Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Andrew Ladd ready, Duncan Keith returns for Game 2

Blackhawks: Andrew Ladd ready, Duncan Keith returns for Game 2

ST. LOUIS – For Andrew Ladd, the decision to play in Game 1 wasn’t up to him. It was up to Mrs. Andrew Ladd.

“If she wasn’t comfortable with that, obviously I wouldn’t have come,” said Ladd, whose wife Brandy welcomed their third child, a boy, early Thursday morning. “It made it easier having gone through it before and knowing my wife had been through it before and having her blessing to come back here and play the game."

Family will still be on Ladd’s mind tonight but it won’t be as stressful, as wife and baby are fine back in Chicago. Now the focus goesonto in Game 2 of Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues tonight at Scottrade Center. Ladd obviously had a lot on his mind during Game 1—he had gone home to Chicago earlier in the day to meet his wife in the delivery room – but he played as if hockey was the primary focus. That comes from years of experience.

“I don’t know. It’s something you deal with, especially once you get a family. You try to juggle the two and you get mentally used to being able to focus on both at the same time obviously the family is first and foremost in your mind,” he said. “But doing what we do, you have to be able to do that."

[MORE: Duncan Keith's return should boost Blackhawks]

Ladd was part of the morning skate on Friday and looked good in Game 1, a 1-0 overtime loss to the Blues. Coach Joel Quenneville expects Ladd to bring tonight what he’s brought during his entire second stint with the Blackhawks.

“He brings energy, off the rush he can bring speed,” he said. “He can be a forecheck guy, he goes to the net well, gives experience and leadership, a lot of things we look for.”

Duncan Keith also returns to the lineup, having completed his six-game suspension. He was skating with Niklas Hjalmarsson this morning – Quenneville said Thursday it was likely those two would be paired together again. Quenneville said Keith has to stay on the right side of that line from here on out.

“I think there’s an education there as well,” he said. “Come into the game excited about playing. Whether they target him or not, I think he knows discipline’s always going to be a key and he’ll probably be watched tighter. But just play your game.”

BRIEFLY

  • Viktor Svedberg appears to be in the lineup tonight. He skated with Brent Seabrook during morning drills.
  • Brandon Mashinter is in tonight but Quenneville reiterated that Dale Weise and Richard Panik will both play in this first-round series.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

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AP

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: