Blackhawks

NHL Tonight analysts choose Blackhawks over Oilers in NHL play-in round

NHL Tonight analysts choose Blackhawks over Oilers in NHL play-in round

The Blackhawks are technically underdogs against the Oilers in the play-in round when the NHL returns to play, but two NHL Network analysts are picking Chicago over Edmonton anyways.

Mike Johnson and Mike Rupp explained on NHL Tonight why they’re taking the 12 seed to upset the 5 seed.

“They have the high end stars,” said Johnson.  “Kane, Toews and others. They have the goaltender in Corey Crawford, who when he’s on his game, he can steal a game, steal a series.”

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Johnson continued by saying Edmonton can be overly-dependent on their special teams play.

“The Edmonton Oilers were so reliant on their power play and penalty kill. If that goes cold, 5-on-5 hockey-- which playoff hockey involves more of-- doesn’t favor them to the same degree.”

Rupp on the other hand values the Blackhawks’ playoff experience in this unprecedented format.

“Just look at the circumstances that we’re under right now,” Rupp said. “This is very foreign, it’s a unique situation. I want guys who have gone through some unique situations… That’s no knock to the Edmonton Oilers, they just haven’t been through a grind of any sort like this in the playoffs in general.”


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Report: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook aiming to return for NHL playoffs

Report: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook aiming to return for NHL playoffs

A source told Scott Powers of The Athletic that Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will try to play if the season continues and the NHL sees its 24-team playoff format kick off.

"Just a month ago, the Blackhawks didn’t think Seabrook would be far enough in his rehab to be considered an option, but he’s made strides and has expressed his desire to try to play again this season," Powers writes.

The three-time Stanley Cup champ Hawks blueliner had surgeries on his right shoulder in December, left hip in January and right hip February.

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The NHL is targeting July 13 for the start of team training camps and August 1 for the start of the postseason tournament, which has the Blackhawks taking on the Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-5 play-in series.

Related: Calvin de Haan takes next step in recovery process, joins Blackhawks for Phase 2

The two hub cities for the playoffs are reportedly Edmonton and Toronto.

Powers also mentioned that Seabrook hasn't been cleared for contact yet but that he has been skating. He last played December 15 in a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild 

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Out of tradition and superstition, the Stanley Cup is never in the building until after puck drop during a Stanley Cup Final game in which it could be won, unless it's a Game 7 when both teams have a shot.

On June 15 in 2015, when the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history, old Stanley was a little late to his own party at the United Center.

As the Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard tells host Pat Boyle on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, fans were already celebrating the Hawks Cup-clinching win over the Lightning outside the UC as the trophy was pulling in.

Broadcasters 'Doc' Emrick and Eddie Olczyk were filling time waiting for the Cup to arrive, which was still absent during the handshake line.

According to Pritchard, the Cup left the hotel around puck drop and it was the stormy weather that made the Keeper and the best trophy in sports tardy for the celebration.

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"People that weren't (at the game yet) were in traffic and just leaving their cars and walking and the roads were flooded, the highways were flooded, the bypass was like a lake. And as we were coming out towards the arena, we realized then that we were going to need some help, not just Mother Nature help, but we're going to need security help with it as well," Pritchard said.

"As we pulled into the arena — obviously the game had finished and the Blackhawks won — the home team's going nuts, the hometown fans are going crazy. So we presented (the Conn Smythe) to Duncan Keith and then we brought the Stanley Cup out and I remember on the ice talking to Jonathan Toews and he said, 'That was so cool that it took so long and the fans were loving it.' And I was telling him what went on and he goes, 'Really? I just thought it was part of the effect.'"