Blackhawks

Blackhawks getting more balanced scoring

Blackhawks getting more balanced scoring

Vinnie Hinostroza was understandably exuberant after scoring the game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. It was great for him individually – his first goal since Nov. 19 – but also for the team, which is seeing more balanced and depth scoring.

“It’s obviously been great when you can get four lines to score,” said Hinostroza, who also scored against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. “We’ll always have those two lines that will provide offense so it’s nice when the third and fourth lines chip in a little bit.”

Not too long ago we were bemoaning the Blackhawks’ scoring issues.

Oh, they’ve been pretty consistent in the winning category, even when the offense was anemic. They were always getting just enough to help the great goaltending. But lately, that scoring has come back in full force. The best part about it for the Blackhawks is, it’s not the usual suspects every game. Young guys, unsung guys, struggling-to-score guys, the Blackhawks are getting goals from all of them.

Last year one of the Blackhawks’ biggest problems was a bulk of their offense was coming from their second line of Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. Those three are still doing well. Panarin, the NHL’s first star of the week, is coming off 10 points in four games. Anisimov, nursing an upper-body injury, has 14 goals and Kane has 10 goals, including one in each of his last two games.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!] 

But this year they’re getting help. Hinostroza has two goals in as many games. Dennis Rasmussen has two in his last six games. Trevor van Riemsdyk, Richard Panik, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell and Ryan Hartman have all scored goals in recent games.

And they’ve won games, too. Here are the game winners for the Blackhawks’ current five-game winning streak:

vs. Dallas Stars                Artem Anisimov

vs. New York Rangers     Artem Anisimov

vs. New York Islanders    Richard Panik

vs. St. Louis Blues           Vinnie Hinostroza

vs. San Jose Sharks        Ryan Hartman

Not bad, really.

The Blackhawks have been fairly steady all season despite issues they’ve had in their game. They can win games 1-0 and 2-1 but getting more offense is always welcomed. It was going to take time to get more balance on the lines, especially with so many young players in the lineup this season. But that balance is developing nicely, and the amount of players contributing goals has kept the Blackhawks rolling.

“It’s huge,” said Scott Darling, the beneficiary of the Blackhawks’ latest offensive outbursts. “We need everybody contributing and our big guys always do it. It’s nice for the other guys to help and while they’re still doing their job defensively.”

Hawks Talk Podcast: Kris Versteeg on signing with IceHogs and possibility of one more spin with Blackhawks

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Kris Versteeg on signing with IceHogs and possibility of one more spin with Blackhawks

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with two-time Stanley Cup winner and the newest member of the Rockford IceHogs Kris Versteeg.

Versteeg explains his recent medical issues and his experience playing last season in the KHL and Swedish Elite League. He also talks about why he decided to sign a one-year deal with Rockford and defines his role with the IceHogs.

Versteeg weighs in on getting a third chance to play for the Blackhawks organization and what would be the perfect ending to the Kris Versteeg hockey movie?

1:00 - Why sign with Rockford?
2:00 - KHL experience
3:00 - Back on track in Sweden
4:30 - Health update
6:00 - Deal with Rockford
7:30 - Contact with Kane and Toews?
9:00 - Family coming to Rockford?
10:00 - Mentor or last fling with Hawks?
12:00 - Kris Versteeg Movie Ending

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks remove interim tag and name Derek King head coach of Rockford IceHogs

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Rockford IceHogs

Blackhawks remove interim tag and name Derek King head coach of Rockford IceHogs

One day after mutually parting ways with assistant coach Don Granato, the Blackhawks announced Thursday that they have removed the interim label from Derek King's title and named him the head coach of the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. Anders Sorensen also received a multi-year extension to remain on the staff as an assistant.

While King may have been a worthy candidate for the vacant assistant coaching position on Jeremy Colliton's staff in Chicago, the Blackhawks like the continuity this gives them within the organization. King is familiar with Colliton's philosophy and has a strong rapport with his players.

After Colliton was promoted to head coach of the Blackhawks on Nov. 6, 2018, King moved into his role on an interim basis while the organization got their house in order. Sheldon Brookbank was later added to Colliton's coaching staff with the Blackhawks, which led to Sorensen — who had previously worked as a development coach for the last five years — stepping in for Brookbank. 

King, 52, guided the IceHogs to a 29-28-3-4 record and fell short of the Calder Cup Playoffs after reaching the Western Conference Final a year ago. He joined the organization in July of 2016.

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