Blackhawks

Seabrook plays hero role for Blackhawks

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Seabrook plays hero role for Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook had the unenviable duty of going up against some of the Anaheim Ducks most potent offensive and physical threats on Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks defenseman was up to the task 29-plus minutes worth up to the task. He was hitting, he was blocking shots and he was part of a penalty kill that went 5-for-6, including 3-for-3 in the third period.

Killing penalties is always tough, Seabrook said. And against them, youve got skilled, big forwards who are good in front of the net, can make plays and have big shots. It was definitely something had to get done last night.

The Blackhawks did, and Seabrooks strong outing was a big help to that end. But whether its against the Ducks or another team, even strength or on the penalty kill, Seabrook has been one of the Blackhawks most consistent defensemen.

Last night he was physical, had a real good game, said coach Joel Quenneville, whos liked what hes seen from Seabrook as well as his defensive partner Niklas Hjalmarsson. Defending against those big guys as much as (Seabrook) did, thats a big nights work. When you have a guy like him playing against top lines, its tough on those guys knowing he can be physical and wearing. It can make for a long night.

It also made for a long night for Seabrook, as his 29:13 time on ice was his highest since March of 2008 and 7:16 of those were on the penalty kill. He had three blocked shots and now leads the team with 21. And against a Ducks team that loves to be physical, Seabrook had a team-high seven hits.

Im trying not to take myself out of the play to take a big hit, Im just playing the same way Ive always played, he said. Some games (the hits) come more than other games. Last night was sort of one of those games.

Seabrook is steady and not flashy on the ice. He doesnt always garner the headlines, but his game earns him plenty of respect.

In this room we appreciate what he brings to the team. Hes been around the long time and he brings a lot of leadership here, too, said former partner Duncan Keith. Everybody here knows his importance and certainly guys around the league know hes a big strong guy and tough to play against.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident:

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.