Blackhawks

To achieve success, Paea knows he needs consistency

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To achieve success, Paea knows he needs consistency

For Stephen Paea, his rookie year was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. He didn't make his NFL debut until Week Six and he celebrated that occasion when he recorded a sack of Donovan McNabb.

This season, the Bears are expecting big things out of Paea. Early in camp, the 24-year-old has seen significant playing time with the No. 1's alongside Henry Melton at defensive tackle.

Although the Bears view Paea as key to their future, the former Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year knows he needs to work on his consistency if he wants to achieve success in the NFL.

"Being consistent with the plays because sometimes I'll do a good job and then three plays later, the same play will come and I'll be off-balance with my step. I just go to be consistent."

Watching veterans like Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman in practice has been a major learning tool in Paea's young career.

"Peppers for instance, he's very consistent every single day in practice, so seeing that from a 10-year veteran, he takes pride in that and I take pride in that. Coming to practice every day I watch him do bags and he does each drill the same. I'm trying to look up to those guys."

With one year of experience under his belt, Paea could now be a mentor for rookie defensive end Shea McClellin. But first, he has to make sure former Boise State star gets a taste of what he went through last year in Bourbonnais.

"We write down our snacks and it's been a two page list of snacks. That's a good start right there. We all went through it and he's going to go through it this year. It's all part of the rookie experience."

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Capitals

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USA Today

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Capitals

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they take on the Washington Capitals at the United Center on Sunday, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after morning skate. This will be his fourth start in six games.

Crawford is coming off a game in which he stopped 27 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .964, which earned him the No. 1 star of the game in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. He stopped 10 of 11 shots and six of seven inner slot shots, saving his team an extra 2.43 goals above average, according to The Point. It was a fantastic performance.

Crawford is 3-5-2 with a 3.61 goals-against average and .881 save percentage in 10 career starts against the Capitals.

The Blackhawks are on the second game of a seven-games-in-12-days stretch, so expect Crawford and Lehner to both get consistent reps over the next two weeks.

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Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach set to make NHL debut on Sunday vs. Capitals

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USA Today

Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach set to make NHL debut on Sunday vs. Capitals

It's official: Kirby Dach is slated to make his NHL debut on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Washington Capitals.

Coach Jeremy Colliton said who Dach draws in for and where he will slot into the lineup will be determined during warmups, but it's possible that he starts on the wing.

Dach was taken No. 3 overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. He missed the start of training camp with a concussion and appeared in three games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint before getting recalled on Friday.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.