Blackhawks

Darling-Bishop connection dates back to college days at Maine

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Darling-Bishop connection dates back to college days at Maine

TAMPA, Fla. – Ben Bishop isn’t taking credit for Scott Darling’s breakout season with the Blackhawks but the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender will take credit for Darling’s choice of school.

The Blackhawks backup went to the University of Maine, where Bishop played from 2005-08, leading the team to the Frozen Four in 2006 and 2007. Darling, who was at Maine from 2008-10, stayed with Bishop on his campus visit.

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“I recruited him,” Bishop said with a smile. “He’s a good kid, a good kid, good goalie. He came, stayed with me and we had a good time. I guess I did a good job, right, because he came to the school. I was one for one.”

Darling said Maine’s success, fueled in large part by Bishop’s great work while there, did prompt him to choose the school.

“They were one of the top teams in the country, ended up going to the Frozen Four," Darling said. "They lost but still, pretty big accomplishment to be there. It was really exciting to be headed to a school like that. I was thrilled with the whole experience.”  

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Darling said he hasn’t had much time to catch up with Bishop. The two talked briefly when the Blackhawks played here in late February; Darling started in that game.

“Obviously we’ve been on different routes: he went right to success and I took the scenic path He’s really nice guy, super easy to talk to and he was thrilled for me,” said Darling. “It’s cool for the university to have the goaltending success it had with Jimmy Howard and the list goes on, with goalies who have come out of Maine. It’s great to be a part of.”

 

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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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?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: