over here predicting a win. But just remember: the Bulls have fared well against James in the regular season.