Rob Scuderi brings experience, PK prowess to Blackhawks


Rob Scuderi brings experience, PK prowess to Blackhawks

Rob Scuderi didn’t foresee getting traded when it happened late Monday night but he’s all right with the result.

“Once you hear the team come through, it can’t help but put a smile on your face,” said Scuderi, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Trevor Daley. “You’re coming to a team that’s dominated its championship pedigree for five, six years now. To be a part of this group is an honor and I hope I can contribute.”

Scuderi will find out if he can do that starting Tuesday night, when the Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche. Coach Joel Quenneville said Scuderi pair with Michal Rozsival; Rozsival was a healthy scratch the previous two games. With Scuderi, the Blackhawks get a stay-at-home defenseman who should also help them on the penalty kill.

[MORE HAWKS: Blackhawks acquire Scuderi from Pittsburgh for Daley]

“Yeah, Rob’s definitely that type of defenseman: safe, reliable, dependable on the back end, simple. And he can kill penalties for us, has good experience,” Quenneville said. “We’ll see how it fits in but I think he can help us.”

In the deal, the Penguins claimed all of Daley’s cap hit and retained one-third of Scuderi’s hit. The Blackhawks picked up the remaining two-thirds of Scuderi’s money ($2.25-million per season). The cap space the Blackhawks get from this — just under $2.2 million, per — was also a big selling point in the deal.

“[Scuderi] has won a couple of Stanley Cups and it’s never a bad thing to bring someone in with experience,” general manager Stan Bowman said. "He knows how to win and he’s been on good teams. The other part of it is we have some flexibility, some salary-cap room, something we’ve been looking for. It’s always going to be challenge regarding that going forward, but looking at our situation now, we find someone who will fit in nice with us, his style fits our play and he compliments the guys we already have.”

With Daley, the Blackhawks had hoped there would be a fit. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Daley was playing better as of late but he the offense didn’t really materialize — outside of six assists — and he wasn’t playing the type of minutes he was during his Dallas Stars days.

“I think sometimes things just don’t work the way you draw them up,” Bowman said. “Trevor has a lot of talent and we certainly wish him well. He’s a class act. Sometimes it doesn’t work the way you expect it to. I think he’ll have a great opportunity to go there and play a lot and hopefully he helps them. I think it’s going to be one of those trades that works for both teams.”

Daley played nearly 23 minutes a game when he was with the Stars. With the Blackhawks, he averaged about 15 minutes a night.

“In his case, [Daley] didn’t get a chance to play the big minutes he was accustomed to playing. And right off the bat, it just wasn’t’ happening,” Quenneville said. “Sometimes it works out; it didn’t here. But I think he can help Pittsburgh. I think he was good in Dallas. He wasn’t here long enough to get a good assessment but his offense in games was coming along for us and defensively he was progressing as well. It’s a situation where both teams were probably looking for the type of defenseman to fit our needs.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!

The Blackhawks wanted more of a stay-at-home guy on the blue line. They also wanted help on the penalty kill.

“We have four guys we use right now who are good penalty killers, but when one takes a penalty you’re short,” Bowman said. “That’s the strength of Rob’s game.”

Scuderi also knows how to play in big-game situations; he won his first Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and his second with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. Scuderi isn’t here to take on massive minutes; he’s here to enhance what the Blackhawks already have.

“I’m just going to make the simple play. If I have a few seconds I’ll find the open man but for the most part I’ll keep things simple, keep the puck moving north,” Scuderi said. “With all the talent up front up here, it makes sense to get the puck in their hands and let them take care of business. I’m not a flashy player, chances are if you notice me it’s because I made a nice play or a bad play. But most nights I’m invisible and that means I’m doing my job.”


- David Rundblad and Ryan Garbutt are both healthy scratches against the Avalanche.

- Marian Hossa did not participate in morning skate but is fine and will play.

- Corey Crawford will start against Colorado.

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?