Blackhawks

Is it time for Blackhawks to call up Dylan Sikura?

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USA TODAY

Is it time for Blackhawks to call up Dylan Sikura?

The Blackhawks hit the one-month mark of the season on Sunday and find themselves outside of a playoff spot with a 6-6-3 record (15 points). They've dropped five in a row (0-4-1) after starting the season 6-2-2, and have scored only six goals in their past four games.

Despite having 46 goals on the season, which ranks sixth in the NHL, the Blackhawks' 3.07 goals-per-game average is 18th and they've gotten 59 percent of their scoring from three players: Patrick Kane (11), Alex DeBrincat (8) and Jonathan Toews (8). The depth scoring simply hasn't been there and the top line with DeBrincat and Toews has dried up a bit offensively, scoring a combined five goals in their last 10 games following a scorching start where they combined for 11 goals in their first five contests.

That said, is it time for the Blackhawks to call up top forward prospect Dylan Sikura?

Through 12 games in the American Hockey League, he leads the Rockford IceHogs with 10 points (four goals, six assists) and 44 shots on goal. He scored his second goal in his past three games on Sunday, which was a back-to-back-to-back stretch.

This is about the time where the Blackhawks felt they had seen enough from Nick Schmaltz in 2016-17, when he got sent to Rockford for a month to gain confidence and fine-tune his game. Schmaltz compiled nine points (six goals, three assists) and registered 32 shots on goal in 12 games, earning him a call-up to Chicago.

It took Vinnie Hinostroza 22 games for the Blackhawks to bring him to the big club last season, but that was in large part because of roster numbers and not having the ability to assign a player to Rockford without having to go through the waiver process.

Both Hinostroza and Schmaltz came back different players and, most importantly, they haven't been back in the AHL since.

That's what the Blackhawks are hoping to accomplish with Sikura.

The Blackhawks won't call up Sikura if he's not quite ready, even if he may be the best and quickest solution to their secondary scoring problems. They want him to stay in Rockford for as long as he needs to until he's ready to return to the NHL full-time and be confident in his game and the system.

If that's right now, you do it. If it's not, you wait patiently and continue to tinker with the lines you have now. Because once Sikura is called up, the goal is for him to stay up.

Fortunately for the Blackhawks, the answer appears to be closer to the former than the latter.

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Former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo has a question for Netflix's ‘Tiger King’ star

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USA Today

Former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo has a question for Netflix's ‘Tiger King’ star

Retired Blackhawks’ winger Daniel Carcillo has apparently spent his quarantine the same way the rest of us have, binging Netflix's iconic docuseries "Tiger King." One of the principal subjects of the series is Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and nemesis of Joe Exotic, also known as Tiger King.

While Carole’s life mission to rescue large cats is admirable, the documentary doesn't paint her as innocently as she’d like. Episode Three, titled "The Secret," discusses the disappearance of Carole’s second husband, Don, in the 90s, leaving many viewers to believe that Carole murdered her husband and fed his body (which has never been found) to her tigers. 

Carole actively rebukes these accusations, but it hasn’t stopped people from speculating. Including Daniel Carcillo, who Tweeted at Carole’s rescue organization to ask where Don’s body is. 

I mean... we all want to know. 

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2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 4 win over Canucks

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AP

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 4 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 regaining home-ice advantage with a 5-2 win in Game 3, the Blackhawks rolled past the Canucks 7-4 in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. A power play explosion

The Blackhawks' job going into Vancouver was to win at least one of the two games to take back home-ice advantage. They did that in Game 3. But Game 4 was the icing on the cake.

The final score was 7-4, but the reality is, the Blackhawks were outplayed in this game at even strength, where they generated only 27 shot attempts and 13 scoring chances while the Canucks had 55 shot attempts and 27 scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

It was special teams that made the difference. In their first nine postseason games, the Blackhawks went 7-for-37 on the power play for a success rate of 18.9. In Game 4 against Vancouver, they exploded for four goals on eight opportunities. 

2. A career night for Jonathan Toews

Fresh off a three-point effort in Game 3, Toews followed that up by recording a career-high five points, highlighted by his first career postseason hat trick. All three goals were scored on the power play, the third of which turned out to be the game winner. It was his fifth multi-point outing of the playoffs in his ninth game.

The Blackhawks' stars willed their team to a victory in Game 4, and they followed the lead of their captain.

3. Don't forget about Patrick Sharp

While Toews dominated the scoresheet, there's another Blackhawk who also had a big night: No. 10 in white. Sharp scored a power-play goal, had three assists and won five of six faceoffs in the win that helped him secure the No. 2 star of the game.

Here's a fun fact to wrap up: Sharp recorded at least one point in seven of his first 10 games of this postseason, and 15 of 22 total. He had 13 points (five goals, eight assists) through his first 10 games following a four-point effort in Game 4.

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