Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk relieved to avoid another knee injury


Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk relieved to avoid another knee injury

The thought understandably ran through Trevor van Riemsdyk’s head as he hobbled to the locker room during Sunday’s game: not again.

More than a year after a shot off his left knee ended his regular season, van Riemsdyk once again took a shot off that left knee. This time, however, van Riemsdyk was back in a matter of minutes instead of months.

[MORE: Blackhawks receive some good news on Trevor Daley]

Van Riemsdyk said Monday that he felt fine after taking a Jacob Trouba shot off his knee in the Blackhawks’ 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday afternoon. Van Riemsdyk, who returned after missing just a few minutes on Sunday, was part of the Blackhawks’ optional practice and feeling no ill effects from the shot.

When it first happened, however, he feared the worst.

“Obviously with what happened to me last year, your mind starts to race a little bit and then you just go off as a precaution, start walking on it and realize it felt better than the last time,” he said. “Just had took a look at it and it was fine. Obviously it’s a relief when they tell you it’s all right because of how the last couple of years have gone for me. It was relieving, to say the least, that it was fine and feels good today.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Last November Van Riemsdyk took a shot to the knee by Trevor Daley, then with the Dallas Stars. He had surgery to repair a fractured patella a few days later and was out for several months. Van Riemsdyk said he was already going through the mental checklist when it happened again on Sunday.

“You get that shooting feeling down your foot. It doesn’t feel good. And you think back to what it felt like last time: ‘Oh, is this the same thing?’ Especially with it being a similar spot, same leg. Automatically your mind starts to race a little bit,” he said. "I just wanted to have it checked out and [after] they do that, miss as little time as you can. I think I missed 5-10 minutes? It was relieving to know that everything was all right.”

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


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:

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak


Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

Win one game.

That was Joel Quenneville’s message during the Blackhawks’ eight-game losing streak, which finally came to an end on Saturday night.

How about a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on home ice for a streak-breaker? Now that’s more like it.

Prior to Saturday, the Blackhawks hadn’t recorded a win in February — or a win at the United Center since Jan. 12. 

Though the Blackhawks will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were rookies, a blowout win over the leaders of the Metropolitan Division Capitals had to have felt great.

"It’s a nice way to get over the hump," Toews said. "Sometimes you might just win a 2-1 game or just kind of grind it out, but it was nice for us to fill the net the way we did tonight."

Added Joel Quenneville, "Certainly feels 100 times better than coming in and trying to explain how we had a lead and were unable to sustain it. The complete 60 minutes, three periods the right way, more consistency in our game, way more pace than we’ve seen recently, composure with the puck, shooting around the net. It was fun but that’s one. Let’s see how we respond to this because there’s a lot of hockey left."

The Blackhawks are 25-26-8 with 58 points, and are 11 points out the final wild card spot, currently held by the Minnesota Wild.

Among the highlights:

— Seven different Blackhawks scored: Toews, Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman

— The Blackhawks are 74-6-4 in the regular season in which Kane and Toews both record a goal — and 41-0-0 in their last 41 games, according to NBC Sports Chicago stats guru Chris Kamka.

— Kane registered career assist No. 500, becoming the sixth Blackhawk with 500 or more. Kane is also the seventh U.S.-born player with 300-plus goals and 500-plus assists, joining Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Pat LaFontaine, Joe Mullen and Phil Housley, according to Kamka.

"You think about the amount of great Americans that have played the game, how many players actually play hockey in the United States... Growing up all I wanted to do was play hockey," Kane said. "That means a lot, especially when you talk about American-born players."

— DeBrincat's 22nd goal of the season has him tied for the rookie-lead with Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde. DeBrincat and Kane also lead the Blackhawks with 22 goals.