Blackhawks 'happy' for former teammate John Scott


Blackhawks 'happy' for former teammate John Scott

DENVER – John Scott was the toast of the NHL’s All-Star weekend in Nashville, the former Blackhawks forward telling media there that, “it’s definitely been one of the best weekends of my life.”

His former Blackhawks teammates enjoyed watching Scott become the weekend’s feel-good story, too.

“I loved it. It was fun to watch,” Andrew Shaw said. “It’s nice to see him have as much fun as he did. You could tell he was enjoying every moment out there. He took it all in and he played well, too.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Scott scored two goals and was named the All-Star Game’s MVP. It was the great end for Scott, who through all the ups and downs of the last month or so – especially the trade that seemed designed to keep him out of the game in which he was voted – handled everything with class.

Patrick Kane, who jokingly fought with Scott during Sunday’s games, enjoyed every minute of it.

“How can you not be happy for the guy? It’s just a dream weekend for him, I’m sure. You probably couldn’t have written that story before if you tried,” Kane said. “It’s pretty amazing how he scores his first shift, lays a big hit on me, scores again, wins MVP and his team wins, too. It was a pretty amazing weekend for him. It was fun to be a part of it and fun to watch, upclose and personal.”

As for that, um, “fight” between Kane and Scott? Had it been real, Shaw was going with Kane.

[MORE: With All-Star break behind them, Toews-less Blackhawks reconvene in Colorado]

“We’ve all seen David vs. Goliath,” Shaw said. “I think he would have popped him with one good one and sent him down.”

The weekend overall was a success. The all-star games had degenerated into dull score-fests. Thanks to a new format – two semifinal games and a championship game, all played in 3-on-3 – this year’s contests entertained.

“I thought it worked very well,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I thought it was a great day; happy for John Scott. It was a good game. I think everybody was happy with the 3-on-3 format and I thought it was way more competitive than we’ve seen.”

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'


Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?