Blackhawks

Blachawks: Richards, Timonen sparked by postseason potential

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Blachawks: Richards, Timonen sparked by postseason potential

NASHVILLE — Brad Richards talked of the “second season,” as it were, that time of year that reignites the spark that can sometimes flicker in a draggy, 82-game season.

“I can tell you all year how excited I was to play games in October,” he said. “But when I signed in July I was thinking about this.”

“This” is the postseason. “This” is what so many players aspire to get to, and what the Blackhawks have gotten to for seven consecutive seasons. It’s exciting for every player. It’s even more exciting for those like Richards and Kimmo Timonen, who, either via free agency or trade, looked at the Blackhawks as their next great opportunity to win a Stanley Cup.

“I still feel we have really good chance to do something well here,” said Timonen, who is chasing his first Cup. “We all know it’s a long process. It’s not something we can do quickly. But this team has as good a chance as anyone else. I’ve seen clips when this team plays really well; we are hard to beat. In the playoffs it’ll be tight. But I have a lot of confidence we can do it.”

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Timonen missed the last three games of the regular season with an upper-body injury sustained against the St. Louis Blues. But coach Joel Quenneville said Timonen be healthy and available to play during the postseason. The veteran defenseman is here for one reason: he wants to win a Cup. It’s the one thing that kept him motivated as he battled blood clots, which were discovered last summer and kept him off the ice until February.

Going back to Nashville, where he played for several seasons, is extra motivation.

“It gives me some extra energy, extra excitement,” he said. “I was there eight years and I was a captain one season. I had a good time there, played a lot of games there. Excitement is building and it’s a good sign. That’s what we do this sport for, and I’m sure everyone’s feeling the same way.”

For Timonen, this is it. Whether he wins that elusive Cup or not, he said he’s retiring at the end of this season. Richards has several years’ worth of hockey in front of him, although it’s likely one-and-done with the Blackhawks. The motivation’s there nonetheless. This is the fun part of the season, the time every player strives to get to.

[MORE HAWKS: Can Versteeg-Kane-Richards line work again?]

“You go through the process, go through the grind – especially since I signed two weeks after losing in the Cup Final. So you’re really hungry and want to get back into the battle,” Richards said. “Starting Wednesday night, that makes it worth the whole process. I have as good a chance as anyone with this team to win.”

Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

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AP

Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

The Original Six team with six Stanley Cups in franchise history known as the Chicago Blackhawks has gotten plenty of salutes from movies, TV shows and other avenues of entertainment over the years. Here are the top six pop culture nods according to us:


6. The Dilemma

The 2011 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James features lengthy scenes shot at actual Blackhawks games at the United Center in 2010. Even Blackhawks arena announcer Gene Honda has lines in the picture. 


5. Sudden Death 

Jean-Claude Van Damme. There's nothing else needed to defend this selection. But, the 1995 action flick puts the Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, of course with the Vice President in attendance.

Actual storyline: The Pittsburgh Civic Arena is wired with explosives that could destroy the whole city. It's up to arson investigator Darren McCord to stop it before the game ends. 

The movie even spawned a delightful song in a Chris Pratt Parks and Rec deleted scene. 


4. NHL '94 Roenick in Swingers

Vaughn and co. play the 1994 installment of the EA Sports NHL video game in the 1996 film with the Blackhawks taking on the LA Kings and hilarity ensues. 


3. Queen's We Will Rock You music video

Off the 1977 album "News of the World", the music video for We Will Rock You features bassist John Deacon sporting a sweet Hawks letterman-type jacket. 


2. Christmas Vacation 

[*Strong language]

"The silent majesty of a winter's morn; the clean, cool chill of the holiday air...." 

This Blackhawks shoutout in the classic Christmas comedy is too great not to make the top 2. You'll still see "Griswold" white Blackhawks jerseys pop up at the United Center during the holiday season to saltue the 1989 film. Rusty also wears a red Hawks sweater when Clark is putting the infamous bright lights on the house. 


1. Wayne's World

It might be a predictable No.1 pick, but come on. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey worked the Hawks into this iconic 1992 comedy in an epic way. The duo also gave the Blackhawks a big shoutout on Feb. 15, 2015 when Mike Myers wore a Hawks sweater as Wayne in a Wayne's World sketch for SNL's 40th anniversary. 

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Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

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USA Today

Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS — Patrick Kane has been booed all weekend in St. Louis and the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star poked a little bit of fun at Blues fans for their, shall we say, warm welcoming. But Saturday put the crowd in a weird spot.

On one hand, Kane is an arch rival in St. Louis. On the other, he represented the Central Division and was teammates with the four Blues All-Stars (Jordan Binnington, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo).

After falling into a 3-0 hole to the Pacific Division, the Central Division stormed back for three straight goals. Perron scored the second goal, which drew huge cheers. Fourteen seconds later, Kane scored the equalizer, which also drew loud cheers. 

But then the St. Louis fans realized who had scored and Kane had some fun with them by holding his glove up to his ear. 

"Tried to like put my hand up to my ear to hear the boos," Kane said. "But then I was showing them that hey, I’m playing with the Blues players, I’ve got the same jersey as them. Just had fun with it. "

The Blues found themselves conflicted for a second time when Kane evened the score at 5-5 after converting on a breakaway. The interaction between Kane and the crowd was the most memorable moment of the night.

"It’s all in good fun," Kane said following a 10-5 loss to the Pacific Division. "To be honest with you, sometimes you get booed, you kind of like it a little bit. It’s St. Louis and Chicago, it’s a huge rivalry. Not only in hockey, but pretty much every other sport they play against each other. I guess that’s only baseball, but, you know what? Had a lot of fun this weekend and I thought that was a pretty cool moment."

Even the Blues had fun with it.

"Those were boos," a smiling Pietrangelo said. "Not cheers."

But at least somebody had sympathy for Kane.

"I felt bad for Kaner," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He comes out in his introductions and is getting booed and stuff and then he scores and they're cheering for him. Tough situation for him. Players all know. They all handle it very well. It's a fun event."

In the end, it provided entertainment and brought some life to the event. What Kane is really trying to figure out is why he's snake bitten at All-Stars Games. He hasn't won since 2012 in Ottawa when Team Zdeno Chara defeated Team Daniel Alfredsson 12-9 under the fantasy draft format.

"I know, right?" Kane said. "Central can’t get over the hump. We won one last year and lost in the final. I think every time you look at the roster, you always think you have a really good roster with some of the players that are on the team, and for whatever reason we can’t do it."

The Central Division slipped to 1-5 under the 3-on-3 format, but Kane may have a solution on how to fix their struggles.

"Maybe it would be better if the Central played an Eastern team next year or something," Kane said half-jokingly. "Maybe you could switch it up that way."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

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.