Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Devils


Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Devils

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the New Jersey Devils Sunday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Brian Boyle.

The city of Chicago and the entire hockey community has rallied around Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk as he continues to battle through colon cancer, and what's made it inspiring is Edzo's will to keep making several appearances on the broadcast in between his treatments. New Jersey is going through something similar with Brian Boyle, who was diagnosed with leukemia in September.

And he didn't stay down for long, either.

Boyle made his season debut earlier this month against Vancouver, then scored his first goal of the season on Thursday against Edmonton. It was an emotional moment, and we're all behind both of them.

2. Can second line build off last night?

Nick Schmaltz, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane combined for only one point in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against Carolina, but they were arguably the best line of the night for the Blackhawks.

It was the first time Schmaltz played wing this season, despite spending a majority of last season there. He and Kane compliment each other well, as does Anisimov, who's that big-bodied center and can provide net front presence. 

Let's see if that line can stick for now.

3. Red Tilson Trophy​ winner meets Hobey Baker Award winner.

Battle royale!

Last season, both Alex DeBrincat and Will Butcher helped spearhead their respective teams to the top of their leagues and finished their junior and college careers by taking home some individual hardware as well.

DeBrincat put up video-game numbers in the Ontario Hockey League, where he compiled 65 goals and 62 assists for 127 points in 63 games to win the Red Tilson Trophy as the league's top player. 

Butcher captained Denver University to its first NCAA championship since 2005 after scoring seven goals and 30 assists in 43 games, and became the first defenseman to win the Hobey Baker Award as college's top player since Matt Gilroy in 2009.

The 19-year-old DeBrincat has five goals and five assists in 17 games, including six points in as many games, for the Blackhawks this season while the 22-year-old Butcher has 13 assists in 16 games for the Devils. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Attempting to rebuild Blackhawks into a Stanley Cup contender


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Attempting to rebuild Blackhawks into a Stanley Cup contender

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish joins Pat Boyle to answer your mailbag questions. Among the questions they tackle: What was your favorite moment from the Blackhawks’ past season and were you surprised that Joel Quenneville didn’t make any changes to his coaching staff? 

They also discuss re-signing Vinnie Hinostroza, backup goalie options for Corey Crawford and who do they like in the Jets-Predators second-round series?

Plus, Burish looks at the Penguins roster and sees some similarities to the Blackhawks’ situation and attempts to rebuild a Stanley Cup contender.

Listen to the full podcast right here:

Where do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews rank among NHL jersey sales in 2017-18?


Where do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews rank among NHL jersey sales in 2017-18?

The NHL announced their final jersey sales from the 2017-18 regular season, and there's a new name at No. 1.

Reigning Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews edged out last season's winner Sidney Crosby as the top-selling jersey after finishing fourth in 2016-17.

The Blackhawks may have missed the playoffs for the first time since Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were rookies, but that's not stopping fans from purchasing their merchandise.

Each of them stayed inside the top 10, although it's a drop-off from a year ago when Kane was second and Toews was third.

Here what the rest of the Top 15 looked like: