Blackhawks

Hawks' Hossa to rejoin team after bittersweet week

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Hawks' Hossa to rejoin team after bittersweet week

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011Posted: 3:25 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSNMarian Hossa will miss the first few days of Blackhawks training camp, as he attended the memorial of good friend Pavol Demitra, who was killed in the Lokomotiv plane crash last week.It was a bittersweet week for Hossa. He and his wife Jana welcomed their first child, a girl, on Friday; daughter Mias birth was two days after the Lokomotiv tragedy.Marians gone through a tough time; its a tough situation for him to deal with (Demitras death). We certainly want to give him the time to be ready and our thoughts are with him, general manager Stan Bowman said. Its tough losing a close friend. It was a terrible tragedy. Its not an easy time for him but hell be here soon.Sharp mendingPatrick Sharp will miss training camp after having that emergency appendectomy on Monday, and Bowman didnt want to put a date on when Sharp will play his first game.But Bowman isnt worried about Sharp being ready when hes healed.Its better to get it out of the way now. I wouldnt say it impacts training camp or the season, Bowman said. In the scheme of things, its minor.Coach Joel Quenneville concurred.We saw last year how quickly he got back at a critical time of year, said Quenneville, referring to Sharps return off a late-season knee injury. Well give him the necessary time. But at the same time, once hes ready to go hell be a big part of our team.Another ToewsJonathan Toews was understandably excited to have brother David, acquired last week, in the Blackhawks fold.Hes got a lot of talent and hes been through a few tough years with injuries, especially those important years where you develop. Hes just looking for an opportunity, Jonathan said. We worked out and skated a lot this summer, and he was pushing me as much as I was him. Who knows where he ends up, but its nice to have him close by and talk him through some things.Bowman said its important to let David develop and be himself, not Toews younger brother.In fairness to him he has to be judged on his own; he has the same last name but its not really fair to make comparisons, Bowman said. (Davids) here to earn a job. Hes still young, still in that group of players; we have a lot in that age category trying to establish themselves in that process.He said itJonathan Toews on hitting a kid in a youth camp last week: Hes OK, just so you know. He shook it off. But it took a while. I thought it was funny because I had a million texts, more than from anything (else) my buddies have seen on the internet. Like Wow, did you learn how to hit in the offseason?Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' 5-2 loss to Blues: What's up with the power play?

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USA TODAY

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' 5-2 loss to Blues: What's up with the power play?

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night:
 
1. Nick Schmaltz returns but sizzle doesn’t.

You didn’t expect the fireworks of the season opener but you figured Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman and Patrick Kane would connect pretty quickly again. The speed was certainly there. The connections on passes were not. It wasn’t just that second line, though: it was another night on which the Blackhawks’ offense was sluggish. 
 
2. Tripping along.

I joked that tripping is the new slashing. Maybe that’s not the case league-wide but it was for the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks took five tripping penalties overall, including three in the first period. It was a clear sign that the Blackhawks were trying to play catch-up all night, and they didn’t fare well at it.
 
3. Power play gets something but…

It took until late in the third period (when the Blackhawks’ offense seems to get going lately). The Blackhawks got two late power-play goals, a reminder of what they can do when they battle for the puck and show some spark.

“Our sense of urgency in the puck area, be it 5-on-5 or on the power play, that’s the differential of keeping the puck in the offensive zone and making plays off it is one of our strengths,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We didn’t do that very often and we haven’t won many battles.”
 
4. Starting slow.

Why these are happening is a mystery, and they’ve been most evident in the Blackhawks’ last three games, which have all come against division opponents. Too much relying on Corey Crawford again and not much in terms of shots, be it quality or quantity through the first two periods. The Blackhawks were outshot 17-8 through the first 40 minutes on Wednesday. While they created little they gave up way too much.
 
5. Patrick Sharp OK?

Sharp was injured late on Wednesday night when the Blackhawks-Blues game got chippy in the final five-plus minutes. Quenneville thought Sharp was fine but he wasn’t positive at the time of his postgame press conference.

Blackhawks stumble out of the gates against Blues: 'We were brutal'

Blackhawks stumble out of the gates against Blues: 'We were brutal'

ST. LOUIS – The Blackhawks’ first tripping came barely a minute into the game. Then came another one. And another. And another. And another. Despite welcoming one of their fastest players back into the lineup, the Blackhawks were overall flat-footed and playing catch-up all night, be it on the ice or on the scoreboard, to the St. Louis Blues.

Nick Schmaltz returned but the effect on the second line and the Blackhawks overall wasn’t immediate. Instead the Blackhawks looked sluggish. Their offensive opportunities were few – a one and done here and there but no sustained zone time or pressure on Blues goaltender Jake Allen – their passing was off and they were on the defensive all night.

And then there were the tripping penalties. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill held up through it, nullifying all five Blues power-play opportunities. But the Blues found other ways to inflict their damage.

“They played well and we were brutal,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “That was a bad start, a bad middle and even [though] it was a little excited at the end it wasn’t very good. That’s as close to brutal as you can get.”

The Blackhawks’ last three games have common themes: they’re outshot for a good part of the game, they’re giving up a good amount of quality shots and then the urgency hits them midway through the third period. For the third consecutive contest the Blackhawks scored two goals late and in two of those three games it wasn’t nearly enough.

“Obviously it wasn’t good enough for two periods. If you take any positives out of this game, it’s the way we played in the third,” Patrick Kane said. “At least we know we can do it. Just gotta do it before our backs are against the wall.”

Why it’s taking the Blackhawks so long to get going, however, is the question. Obviously the Blackhawks’ late third-period pushes show how capable they are of producing when necessary. Said Alex DeBrincat, who assisted on Ryan Hartman’s goal late in regulation, “If we’re would’ve been crashing the net like that all game it may have been a different story.”

But they didn’t. The Blackhawks welcomed back a teammate that’s injected speed into their lineup but the team was once again stumbling out of the gate.

“We’re supposed to be out there, giving our all every minute we’re out there and every shift, go out there and take it a shift at a time and give it all you got every shift,” Hartman said. “We have four lines that can roll so there’s no excuse for not going out there and putting all your energy out there for a shift and getting ready for the next one.”