Blackhawks

Carcillo receives seven-game suspension

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Carcillo receives seven-game suspension

Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 9:08 p.m.

Daniel Carcillo is at his best when he dances that fine line of aggressiveness. On Wednesday, the NHL ruled he crossed it.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward was suspended seven games for his hit on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert on Monday night.

In his ruling, Brendan Shanahan of the NHLs department of player safety said that in a race for the puck, a reasonable amount of physical contact is allowed. But in his video explanation of the suspension, Shanahan said just as Gilbert begins slowing down and bracing himself for some contact, Carcillo explodes into him, causing a violent crash into the boards.

Shanahan went on to say this is not a case of two players bumping each other for position and one player winning that battle. Its not a play where Gilbert loses his balance. At an extremely dangerous distance from the boards, Carcillo finishes high and hard with his hands, using the boards as a weapon.

If Carcillo is healthy, his suspension begins immediately with Thursday nights game against the Philadelphia Flyers and he would be eligible to return Jan. 18 against the Buffalo Sabres.

But it doesnt sound like Carcillo is healthy. He suffered what looked like a left-knee injury on that hit, and coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks were still talking about the options for Carcillo on Wednesday. When asked if that meant surgery for the forward, Quenneville said, well see.

If Carcillo is hurt, he will not begin serving the suspension until he is available to play again.

Another part of the ruling, Shanahan said, is that Carcillo is a repeat offender. He has been fined or suspended nine times prior to this latest infraction. Carcillo has already been suspended twice this season: the first two regular-season games for an incident at the end of last season and two more in late October for his hit on Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

Carcillo will be forfeiting 66,158.54 in salary according to the official release on NHL.com.

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

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USA TODAY

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Seth Gruen (Big Ten Unfiltered) and Jason Goch (SB Nation Radio) join Kap on the panel. 

The Blackhawks drop their 8th straight. So should their “One Goal” be to tank?

Plus, Jon Lester isn’t a fan of the new pace of play proposals. Is he right?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: