Blackhawks

Stalberg learns from 'old-fashioned benching'

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Stalberg learns from 'old-fashioned benching'

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Posted 2:57 PM Updated 4:27 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Viktor Stalberg sat on the bench the entire third period against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. But it wasn't injury that sidelined the Chicago Blackhawks' left wing. Instead, Stalberg said, it was just "a good, old-fashioned benching."

Stalberg, who's been playing on the Blackhawks' top line for some time now, was benched for the third period of the team's 5-3 victory over the Stars. Stalberg logged 8:10 of ice time and was a minus-2.

He said there was no need to get further explanation from coach Joel Quenneville.

"It was pretty clear," he said. "It's just nothing to talk about; it's going to happen and you can't get down on yourself too much. You've just got to come out harder and play tougher and make sure you contribute the way they want you to."

Quenneville said it was mainly about "consistency (on defense), being stronger there and influencing the puck, those type of things."

"Everyone has stretches where you're playing better than other times and sometimes you go with the guys who are going better who are probably playing consistently over that stretch of games," he said.

Stalberg said he'll regroup and be ready for Saturday's game against San Jose.

"I need to use my speed and try to play a simple game," he said. "When you play with really good players you want to make sure they're getting the puck a lot. I've gotten away from the way I need to play. They want to make sure I do that. I'll be ready to go Saturday."

Kane getting closer?

Quenneville said two or three of the Blackhawks' injured forwards, including possibly Patrick Kane, could be skating when the Blackhawks return from this two-game road trip. Marian Hossa and Fernando Pisani have been sidelined for a bit with lower- and upper-body injuries, respectively.

"Could be," Quenneville said of Kane, who appeared to suffer a left-ankle injury just 23 seconds into Sunday's game against Calgary. "That's optimistic."
Crawford close to record

In racking up all these victories, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is putting himself among good company.

Crawford claimed his seventh consecutive victory on Wednesday night, a 5-3 decision over the Dallas Stars, making him the first Blackhawks rookie goaltender to reach that mark since Darren Pang did it in 1988.

Corey Crawford is congratulated by Blackhawks teammates after earning his seventh straight win Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars. (AP)Crawford is one off the Blackhawks' rookie consecutive win streak mark (8), reached by Denis DeJordy in 1964. Glenn Hall has the franchise mark with nine his last victory came in relief.

The 25-year-old Crawford played down his achievements.

"It's pretty cool, but it's not about me at all," he said. "The guys have played so well every game. They're giving me a lot of goals and playing well defensively, too.

"You have to keep working hard and stay focused," he said. "I'm just taking it shot by shot. That's my thought process right now."

Coach Joel Quenneville said there was a good chance Crawford would play against San Jose.

"He works well with things and his patience helps him," Quenneville said. "He's aggressive in certain situations and he's big a lot. He's progressing here at a good level for us. We like his approach as well."

Briefly

Jeremy Morin and Rob Klinkhammer were reassigned to Rockford on Thursday morning. The Blackhawks could call up "one or two" from Rockford on their two-game road trip, Quenneville said.

Dave Bolland did not practice on Thursday; Quenneville said it was a "maintenance" day for the center, who will be on the San JoseDenver trip.

Defenseman Jassen Cullimore missed Thursday's practice with a lower-body injury. Quenneville said Cullimore will make the trip but is not sure of his status yet for Saturday's game against the San Jose Sharks.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' 2-1 win over Penguins: Power play becoming a strength?

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' 2-1 win over Penguins: Power play becoming a strength?

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night:
 
1. That's how you start a game.

The Blackhawks haven't had the best of starts over the last couple weeks or so — aside from their recent four-goal first period against New Jersey. But they flew out of the gates in Pittsburgh.

Chicago recorded 27 shot attempts (11 on goal) in the opening frame compared to Pittsburgh's 13 attempts (nine on goal), and led in the even-strength scoring chances department 11-2.

Two of those chances were breakaways from Nick Schmaltz and Jonathan Toews, but both were denied by Matt Murray. The Blackhawks cashed in on one of two power play opportunities, however, and took a 1-0 lead into the second.

2. Power play strikes again.

Speaking of power plays, the Blackhawks came up empty on their first one of the game, but they were handed another one 44 seconds later at the midway mark of the first and capitalized when Gustav Forsling slipped one five-hole past Murray. 

It's the third consecutive game the Blackhawks have scored on the man advantage, something they hadn't done since Oct. 7-12 when they scored in four straight. It's also the second consecutive game the power play unit netted the game winner.

The Blackhawks are 5-for-13 (38.5 percent) on the power play in their last three games after going 5-for-53 (9.4 percent) in their previous 12. 

3. Should Blackhawks have pushed back immediately following Corey Crawford injury?

A scary moment occurred in the second period when Evgeni Malkin swiped Crawford in the mask while racing for a loose puck, forcing the Blackhawks netminder to exit before returning a few minutes later.

Malkin was given a two-minute minor penalty for goaltender interference, but should the Blackhawks have stood up for Crawford at the expense of getting tagged with a penalty themselves?

No question a power play opportunity with a chance to make it a two-goal game at that stage of the game — and against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions who hadn't lost in regulation at home this season going into the matchup —  is important, but the Blackhawks' lack of retaliation was a bit surpising. 

It wasn't a dirty play by Malkin by any means, but there's a principle involved when your goaltender gets hit like that. Those are the kinds of penalties you shouldn't mind taking, and at the very worst it would've been 4-on-4 hockey with one of Pittsburgh's best forwards in the box.

4. Artem Anisimov stays hot.

The goals keep coming for No. 15.

After the Penguins tied it up at 1-1 in the third period with a shorthanded goal, Anisimov scored 21 seconds later on the power play to put the Blackhawks back in front 2-1.

Anisimov now has nine goals in his last 10 games after scoring just one goal in his first 10 to start the season. He also has four game-winning goals on the season, all of which have come this month. Brandon Saad leads the NHL with five.

5. Alex DeBrincat extends point streak.

Lost in the shuffle was the Blackhawks' top rookie getting on the scoresheet once again.

With an assist on Forsling's power play goal in the first period, DeBrincat extended his point streak to four games. He has four goals and two assists in that span, and is averaging a point per game over his last nine (six goals and three assists).

DeBrincat also moved into a three-way tie with Richard Panik and Toews for second on the team with 13 points.

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

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USA TODAY

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

It’s official: The Blackhawks are headed back outdoors.

The NHL announced that the 2019 Winter Classic will be held at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1.

"The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."

"The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium," Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough said in a statement. "The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League."

It's the sixth time the Blackhawks will be playing outdoors, and their league-leading fourth Winter Classic. The Blackhawks are 1-4-0 in outdoor games, and are winless in three Winter Classic games.

Chicago's only outdoor win came against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Stadium Series Classic, a 5-1 victory at Soldier Field.