Blackhawks' Kopecky finding success on the ice


Blackhawks' Kopecky finding success on the ice

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
4:11 PM

By Tracey Myers

Tomas Kopecky doesnt dwell on his outings very long, good or bad. The Chicago Blackhawks winger said he usually takes about five minutes to think about it then moves on.

Still, even he had to revel in his career-best, four-point night on Tuesday a little longer.

Its always nice. You get a little bit more energy and it feels good, Kopecky said. On the other hand its only one game and you have to keep it for 82 games. I just try not to get too high or low and just stay right in the middle.

Kopeckys Tuesday was definitely a high after a couple low games earlier this season. Four-point games aside, the Blackhawks, missing Marian Hossa for a few more games, need Kopecky to get that steady offensive output he had at the start of the season, when he and linematefellow Slovak Hossa were surging.

Tuesday was stellar, and his teammates were impressed.

They made the announcement that he had a goal and three assists and I thought, Wow, he had that? Awesome, Patrick Kane said. He made some great plays on pretty much every goal hes been on, so thats good to see out of him. Hopefully that gives him some confidence. Especially with Hossa out of the lineup, were going to need a guy like him.

Kopecky was successful in setting up goals on Tuesday; he was strong there early this season, when he recorded assists in six of his first seven games. He had a sizeable lull after that, however, recording just one goal over a months span. The Blackhawks were struggling as a team, and Hossa missed five games with an upper-body injury.

The two do have an obvious report on the ice, and Kopecky may have missed that.

Maybe a little, he said. You play with a guy for 15 games you get the feel for each other and you know what to expect. Somebody else comes in and you have to adjust. The sooner you do the better you are. Its all about making changes.

Change was good on Tuesday, when Kopecky was with Patrick Sharp and recent Rockford call-up Jeremy Morin. The three clicked instantly and collected seven points against the Blues.

Kopecky has a plus-5 rating over his last three games. Hes also one assist off his career high of 13 set with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008-09. Kopeckys big task is crashing the net and creating traffic, but his teammates said theyd like to see him shoot more.

Id like to see him shoot more unless Im open and then I want him to pass to me, Sharp joked. Hes got a great shot. Hes got a great release and that thing just pops off the stick. He usually does the dirty work and hes good at it. But when hes got an opportunity to fire one wed all like to see him do it.

Said Kane, hes got one of the best shots Ive ever seen. You saw his goal the other night; it kind of overpowers the goalie and gets right through him. Id love to see him do it more. We were talking about some of the goals he had last year when he just ripped shots and beat the goalie. Hopefully he keeps doing that.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

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?