Blackhawks

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks offense looking to bounce back vs. Avalanche

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks offense looking to bounce back vs. Avalanche

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Avalanche Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Fatigue and forget. Obviously, the Hawks are used to back-to-backs. But the second leg of this one feels especially vital after Friday's disappointing loss to the Predators. 

Despite a quick turnaround and flight to Colorado, getting back in the win column depends on whether the Hawks can muster energy that was lacking down the stretch last night. 

2. So, uhhh, about the offense. Remember when the Hawks dropped a 10-spot on the Penguins in their opener? Well, these days, it has taken them five games to score 10 goals. Quite a shift, ay? 

Nobody is expecting 10-goal outbursts regularly, but the offensive woes are troubling, even if it's still only October. Coach Quenneville's recent line changes didn't spark anything last night, but we'll give it a few games before rushing to judgment. 

3. Takin' care of the puck. While the Avalanche are near the bottom in shots per game, they also don't give their opponents many looks. The Avs surrender just 28.3 shots per game, which is second fewest to the Flyers. 

With shots at a premium, it will be vital for the Blackhawks to keep possession and make the most out of their attempts. Getting behind early may spell trouble. 

Blackhawks hungry for revenge against Predators after 'embarrassing' loss in previous meeting

Blackhawks hungry for revenge against Predators after 'embarrassing' loss in previous meeting

NASHVILLE  — After missing 11 games with a groin injury, Connor Murphy has been cleared to return Saturday night when the Blackhawks take on the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

The Blackhawks were 4-5-2 in Murphy’s absence and one of those games included a 3-0 loss to the Predators on Oct. 29, which was a one-sided contest from start to finish. Nick Bonino had a hat trick and the Blackhawks were outshot 51-20.

Since then, the Blackhawks have picked up 10 out of a possible 14 points and made a schematic change that has opened up the offense. They're playing with a lot more jump and the Blackhawks are hoping it translates to a more competitive game.

"It's a good challenge for us," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We were not very good that game. We didn't give ourselves a chance. We got a lot more confidence now and now we got to show where we're at. Doesn't mean we're going to win the game but we need to perform better."

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne called the previous matchup "one of the for-sure easier shutouts" of his NHL career. He has given up 16 goals over his last four starts since blanking the Blackhawks after allowing only 14 goals in his first eight appearances.

The Blackhawks are fully aware of Rinne’s comments and they're looking for revenge this time around against a Predators team that has lost five of their last six games, including three in a row (0-2-1).

"We know what he said, so take it any way you want and be ready to play tonight," Patrick Kane said. "Obviously the way we played last time in here wasn't acceptable and pretty embarrassing loss, so there's some truth to those comments. We've got to come back and respond."

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Franchise-altering Marian Hossa named to Blackhawks All-Decade Team

Franchise-altering Marian Hossa named to Blackhawks All-Decade Team

Throughout the 2019-20 season, NBC Sports Chicago will be unveiling its Blackhawks All-Decade Team. The roster will feature the 14 forwards, 7 defensemen and two goaltenders that made the biggest impact on the franchise from the 2010 through 2019 seasons.

Perhaps nobody said it better than Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough: “The Chicago Blackhawks do not win a Stanley Cup, let alone three, without Marian Hossa.”

Hossa’s arrival in free agency in the summer of 2009 sent a message to the rest of the league that the Blackhawks were not only a destination for elite players, but also that they were a franchise all-in on trying to win Stanley Cups. “It’s not just because of his performance on the ice,” said McDonough. “Sometimes culturally it’s just to be in the same locker room with a guy who comports himself professionally, knows how to win, great work ethic, terrific habits.”


Hossa had a presence within the Blackhawks’ dressing room and immediately earned the respect of his teammates. Not only does he receive lots of credit for the franchise’s culture change, but many credit his influence on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as a major reason why they became the NHL superstars they are today. Because of that presence, there is certainly no coincidence that since Hossa’s departure, the Blackhawks have not seen the playoffs. “You can’t replace Marian Hossa,” said Stan Bowman before the start of the season. “I think we’ve certainly felt it the last couple years. He was such an important part of our team. We never would have won any of our Stanley Cups without Marian’s contributions.” 

Marian Hossa spent eight seasons in Chicago, amassing 415 points in 534 games with the Blackhawks. In the playoffs, Hossa racked up 73 points in 107 games and the Blackhawks reached the postseason in all eight of his seasons in Chicago. For his contributions to Chicago both on and off the ice, he makes the Blackhawks All-Decade Team as the second line right winger.

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