Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Artemi Panarin getting his top-line chance

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Blackhawks: Artemi Panarin getting his top-line chance

The Blackhawks are already down a great defenseman. Now they’re likely down one of their best forwards, albeit for a shorter time.

Regardless, it’s another time when everyone needs to do a little more and someone gets a great opportunity.

Marian Hossa, who suffered a lower-body injury against the Minnesota Wild, is questionable for Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll know more about Hossa’s status on Monday morning, but based on line combinations at Sunday’s practice, it looks like the Blackhawks are prepared to go at least a game without Hossa.

[MORE HAWKS: Blackhawks: Patrick Kane not commenting on reports involving investigation]

Artemi Panarin moved up to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Ryan Garbutt on Sunday. For Panarin, who’s found great chemistry and success with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane, said through Viktor Tikhonov that he will have to adjust.

“There are some small changes,” Tikhonov translated for Panarin. “It’s not a completely different game. But with Kane we have a little bit of a different style. Obviously with Toews it’s going to be a little bit different.”

Quenneville said Hossa’s injury, which kept him out of the third period against Minnesota on Friday night, is not serious. Still, missing the forward’s two-way game for even one game is tough.

“Well, there’s quality ice time in a lot of areas and [someone] gets to play with Jonny, so we’ll see,” said Quenneville. “You miss quality minutes and playing the right way is something we’re trying to emphasize. We’re coming off a game where we need to be better in certain areas without the puck, solet’s make sure we’re paying attention to where we are around the rink.”

As for Panarin getting that top-line opportunity, Quenneville said it’s to help balance the lines sans Hossa but Panarin also was probably going to be there eventually.

“Over the course of a season, we envisioned Jonny and him playing together at some point. Hopefully that can work,” he said. “Jonny scoring last game – we haven’t seen any other lines [except the second line] score all year – hopefully we can share the wealth on the production side of things. Hopefully we become more balanced in our scoring.”

BRIEFLY

  • Duncan Keith (right knee) is “getting close to doing the next level of activity,” Quenneville said on Sunday. That doesn’t sound like it includes getting onto the ice just yet. Quenneville said he’d “have to find out for sure” when Keith can skate again.
  •  Michal Rozsival (left ankle) is doubtful to play this week. “He still has some extra work to do before we’re comfortable with him playing,” Quenneville said of the defenseman.
  • Corey Crawford will start vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.