Blackhawks continue prepping for 3-on-3 OT


Blackhawks continue prepping for 3-on-3 OT

Coach Joel Quenneville was giving his assessment of 3-on-3 so far this preseason, although some outings haven’t allotted him a good look.

“The other night the game ended so quickly I couldn’t get a good read on it,” he said about 3-on-3 vs. St. Louis on Saturday, which ended a minute into overtime.

The Blackhawks are like every other team in the NHL this preseason, acclimating themselves to 3-on-3 before it starts to count for a point during the regular season. The league implemented it in the hopes of reducing the number of shootouts.

Judging by preseason results, it’s having the desired effect. According to the league, of 17 necessary 3-on-3 overtimes thus far, 13 have been decided in that overtime.

[MORE: Artemi Panarin should practice with Blackhawks again soon

In the Blackhawks’ first 3-on-3 vs. Detroit, Trevor Daley scored off a 3-on-1 just one minute, 40 seconds into it. The second one was planned regardless of the score at the end of regulation – the Blackhawks had already won 3-1 – and lasted just 60 seconds.

A quick poll of fellow hockey writers shows most 3-on-3 sessions – be it those the league stipulated to have 3-on-3 regardless or ones necessitated by a tie – are ending quickly. And by quickly, we mean finishing in two minutes or less.

Quenneville said there are so many factors that will go into capitalizing on a 3-on-3.

“Changes are a big part of it and puck possession’s key. How do you play without the puck and you’re incorporating goaltending with it. There are a lot of intangibles,” said Quenneville. “Groups of three: two forwards and a [defenseman], two Ds and a forward or three forwards? There are a lot of options you can sort out. The personnel going into games will dictate that but technically we need some rules of thumb of how you play certain situations, particularly in your own end without [the puck.]”

Marian Hossa said he sees the opportunistic angle as well as the concerns of it.

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“There’s so much ice there and it could be a lot of fun. But also defensively it’s not easy to contain,” he said. “Because when you have big, skilled players coming against you and you lose half a step, there’s a scoring chance every time.”

It’s easy to believe the open ice means fire away from the offensive standpoint. But there’s danger in that, too. If a rebound gets away from the team on the attack, things could quickly go the other way. 

“Yeah, that’s something you have to watch out for,” Daley said. “The shooter has to protect everyone else. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.”

While goalies have that much more pressure on them, Quenneville said they could also be the catalyst for starting their team’s offensive push.

“I think that’ll be exactly what will happen: you’ll be in the offensive zone and you might want to keep the puck, send it down and change, come back and here we go again,” Quenneville said. “Changes are important. Getting fresh guys out there will be critical as well – how do you get the change when you’re tired and in your own end? But I think the goaltender and how he handles it, he could be one more guy who is part of the attack.”

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Corey Crawford’s OK with possibly starting things off with a pass?

“I don’t know. I don’t want to be trying too much. If there’s an opportunity I’ll take it,” Crawford said with a smile. “I have to stop the puck first.”

There is going to be a lot of trial and error with the 3-on-3, especially in the early going. And don’t be surprised if games end shortly after that overtime begins, at least until teams become more comfortable with the new format.

Is 3-on-3 a good thing? Will it be the scorer’s dream? Will it be every goaltender’s worst nightmare? Those questions will be answered as the season progresses. It will definitely be entertaining. And right now, it looks to be serving its original purpose.

“For the people, it’ll be real interesting and a lot of goals,” Hossa said. “And you probably won’t see as many shootouts.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis welcome Nick Gismondi into the fold before discussing Friday's win over Columbus. Robin Lehner played stellar and is forming quite a tandem in net with Corey Crawford (4:10), while the DeBrincat/Kane connection is alive and well (6:10), and the Blackhawks' struggles at even strength continued (12:10). Then, the guys react to the breaking news of Kirby Dach's recall from Rockford and discuss where he might fit into this lineup (15:10).

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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October 19, 2007: An important Blackhawks milestone

October 19, 2007: An important Blackhawks milestone

October 19, 2007 — The Blackhawks beat the Avalanche 5-3 at the United Center. Pulling up the webpage shows an ordinary early-season NHL game, but it’s quite significant for a few reasons — and not only because of Jonathan Toews’ incredible highlight-reel goal at 06:59 of the first period to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead (please take a minute to find that highlight if you can. It’s a great goal).

Patrick Sharp added a goal at 08:29, and at 14:36, Patrick Kane scored a goal of his own. It was the first goal of Kane’s NHL career.

AND the first time that both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored a goal in the same game.

About five years ago, I started keeping track of when they both scored a goal in the same game. It became a thing. I’d post it on Twitter whenever it happened. And people started asking what their record was when it happened, so I’d have that too. It was, and still is, one of my favorite things to follow when the Blackhawks take the ice.

As of this writing, Toews and Kane have scored a goal in the same game 96 times (102 including postseason). And the Blackhawks are 84-7-5 when they do so (with an additional 6-0 in playoffs), which is to be expected when your best players combine to do good things.

I was curious, so I enlisted the help of the Elias Sports Bureau to take things a bit further.

Believe it or not, Toews & Kane do NOT have the lead among current teammates in instances with a goal in the same game. Here’s that list (regular season only):

101 — Nicklas Backstrom & Alex Ovechkin (Capitals)

96  Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)

94 — Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin (Penguins)

64 — Patrick Marleau & Joe Thornton (Sharks)

63 — Dustin Brown & Anze Kopitar (Kings)

What is probably NOT as surprising is that they don’t have the Blackhawks record in instances with a goal in the same game. Because the Blackhawks have two all-time greats who played a long time together. Here’s that list (regular season only):

139 — Bobby Hull & Stan Mikita

96 — Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane

88 — Steve Larmer & Denis Savard

77 — Bobby Hull & Kenny Wharram

75 — Dennis Hull & Stan Mikita

Toews & Kane may not top the list of current teammates, but the duo from the Nation’s Capitol have but one Stanley Cup together whereas the Chicago tandem has three (though Crosby & Malkin are right there with them). As for trailing Hull & Mikita… well, there’s no shame in that. Plus there’s time to add to that total. There’s a good chance they break triple digits this season, and that will be fun to track. Where will they end up when they hang up the skates? That remains to be seen, as they both seemingly have plenty of good hockey left to be played.

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