Blackhawks

How can the Blackhawks turn things around?

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USA Today

How can the Blackhawks turn things around?

The Blackhawks, 1-5-1 in their past seven games and last in the Central division, are facing some serious adversity. The Hawks have dropped three straight games and due to injuries and salary cap constraints, played with only 11 forwards and six defensemen against the St. Louis Blues on Monday, losing 4-0.

Starting shorthanded against the defending Stanley Cup champs after two straight losses would prove an unwinnable battle for the Hawks, who have been outscored 16-5 in their past three games.

"I mean, it is what it is," Patrick Kane said of being down a man after the game. "You can't really do anything about it. There's times in this game when you're going to face some adversity and face some situations that you're not accustomed to. This one was obviously a little different tonight, I don't know if we've ever done that before where you only have 17 guys, but yeah, different situation. Would have been nice to play well." 

The Hawks will hit the road for a bout against the Bruins (first place in the Atlantic division) in Boston on Thursday and take on the struggling Devils in New Jersey Friday. 

"They managed the game," Jonathan Toews said of the Blues. "They played patient, they played smart. We have to find ways to do that where we have five guys together in the picture, helping each other out in the puck area. We’re just kind of looping through areas, we’re just separate and we’re all over the place.

"You’re bound to make mistakes when guys are swinging around and not winning puck battles and not just playing the situations. It’s frustrating. I think we still had our chances to score and they seemed to capitalize on theirs. It’s frustrating when those things don’t go your way."

Seeing as how the Hawks had been getting great goaltending for the majority of the season up until the last few games, it shouldn't be an area of concern. Shots are even being surpressed more than they were to start the season. 

The Blackhawks put 38 shots on goal Monday, but Toews is right, they need to capitalize on their chances better. One way is to improve the quality. Getting pucks on net is always a great idea, but if it's not a good look, it's probably not going in.

Kane saw his point streak end at 15 games against St. Louis (24 points; 11 goals, 13 assists). Alex DeBrincat hasn't scored in 11 games and Dylan Strome is in concussion protocol.

Somebody needs to step up and help generate quality scoring chances for Chicago. The Hawks outscored opponents 21-10 in four games prior to going 1-5-1. The fire power is there, it just needs to be re-stocked. Playing as a unit in the offensive zone and creating more traffic in front of the net could make for better target practice, but so could some enthusiasm. 

"I just think we got to find a way to get some energy," Kane said. "Obviously tonight we didn't really have much and getting down a couple goals doesn't really help either. It would have been nice to get one and play with the lead tonight. But, have to find a way to get out of this little rut here."

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Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

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AP

Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

The Original Six team with six Stanley Cups in franchise history known as the Chicago Blackhawks has gotten plenty of salutes from movies, TV shows and other avenues of entertainment over the years. Here are the top six pop culture nods according to us:


6. The Dilemma

The 2011 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James features lengthy scenes shot at actual Blackhawks games at the United Center in 2010. Even Blackhawks arena announcer Gene Honda has lines in the picture. 


5. Sudden Death 

Jean-Claude Van Damme. There's nothing else needed to defend this selection. But, the 1995 action flick puts the Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, of course with the Vice President in attendance.

Actual storyline: The Pittsburgh Civic Arena is wired with explosives that could destroy the whole city. It's up to arson investigator Darren McCord to stop it before the game ends. 

The movie even spawned a delightful song in a Chris Pratt Parks and Rec deleted scene. 


4. NHL '94 Roenick in Swingers

Vaughn and co. play the 1994 installment of the EA Sports NHL video game in the 1996 film with the Blackhawks taking on the LA Kings and hilarity ensues. 


3. Queen's We Will Rock You music video

Off the 1977 album "News of the World", the music video for We Will Rock You features bassist John Deacon sporting a sweet Hawks letterman-type jacket. 


2. Christmas Vacation 

[*Strong language]

"The silent majesty of a winter's morn; the clean, cool chill of the holiday air...." 

This Blackhawks shoutout in the classic Christmas comedy is too great not to make the top 2. You'll still see "Griswold" white Blackhawks jerseys pop up at the United Center during the holiday season to saltue the 1989 film. Rusty also wears a red Hawks sweater when Clark is putting the infamous bright lights on the house. 


1. Wayne's World

It might be a predictable No.1 pick, but come on. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey worked the Hawks into this iconic 1992 comedy in an epic way. The duo also gave the Blackhawks a big shoutout on Feb. 15, 2015 when Mike Myers wore a Hawks sweater as Wayne in a Wayne's World sketch for SNL's 40th anniversary. 

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Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

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USA Today

Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS — Patrick Kane has been booed all weekend in St. Louis and the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star poked a little bit of fun at Blues fans for their, shall we say, warm welcoming. But Saturday put the crowd in a weird spot.

On one hand, Kane is an arch rival in St. Louis. On the other, he represented the Central Division and was teammates with the four Blues All-Stars (Jordan Binnington, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo).

After falling into a 3-0 hole to the Pacific Division, the Central Division stormed back for three straight goals. Perron scored the second goal, which drew huge cheers. Fourteen seconds later, Kane scored the equalizer, which also drew loud cheers. 

But then the St. Louis fans realized who had scored and Kane had some fun with them by holding his glove up to his ear. 

"Tried to like put my hand up to my ear to hear the boos," Kane said. "But then I was showing them that hey, I’m playing with the Blues players, I’ve got the same jersey as them. Just had fun with it. "

The Blues found themselves conflicted for a second time when Kane evened the score at 5-5 after converting on a breakaway. The interaction between Kane and the crowd was the most memorable moment of the night.

"It’s all in good fun," Kane said following a 10-5 loss to the Pacific Division. "To be honest with you, sometimes you get booed, you kind of like it a little bit. It’s St. Louis and Chicago, it’s a huge rivalry. Not only in hockey, but pretty much every other sport they play against each other. I guess that’s only baseball, but, you know what? Had a lot of fun this weekend and I thought that was a pretty cool moment."

Even the Blues had fun with it.

"Those were boos," a smiling Pietrangelo said. "Not cheers."

But at least somebody had sympathy for Kane.

"I felt bad for Kaner," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He comes out in his introductions and is getting booed and stuff and then he scores and they're cheering for him. Tough situation for him. Players all know. They all handle it very well. It's a fun event."

In the end, it provided entertainment and brought some life to the event. What Kane is really trying to figure out is why he's snake bitten at All-Stars Games. He hasn't won since 2012 in Ottawa when Team Zdeno Chara defeated Team Daniel Alfredsson 12-9 under the fantasy draft format.

"I know, right?" Kane said. "Central can’t get over the hump. We won one last year and lost in the final. I think every time you look at the roster, you always think you have a really good roster with some of the players that are on the team, and for whatever reason we can’t do it."

The Central Division slipped to 1-5 under the 3-on-3 format, but Kane may have a solution on how to fix their struggles.

"Maybe it would be better if the Central played an Eastern team next year or something," Kane said half-jokingly. "Maybe you could switch it up that way."

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