Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Campbell relates to Cutler's injury

Blackhawks' Campbell relates to Cutler's injury

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011
3:11 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has gotten plenty of criticism after suffering a sprained MCL injury on Sunday. But Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, who suffered the same injury earlier this season, said he shouldnt.

Campbell missed the first month of the season when he suffered an MCL sprain to his right knee in an October preseason game. To Campbell, who thought at first he could play on that knee but soon found out his couldn't, the injury was nothing to snicker about.

As soon as I got back to the room here, OK, somethings going on here. It's starting to to tighten up. Something's going wrong, Campbell recalled about the night he got hurt. I know when I was rehabbing, I wasnt able to do anything laterally for about three weeks. I dont know anything about Jay Cutler, but Id just like to see everyone put in his position when you go out there and you cant move around.

Cutler was barely taken out of Sundays NFC Championship when reaction ran rampant, especially on the internet. Campbell said it was pretty disappointing the reaction of it all.

You just dont react right away. You find out whats going on then react for a guy like that. You feel bad for him, his friends and family. Hopefully everyone can somehow apologize to a guy like that.

Anybody can grab a phone and say, I couldve walked around with my knee. True warriors know what guys do. He was sacked. beaten on the last two years. He just keeps going about his business.

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

Cam Ward won't let 'embarrassing' United Center debut with Blackhawks ruin his training camp

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AP

Cam Ward won't let 'embarrassing' United Center debut with Blackhawks ruin his training camp

Cam Ward's United Center debut as a Blackhawk couldn't have gone any worse. After allowing two goals on the first two shots he faced, he bounced back by stopping seven in a row to end the first period, but gave up four goals on eight shots in the second for an overall save percentage of .647.

The original plan was for Ward to play the full game, but Anton Forsberg was forced to come on in relief for the third period to help stop the bleeding in a meaningless game.

"Not good," Ward said following Tuesday's 8-6 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. "Definitely was a rough game for me personally. Obviously got off to a rough start right from the get go, they got a fortunate bounce right in front and put it in and unfortunately just wasn't able to get comfortable throughout the game. It's just one of those games, whether it's preseason or not, you want to put forth a good outing and a good effort and tonight just wasn't the night. I'm going to do what I can to flush it away and not let it ruin my training camp and just get ready for the next one."

It's unfair to fault Ward for a few of them without looking at the defensive breakdowns that led to the goals, but there were a couple he would have certainly liked to have back. The 14-year veteran has been around long enough to know these games happen occasionally, but it doesn't make it any easier to reconcile with the final result.

"Any time you let in six it's embarrassing as a goaltender," Ward said. "But like I said you don't want to overanalyze or overthink it. Unfortunately games like this sometimes happen but at the end of the day it doesn't count and I don't want it to ruin my training camp."

With Corey Crawford unlikely to be ready by Opening Night, Ward is expected to shoulder the load until their starter is cleared to return between the pipes. Chicago is counting on the 34-year-old with a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy on his resume who signed a one-year deal in the offseason to be a solid placeholder for the time being and backup because he can handle it physically and the ups and downs mentally.

A performance like Tuesday's doesn't exactly do much to reinforce the Blackhawks' confidence that Ward can do so, but at the same time picking apart a fluky preseason game isn't the best way to evaluate the bigger picture. The good news is that it didn't have any impact on the standings.

'Well, it’s one game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "40 minutes, preseason game. We’ll throw it in the basket. Goaltending tonight, pucks were going in at both ends at an abnormal rate. You have a few games like that over the course of a season. Good thing it was preseason."

Here are four other takeaways from the loss:

2. Dominik Kahun leaving strong impression

With every practice and preseason game that goes by, Kahun is making it difficult on the Blackhawks coaching staff to leave him off the 23-man roster because all he's done is take control of his opportunity. And it's hard to see him not making it at this point.

After scoring a goal in Friday's preseason content against the Ottawa Senators and whose line was most effective when it comes to puck possession numbers, Kahun was promoted to the top line with Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews the next practice to get a stronger look at what he can do against top players and heavier minutes. He hasn't looked out of place since.

A crafty 23-year-old forward, Kahun stood out once again on Tuesday against the Red Wings after scoring a goal by batting the puck out of mid-air, recording seven shot attempts (two on goal), two blocked shots and one takeaway. He also had a breakaway opportunity in the first period.

"I think in camp you can see who's got skills, who can move, who can skate, who can handle the puck," said Toews, who had two goals and an assist. "When you get into games, you see a guy like Dominik has all that but he has a lot of hockey sense, too. As a line, just trying to talk about the little things. I guess I've been known to put too much in some guys heads something but we had some talks this morning as far as where we wanted to play with the puck and he went out there and he was in all the right areas. Nice to see him get one early in the game. I thought he played great in a lot of ways."

3. Adam Boqvist's audition

The Blackhawks have kept Boqvist around because they want to give him a serious look at what he can do playing with and against high-end players. Tuesday was his first real test at that and there were times where he got bodied around a little bit.

He and Brandon Manning struggled as a pairing at 5-on-5 after they were on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and 16 against, but Boqvist was one of four players on the Blackhawks who finished with a multi-point effort and looked effective quarterbacking the first power play unit.

"I thought he did some good things on the power play," Quenneville said. "Defensively there was some room to improve upon, but he still does some things you appreciate."

