Daley trying to pick up Blackhawks system 'as quick as possible'


Daley trying to pick up Blackhawks system 'as quick as possible'

Trevor Daley figured it was going to take some time to adapt to the Blackhawks’ system. He’s looking for that to happen sooner rather than later.

Daley was one of a few defensemen that coach Joel Quenneville deemed “just OK” in the Blackhawks’ 3-2 season-opening loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

“I think it’s coming. I’m trying to get it as quick as possible. Obviously the quicker the better,” Daley said following Thursday’s practice. “There’s a lot of stuff in here that’s different than what I’m used to. It’s going to come. Half of the battle is wanting to do it; so as long as you want to do something, you’ll get it done.”

The Blackhawks always put defense first, and lapses by a few players led to three first-period Rangers goals. Quenneville said all three were preventable.

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“I think they’re all kind of goals that traditionally we don’t give up – easy goals,” he said. “We want to make sure that they earn them. I thought doing the right things earlier that led to them could have been prevented.”

Daley said while he has to make changes, they aren’t major ones.

“It’s not big things, maybe little things every day in your game that mean so much,” he said. “It’s just grasping some of that stuff and making it a habit.”

Cubs fans

Quenneville once again gave a “Go Cubs” following Thursday’s practice. The Cubs will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series beginning on Friday night. Quenneville said these Cubs remind him of the Blackhawks’ resurgence around 2009-10.

“They’re a young team, a lot of enthusiasm and kind of reminds me of our team there when we started down in the first year before we went to the finals, or conference finals and then maybe they can do it all,” he said.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

He's learning

Artemi Panarin has relied mainly on friend and teammate Viktor Tikhonov to translate for him during media interviews. But the Blackhawks forward is making great strides in his English, Quenneville said on Thursday.

“I asked him if he’s married. He goes, ‘No. Single,’ and smiled, so that was progress,” Quenneville said with a laugh. “I think he’s starting to understand things.”

Hossa's fine

Marian Hossa did not practice on Thursday. The forward was just taking a maintenance day and is expected to play this weekend against the Islanders.

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?