Blackhawks

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 3 win over Canucks

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 3 win over Canucks

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup team, NBC Sports Chicago is re-airing each of the Blackhawks' 16 postseason wins from the run that ended a 49-year championship drought. You can join the conversation using #HawksRewind on social media.

After bouncing back with a 4-2 in Game 2, the Blackhawks regained home-ice advantage by routing the Canucks 5-2 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. Dustin Byfuglien's coming out party

One of the greatest coaching decisions of Joel Quenneville's illustrious career is moving Byfuglien from defense to forward in the middle of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run. In a recent sit-down interview with NBC Sports Chicago, Quenneville sheepishly admitted he can't take all the credit for that because different coaches experimented with Byfuglien at forward while he was working his way to the pros.

But it was certainly a playoff-changing moment.

After going pointless in his first eight postseason contests, Byfuglien netted a hat trick while playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and was an absolute pest as the net-front guy on the first power-play unit. He finished with six shots on goal and a game-high six hits in 15:53 of ice time.

"He is a handful in front of the net or for goalies," Quenneville said. "He brought that element, that versatility, you could use him in either situation and of course in the middle of the game, so I think he brought a unique aspect to our team."

2. Lack of discipline

In the playoffs, officials tend to swallow their whistles and let the players play. But this game was not one of them.

In the first period alone, the Blackhawks and Canucks combined for eight minor penalties; each team was penalized four times. Hooking. Tripping. Too many men. Roughing. Interference. You name it. 

The Blackhawks cleaned up their act in the final two periods, committing only one minor penalty the rest of the game. That wasn't the case for the Canucks, who racked up 36 total penalty minutes. A lack of discipline was evident for both teams, but one team took advantage and the other did not, which leads us to our final bullet point...

3. Penalty kill remains on fire

Speaking of special teams, the Blackhawks won that department and it's the primary reason they came away with a victory in Game 3. In fact, it seemed like all series long, whichever team won the special teams battle often won the game.

The Blackhawks scored two of their five goals on the power play in this game and could've been credited with a third but the penalty had just expired before Kris Versteeg scored goal an even-strength goal. But more importantly, they went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill to continue a ridiculous postseason streak.

After another perfect performance, the Blackhawks improved to 38-for-41 on the penalty kill through their first nine contests for a percentage of 92.7. The Blackhawks had also scored two shorthanded goals to that point, so their postseason goal differential shorthanded was only minus-1. Just an incredible stat.

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NHL reveals format for 24-team playoff, qualifying round bracket, round robin

NHL reveals format for 24-team playoff, qualifying round bracket, round robin

So the NHL's 24-team playoff format is set and here is a look at what the playoff bracket looks like.

Western Conference:

The Blackhawks are the 12th and final seed in the Western Conference, and are already a favorite among pundits for a potential upset of the 5th seeded Oilers.

Eastern Conference:

That 7-vs.-10 matchup between the Panthers and Islanders is also very intriguing, with Joel Quenneville's Florida squad a dangerous team capable of making a run.

Per the NHL's announcement, the qualifying round between seeds 5 through 12 is not "technically" the playoffs, but instead a play-in round to make a customary 16-team playoff format.

In addition, the Top-4 teams in each conference will play a round robin to determine which teams will earn the Top-4 seeds. Commissioner Gary Bettman clarified that any ties in the round robin would be broken by giving the edge to whichever team had the higher points percentage in the regular season.

The league also declared that the regular season has concluded and the remaining 189 games that were left on the league schedule will not be played.

RELATED: What are NHL's next steps after return-to-play announcement?

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Chicago still being considered for NHL conference hub when hockey resumes

Chicago still being considered for NHL conference hub when hockey resumes

Among the many details the NHL announced on Tuesday in its Return To Play plan was the confirmation that the league will use two hub cities to host the new 24-team playoff format. To the surprise of some, Chicago is one of 10 cities under consideration by the league to be a hub city.

The 10 cities under consideration are:
- Chicago, IL
- Columbus, OH
 - Dallas, TX
 - Edmonton, AB
 - Las Vegas, NV
- Los Angeles, CA
 - Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
 - Pittsburgh, PA
 - Toronto, ON
 - Vancouver, BC


NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that there will be one hub city for the Western Conference and one for the Eastern Conference. Each hub city will require secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation. Teams will be limited to 50 personnel in their respective hub city with limited support staff permitted to enter the event arenas. 

The NHL will ultimately select the two hub cities at a later date depending on "COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations." Bettman did mention that there could be difficulty using Canadian cities as hubs due to additional self-quarantine regulations.

At the moment, the United Center is still being used as a logistics hub "assisting front line food distribution, first responder staging and the collection of critically needed medical supplies.”

However, the city of Chicago does make sense considering its geographical location as well as the amenities needed to accommodate the NHL. Outside of the United Center, the league could use Allstate Arena in Rosement and the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, not to mention the Blackhawks' practice facility, Fifth Third Arena.

RELATED: What are NHL's next steps after Gary Bettman announces return to play

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