4. New-look power play paying off early

The Blackhawks changed up their power play format to a 1-3-1 scheme this season, and it's had some early success. For the second straight preseason game they found the back of the net with the man advantage, with two goals coming on Tuesday.

While they allowed a shorthanded goal late in the game, the Blackhawks registered 14 shot attempts on six opportunities and look solid in just about every facet. They were generating chances and didn't have any momentum-killers.

"The power play was dangerous," Quenneville said. "I thought our power play did some really nice things off the rush, on entries, we shot the puck, we had net presence, we had retrievals, we had different plays and different looks. It was good."

5. Top guns leading the way

The Blackhawks need their top guys to be their top guys this season if they want any chance at getting back to the playoffs. It was a good start on Tuesday.

Kane (three assists), Toews (two goals, one assist) and Duncan Keith (one goal, two assists) all had three-point outings in the loss and led the charge.

"Kaner was special, Jonny at the net and our net presence was better than we've seen," Quenneville said. "Our guys from the top are shooting pretty well."

After bursting onto the scene in Rockford, Collin Delia generating buzz at Blackhawks training camp

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USA TODAY

After bursting onto the scene in Rockford, Collin Delia generating buzz at Blackhawks training camp

Collin Delia has emerged as an intriguing prospect for the Blackhawks. A year ago, nobody knew much about him at training camp. Now there's buzz around the 24-year-old and his role with the team going forward.

He appeared in only 28 games last year for the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League, but took control of his opportunity by going 17-7-2 with a 2.72 goals against average and .900 save percentage. It wasn't until the Calder Cup playoffs when he really started to raise eyebrows, helping the IceHogs reach the Conference Final with a 2.34 GAA and .924 save percentage.

With Corey Crawford out at the time and the revolving door at the backup position, it was interesting to think about Delia's chances at having a real shot in that role for the 2018-19 season.

"Why not?," Blackhawks senior director of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard said in May whether Delia could challenge for the backup spot this season. "You know, what not? That's what training camp is for. He's proven this year that he's a quality netminder. He's someone in our organization [who's] a high-level prospect for us and the more he plays at this level, the more experience he gains ... he's playing in high-level pressure games here and he's proven himself. 

"So going into training camp next year, he's got just as much of a chance as anybody. It's going to be interesting when camp opens. I think those things will be determined through the exhibition games and Stan [Bowman] and Joel [Quenneville] will have some tough decisions."

Training camp has been so far, so good for Delia. 

He stopped 17 of 19 shots in his preseason debut against the Ottawa Senators, and drew rave reviews from coach Joel Quenneville from it and his camp in general.

"He's done a real good job," Quenneville said. "Last year was a good year for him as far as getting stabilized and being a pro and getting a lot of net, and did a really good job of getting [Rockford] in the playoffs. He's coming off a special game the other night, and he can do some pretty neat things."

That's always a big confidence builder for a young kid, especially when it comes from a Hall of Fame coach.

"It's always nice to have praise from the coach," Delia told NBC Sports Chicago. "Honestly it's just one of those things in the preseason game, you've got to see where your game's at by playing in a couple games; happy to come in there and make stops, just continue to play at this level it's truly amazing."

A big part of why Delia has had the success he's had early on at this level is his mental strength. You have to have that as a goaltender. You especially have to have it when you go undrafted, like Delia did, to still have that belief in yourself that you can make it to the NHL one day.

"Obviously you have to be physically able to put your body through those rigors, but a lot of it is will power and mental fortitude," Delia said. "I think it's a balance between the mental capacity and physical ability and kind of the spiritual side. It's threefold. But if you don't have the mental fortitude to withstand ... if you go down a couple goals early, you've still got to keep playing like it's 0-0. You're trying to keep the ship going straight so to speak, but a big thing of being mentally sound is doing the same things when something positive happens and something negative happens. 

"For instance: you get scored on, you take a sip of water. We score, take a sip of water. Do your thing. Be balanced out, don't put so much emotion into the highs and lows. Keep it steady. So that's one way that I kind of approach it."

The Blackhawks brought in veteran Cam Ward this offseason to back up Crawford, who could practice with the team as early as this weekend but is unlikely to be ready by Opening Night, according to Quenneville. That means the backup to Ward for the time being is up for competition.

Forsberg likely still has the inside track because he hasn't done anything that would force the Blackhawks into giving up on his abilities and putting him on waivers, but Delia is preparing like he could have a shot as the No. 3 goalie on the organizational depth chart.

"I think that's always the goal, to play at the highest level, so you prepare for that always," Delia said. "It's something that I visualize in my off time. If that's the case, that's great. And if not, I'll still keep developing, still keep progressing because at the end of the day that's really what it's all about, continuing to get better. When it's your time it'll be your time. Just be patient and trust that the organization has your best interest at hand and I think when you have that trust, it's reciprocated with myself and the organization."

While Forsberg has also had a strong camp, the Blackhawks aren't ready to make a decision on that quite yet. There's still one more week of training camp with three preseason games remaining. And with teams across the league trimming their roster in half as the regular season approaches, these are the games where players will be evaluated the hardest.

So if Delia gets another chance to build his case, he could make it difficult on the coaching staff when they're ironing out the final roster.

"We'll see how it all plays out," Quenneville said. "Those things are going to get answered for us either by performance or time. 

"We're in a winning business. Sometimes it's who's more deserving. We know with goalies, time is probably beneficial, but at the same time, if a young kid's ready to go, we don't want to get in their way."