Blackhawks

Back in business: Blackhawks force Game 6

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Back in business: Blackhawks force Game 6

Thursday, April 21, 2011Posted: 11:45 p.m. Updated: 1:09 a.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Duncan Keith stood with a media swarm around him, his defensive partner Brent Seabrooks sweater hanging in the empty locker beside him.

Seabrooks missed the last two games after taking Raffi Torres shoulder to the head in Game 3. The Blackhawks didnt like seeing that hit, didnt like seeing it go unpunished afterward. But Keith said thats in the past. Sort of.

WATCH: Keith on his career night

Weve moved on from that incident, he said. But at the same time hes a good teammate, a good friend and we use everything we can as motivation to come out fighting.

That apparently goes quadruple for Keith.

Keith had a career-best four-point night and Marian Hossa had two goals and a helper as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 in their Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Blackhawks are now within one, 3-2, in the series that goes back to Chicago for Sundays Game 6.
Corey Crawford was also stellar, stopping all 36 shots he faced for his first career postseason shutout.

Be it Keiths huge offensive night, Crawfords net work or the Blackhawks big offensive guns awoke from their slumber Hossa and Patrick Kane got their first goals of the series the Blackhawks were relentless. Hossa and Keith scored within 24 seconds of each other -- the second time the Blackhawks tallied bang-bang goals -- to stun the Canucks and silence Rogers Arena.
WATCH: Kane says the group is confident
And for the second straight game the Blackhawks ended Roberto Luongos night early. Hossas breakaway was the final blow, sending Luongo off just 1:26 into the second period. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said Luongo will start Game 6 in Chicago.

Keith was stellar on all fronts but made his biggest impact on the score sheet. He had a team-high eight shots on goal the Blackhawks had 26 as a team and was a plus-2 at the end of the night.

WATCH: Hossa wants to do the same thing in Chicago

Asked how the Canucks could slow Keith down, Vigneault said, well analyze tonight and see what we can come up with.

And if not for a Kane deflection, Keith has a hat trick and a five-point night.

I kind of felt bad about that, Kane said. But he was awesome. Hes been great all series but you expect him to show up in big games like that.

And Keith has been showing up in several ways lately. Keiths a quiet guy in front of the cameras and tape recorders, but according to Jonathan Toews, hes been making himself heard lately nonetheless.

WATCH: Toews looking forward to coming home

Hes been a force verbally in the locker room and on the bench, Toews said. Hes killing penalties, scoring big goals on the power play. You saw him in the last game, hes getting in (the Canucks) faces and hes not afraid to get into it after the whistle. At the same time, nothings going to take him off his game right now. Every guy in this room can take a page out of his book right now.

The Blackhawks last two games have been more the type of hockey theyve wanted to play. Theyve outscored the Canucks 12-2, theyve chased Luongo twice and they very well could be getting to Vancouvers psyche once again.

But for the Blackhawks its all about them.

Honestly, were focused on our team and what were doing, Keith said. Im not just saying that. Were facing elimination, we believe in our team and we believe we can play with this team. Its not a coincidence theyre Presidents' Trophy winners. But we believe we can play with them.

Crawford stellar

The Blackhawks did what was necessary at one end and Crawford more than did his part at the other, stopping 36 in what coach Joel Quenneville called a special night for the rookie goaltender.

WATCH: Q says it was a special night for Crawford

Corey Crawford was dazzling in his performance in Game 6. Crawford saved all 36 Vancouver shots for his first postseason shutout. (US PRESSWIRE)
But Crawford was once again calling it a team effort. He pointed specifically at the 20 blocked shots the Blackhawks gathered.

There were a couple of times in the slot when they had a good opportunity and we came up with a huge block. Those things are important, he said. We were hard on pucks all around the ice and making smart plays. Our PK was really good tonight. When all those things come together it makes for a really good game.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

GM Stan Bowman: Blackhawks 'unlikely' to trade out of No. 3 overall spot

GM Stan Bowman: Blackhawks 'unlikely' to trade out of No. 3 overall spot

The 2019 NHL Draft is 48 hours away from now and the Blackhawks are slated to pick third overall for the first time since 2006 when they took Jonathan Toews. Coincidentally, that draft happened to be in Vancouver. 

The Blackhawks are sitting in a unique spot this time around.

The consensus is that Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko will go first and second overall, respectively, which essentially puts the Blackhawks in a position where they have the first overall pick in a different draft. There's a large group of players to choose from and there doesn't appear to be much separation amongst them.

So would the Blackhawks consider trading out of the No. 3 spot if a team wants to make the jump and the Blackhawks feel good about their player being on the board a few picks back?

"That’s a tough question to answer because it's not like we have a magic formula that we’re waiting for some to call and offer us," GM Stan Bowman said on Wednesday during his pre-draft conference call. "If somebody made a really appealing offer then we’d have to consider it, but that hasn’t happened yet. If it does, then as a group we’ll talk about it. That’s one of those things where a team has to want to put together a really appealing package to move up. It’s happened before, pretty rare though. So I wouldn't say it's out of the realm, but it’s unlikely to happen."

All signs point to the Blackhawks keeping their pick at No. 3, as expected. And it sounds like they already know who it's going to be, which isn't surprising considering the Blackhawks have done extensive research on the prospects — both on and off the ice — for months now.

The Blackhawks staff met on Wednesday a group, they'll meet again on Thursday, and then one more time on Friday before the draft to finalize their list. At this point, it's more about ironing out the later rounds.

"It’s more just fine-tuning the list," Bowman said. "We have more than just one pick in the draft. We’re looking at players we think are going to be around in the second round, and then we don’t have a third-round pick right now so there’s a bit of a gap there between our 43rd and then the two picks in the fourth round. So we have to look at that and determine which players we’re going to target for those rounds. I wouldn’t say there’s anything new that's being discovered at this time of year.

"We’re not going to be cramming last minute. I think we’re going to be very comfortable with the guy we pick when we get to Friday night."

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2019 NHL Draft Profile: D Bowen Byram

2019 NHL Draft Profile: D Bowen Byram

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.

Bowen Byram

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 193 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report from Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley:

"He's had an outstanding year. Second half of the year he's really been outstanding. He really kind of drew a lot of attention to himself. Well-deserved. He's a dynamic player and he affects the outcome of a game."

Byram describes his own game:

On Duncan Keith comparisons: "I would say that’s pretty accurate. He’s a really energetic guy, good on both sides of the puck, kills penalties, runs the power play. That’s kind of how I’d describe myself, for sure. That’s definitely a fair comparison."

NHL player comparable: Duncan Keith

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks have used their last three first-round picks on defensemen, but positional needs aren't a priority when you're drafting this high — although, in the grand scheme of things, it's a pressing need despite the overflow of defensemen in the pipeline. TSN's Craig Button has said multiple times on the Hawks Talk Podcast that Byram is a future No. 1 defenseman in the NHL, and he would immediately become the top prospect in the organization.

Byram, known for his swagger and two-way game, has drawn comparisons to Drew Doughty and Keith, both of whom have won a Norris Trophy — Keith has two. More importantly, Doughty and Keith also have their names on the Stanley Cup multiple times and were both driving forces during those title runs. These are the types of defensemen you win championships with.

Byram set records in the Western Hockey League as a 17-year-old, and he could probably step into the pros immediately. But that's asking a lot for a defenseman, so he'd be more likely to become an everyday NHL player starting in 2020-21.

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