Anaheim Ducks

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane slapped with $5,000 fine


Blackhawks star Patrick Kane slapped with $5,000 fine

Patrick Kane's wallet got a little bit lighter Tuesday.

The NHL slapped the Blackhawks star with a $5,000 fine, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Ducks forward Nick Ritchie late in the third period of Monday's 7-3 victory over Anaheim.

Ritchie, who was suspended two games last April for sucker-punching Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival, initiated the first slash on his way to the bench, but it's Kane's retaliation that forced officials to stop play.

Both players were assessed minor penalties on the play.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks return home to battle banged-up Ducks


Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks return home to battle banged-up Ducks

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Anaheim Ducks Monday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Injured Ducks.

The Ducks are one of the deepest teams up the middle, but they're missing two important pieces: Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf. 

Kelser has yet to make his season debut as he continues to recover from offseason hip surgery while Getzlaf has been sidelined since Oct. 29 with a face injury. That's a combined 1,538 faceoff wins from last year that they're missing, and that's not all either.

Patrick Eaves hasn't played since Oct. 16 (lower body injury) and Rickard Rickell missed Saturday night's game with an upper body injury. Those four players combined for 196 points last season.

It's a lot of offense to replace, and it's showed after the Ducks have scored only four goals over their last three games, all losses.

2. Leaky defense vs. heating up offense.

The Ducks have been outshot in 17 of 23 games this season, and have a minus-92 shot differential over their last seven games. A large part has to do with the injuries they've sustained not only up front but on the blue line, which has included all three of their top defensemen: Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are starting to click on all cylinders and have outshot their opponents in nine of the last 12 games. Keep the pedal to the metal.

3. Can Jonathan Toews keep it going?

For the first time this season, Toews had a three-point game when the Blackhawks beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Saturday. He had only seven points (two goals, five assists) in his previous 16 games, so it was a much-needed offensive breakout for The Captain.

Perhaps getting the monkey off his back will propel him into a scoring streak, which would solidify the four-line rotation with Patrick Kane getting hot on the second line, Alex DeBrincat finding his role on the third and the consistency of the fourth line.

Dennis Rasmussen 'fired up' after leaving Blackhawks for new role with Ducks

Dennis Rasmussen 'fired up' after leaving Blackhawks for new role with Ducks

Dennis Rasmussen wasn’t sweating free agency. The Swedish forward, who turned 27 on Monday, had heard from his agent that there were some opportunities there. Between that news and his first trip to Wimbledon, Rasmussen was enjoying his summer.

On Friday he got a new deal with his new team, a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks. And as much as Rasmussen enjoyed his time with the Blackhawks, he’s ready to see what he can bring out west.

“I got some calls from my agent; he said there were a couple of possibilities, some interest from other teams. But after talking I really got fired up for the Ducks,” Rasmussen said in a phone interview on Saturday afternoon. “I’m really happy about it. I’m fired up to start right away.”

As the summer progressed all signs pointed to the Blackhawks extending Rasmussen a qualifying offer; but as the deadline for doing so approached, the Blackhawks didn’t. Multiple reports said Rasmussen turned down an extension in March; he was a healthy scratch in seven of eight games from March 4-21. Rasmussen said, “with respect to Chicago and my agent,” that he didn’t want to discuss that.

“I have nothing bad to say about Chicago,” he said. “It was great to play there, the coaching staff, the organization, everything. It was really good for me and I’m happy with the opportunity I got there.”

[MORE: Moving forward, who are the Blackhawks’ center options?]

The Blackhawks lose one more potential center with Rasmussen gone. As for Rasmussen, he’s eager to see what he can do with the Ducks. He doesn’t expect the transition to be too difficult. Rasmussen knows a few players there already, including forward Jakob Silfverberg.

“Silfverberg and a few other Swedes are probably going to take care of me,” he said. “Of course it helps a lot. Especially off the ice, it’s really helpful for someone who speaks your own language and know how it works.”

While he’s mainly known for his two-way game in the NHL, Rasmussen would like to have the production he did back home. He had 16 goals and 24 assists in his final season with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League.

“I feel I have more to give on the offensive side,” he said. “I played better offensively in Sweden, and that’s something I hope I can bring in the NHL, too.”

Rasmussen will likely head to California in late August. He’s grateful for the time he had with the Blackhawks but he’s ready to see what he can do in Anaheim.

“My biggest dream was to play in the NHL, and I got the opportunity in Chicago to do that. There are a lot of things I learned [with the Blackhawks] and thankful for that,” he said. “At the same time, I’m really pumped to go to Anaheim and excited about the opportunity.”