Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw's words: Five Things from Blackhawks-Blues

Andrew Shaw's words: Five Things from Blackhawks-Blues

The Blackhawks have usually been the cool customers in past postseasons. They’ve done the right things, said the right things and won.

But right now the opposite is happening. They’re making costly mistakes at terrible times and it appears they’re also saying things that could get them into trouble beyond how this series is going.

Let’s just get to everything. Here are the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

1. Andrew Shaw loses his temper. Shaw was called for roughing with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. At the time, the Blackhawks were down by just one goal. While in the penalty box, video captured Shaw apparently uttering a homophobic slur. Asked about it afterward Shaw said, “emotions are high. I don’t know what’s said. Like I said, I was obviously upset with the call, being that late in the game. It doesn’t give us a chance to tie it up.” It looked like the slur was said, and it’s uncalled for regardless of emotions. And it’s very possible Shaw could face discipline for it.

2. There are more crazy calls. Corey Crawford got ticked and went after Robby Fabbri, who was pushed into Crawford by Jonathan Toews. Other melees ensued. Somehow, the Blackhawks got a power play out of the whole mess. It made no sense but the Blackhawks took advantage of the chance, with Duncan Keith scoring the go-ahead goal. There have been a head-scratching moment or two in this series. This takes No. 1. But…

3. The Blues respond the right way. This is where the Blues are becoming like the Blackhawks: mental toughness is more in place this postseason. The Blues could’ve lost their cool after that Keith goal but they stayed calm. And at the end of the second period, when they went on their power play, they tied the game.

[RELATED: Blackhawks can't maintain momentum in Game 4 loss to Blues]

4. The penalty kill disappears. The Blackhawks’ kill was starting to find its footing at the end of the regular season and start of the playoffs, but then it started stumbling again. The Blackhawks gave up four power-play goals, including two on Tuesday night. Those goals gave the Blues life and a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

5. Can the Blackhawks regroup? The Blackhawks don’t have the same swagger that they’ve had in years past. The team went through several line changes throughout the game because they’re struggling to find offense. Their discipline is disappearing. So is their chance to win this series. Yes, the Blackhawks have come back from 3-1 deficits before but there’s a lot that has to change for that to happen this time. 

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”