Blackhawks

Blackhawks' brass give back for Thanksgiving

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Blackhawks' brass give back for Thanksgiving

ROMEOVILLE -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville knows where he normally is this time of year.

Wed probably be in San Jose today with the Circus Trip, maybe Las Vegas in the middle, said Quenneville.

Yes, normally this would be the time for traveling and playing. But for the Blackhawks brass, on Day 66 of the NHL lockout, it was a day of giving back.

Quenneville, team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman and others were at the DuPage Township Food Pantry for the Blackhawks food drive there on Tuesday. From directing traffic to handing out food, the Blackhawks welcomed the opportunity to give back.

This has been on our schedule for quite a while, McDonough said. Its great to see everyone in the organization doing this together. Its in the spirit of what were trying to do.

It was the first food drive the Blackhawks have done with the DuPage Township Food Pantry, which serves more than 500 families a month.

They do an unbelievable job 365 days of the year, Blackhawks color analyst Eddie Olczyk said of the pantry. All the help, all the volunteers, all the corporate sponsors that help out, its the least that I can do and our family can do. But to be part of it with the Blackhawks and all the people who work here on a yearly basis, its more than our pleasure.

No, theres still no hockey. No Circus Trip, which the Blackhawks would be in the midst of right now. But there are still reasons to be thankful, and still good causes to give time and energy to.

Its fun to be a part of it, said Quenneville, who helped load boxes of food into families cars. Im excited to be in Chicago for Thanksgiving. Its a special time of year. All the sharing, giving, appreciate, it comes with a great day.

The thought process behind overloading one line for Blackhawks

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The thought process behind overloading one line for Blackhawks

Depth scoring is key in today's NHL. If you can't roll four lines, it will eventually catch up to you over the course of an 82-games season and, if you get there, in the playoffs, where it will certainly be exposed.

But equally important in today's NHL is having one dependable line that can be a difference-maker on a nightly basis. We're seeing it more and more across the league where teams overload one line as a "try and stop us" mentality and it's working.

Colorado's top line of Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen leads all trios with 19 even-strength goals this season. Three other lines are tied for second with 16 (Panarin-Dubois-Atkinson in Columbus, Skinner-Eichel-Pominville in Buffalo and Hyman-Tavares-Marner in Toronto).

Boston’s trio of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak has controlled a ridiculous 60.1 percent of the even-strength shot attempts over the last three seasons and has a plus-20 goal differential, according to corsica.hockey. Over that same span, Nashville’s first line of Forsberg-Johansen-Arvidsson has an NHL-leading plus-29 goal differential.

All of these teams are seeing the benefits both in the short-term and long-term as it’s translating to overall team success. Rather than playing pick your poison, the Blackhawks are trying to do the same in putting Saad-Toews-Kane together (along with DeBrincat-Anisimov-Schmaltz), hoping to spark some steady offensive production.

"If we play them together, they've got to produce," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "But sometimes when you spread them out, no one produces. By loading them up, it puts some pressure on them, but hopefully they play so well that it doesn't matter who has the puck. They're making plays, they break through anyways, no matter who they're playing against. That's what we ask of them, and so far they're coming through for us."

Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 12 goals. Jonathan Toews is second with 10. Brandon Saad has six (three in his past five games). In putting them on a line together, the goal for them is to continue scoring at a high rate, but doing so on a more consistent basis.

“We’re definitely hurting for offense right now, and that’s from top to bottom, the production has gone down,” Kane said. “You take it upon yourself as a player that’s supposed to score and produce, be able to do that every night. It would be nice to be able to do that more often.”

Hawks Talk Podcast: Are the Blackhawks relying too much on Corey Crawford?

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Are the Blackhawks relying too much on Corey Crawford?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Adam Burish joins Pat Boyle to breakdown the Hawks’ recent four-game points streak, Corey Crawford's second star of the week honors and Brandon Saad’s best stretch of hockey since he returned to Chicago.

Burish talks about the criticism that Nick Schmaltz receives, the tweaks to the power play and whether he is impressed with how the team leaders have handled the coaching change.

Burish also shares his thoughts on Joel Quenneville attending Sunday night’s Bears game, Eddie Olczyk’s "One More Shift" and shares a couple off-ice stories about Patrick Kane.

:36 - What have you seen over this four-game points streak?

2:35 - Crow is second star of the week, are the Hawks relying too much on Crawford?

4:00 - Crow: no soft goals and rebound control

5:30 - Problems exiting zone cleanly

8:00 - Art of the hoister

9:40 - Best Saad has looked?

10:45 - Schmaltz inconsistencies

12:30 - New wrinkles on Power Play

16:30 - Sikura call up?

18:00 - Leaders handling coaching change

22:00 - What Q’s been up to

25:00 - Burish Beauty

26:00 - Edzo's One More Shift and Hockey Fight’s Cancer Night

28:30 - Kane’s 21st Birthday and off-ice 88 story

Listen to the full Hawks Talk Podcast right here: