Blackhawks

After brief stay with Blackhawks, Marko Dano finding new opportunity with Winnipeg

After brief stay with Blackhawks, Marko Dano finding new opportunity with Winnipeg

When Marko Dano first got to Blackhawks training camp last season, he was immediately thrown on the team’s top line, winning the “lottery,” as coach Joel Quenneville said at the time.

Well, Dano’s time there didn’t last long. Neither did his time with the Blackhawks, as they traded Dano to the Winnipeg Jets in the deal that brought Andrew Ladd back to them last spring. It was a brief stay for Dano, but he had nothing but good things to say about his time with Chicago. Still, it’ll be with some irony that, when Dano faces the Blackhawks tonight, it’ll be on the Jets’ top line.

“Not extra weight but maybe a little extra motivation to play against old teammates,” Dano said following the Jets’ skate on Tuesday morning. “I had a good time there. I didn’t play the type of game I was supposed to pay and that’s why I was in Rockford a long time. I enjoyed my time in Chicago and thankful for the opportunity I got.”

Dano, who was recalled from the Manitoba Moose on Oct. 28, is getting a big opportunity right now because of the Jets’ injury situation. It’s similar to how he emerged with the Columbus Blue Jackets two seasons ago and right now, he’s taking advantage of it in the same way. In the seven games he’s played with the Jets, Dano has three goals and an assist.

[SHOP: Get your Blackhawks gear here!]​

He said he feels prepared to have a strong season.

“I had a good summer workout and we worked on some little things like quickness and just those first couple of steps to be faster. Now we’re working on that in practices, too,” Dano said. “I’m feeling good now. I just have to work hard and have some fun.”

Dano will see a few familiar faces tonight, including some of his former teammates in Rockford. Dano and Ryan Hartman were roommates while with the IceHogs. Dano got to see Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza briefly when the Blackhawks got into Winnipeg on Monday – “we chatted for a little bit but nothing else. There’s no time, there are so many games now. It’s tough to catch up,” Dano said. Hartman said it’ll be good to see Dano again on the ice.

“We lived together. We got called up at the same time last year. We kind of stuck together all year,” Hartman said. “He’s a good player, he knows how to score, knows how to get to the scoring areas. It’ll be fun playing against him.”

Dano’s time in Chicago was short lived but he’s getting another opportunity with the Jets. And at the moment, that chance is coming on their top line.

“I’m just trying to play a simple game, be strong on the pucks in the corners, make something happen from the corners there,” Dano said. “Be consistent and bring the best game every night.”

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Capitals

corey_crawford_usa_today.jpg
USA Today

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Capitals

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they take on the Washington Capitals at the United Center on Sunday, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after morning skate. This will be his fourth start in six games.

Crawford is coming off a game in which he stopped 27 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .964, which earned him the No. 1 star of the game in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. He stopped 10 of 11 shots and six of seven inner slot shots, saving his team an extra 2.43 goals above average, according to The Point. It was a fantastic performance.

Crawford is 3-5-2 with a 3.61 goals-against average and .881 save percentage in 10 career starts against the Capitals.

The Blackhawks are on the second game of a seven-games-in-12-days stretch, so expect Crawford and Lehner to both get consistent reps over the next two weeks.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach set to make NHL debut on Sunday vs. Capitals

Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach set to make NHL debut on Sunday vs. Capitals

It's official: Kirby Dach is slated to make his NHL debut on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Washington Capitals. He found out the news when he got to the rink in the morning.

"It's pretty exciting," Dach said. "Grew up my whole life wanting to do this, so for me to get this opportunity now, it's awesome. Kind of speechless and at a loss for words. I've just got to go out there and play my game and focus on all the little things that the coaching staff wants me to do."

Coach Jeremy Colliton said who Dach draws in for and where he will slot into the lineup will be determined during warmups, but don't be surprised if he starts on the wing.

"I think he can play either one, which is a big benefit for us," Colliton said. "Probably long term he’s a center, but it’s only a benefit to be versatile."

Dach, who was taken No. 3 overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, missed the start of training camp with a concussion and appeared in three games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint before getting recalled on Friday. His mom, dad and sister will be in attendance for his debut.

"It's a pretty surreal feeling," Dach said. "It's kind of a whirlwind. You're just kind of getting thrown in right away and you don't really have time to react. You just got to focus on the game and not really sit back and realize what's going on. You've got to be pretty mentally dialed in and ready to play.

"There's going to be a little bit of nerves with it, but I'm excited to get out there and have fun."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.