Blackhawks: Patrick Kane ready to return to normalcy


Blackhawks: Patrick Kane ready to return to normalcy

NEWARK, N.J. – On Thursday the official announcement came, the Erie County District Attorney stating that Patrick Kane would not face criminal charges after a three-month-long rape investigation.

On Friday there was relief, in a way, for the Blackhawks right wing.

“I think I’m more happy for my family and supporters than anyone,” Kane said.

Frank Sedita III released a statement on the Erie County D.A.’s website on Thursday, stating that, “the totality of credible evidence – the proof – does not sufficiently substantiate the complainant’s allegation that she was raped by Patrick Kane.” Kane said repeatedly throughout the investigation that he had done nothing wrong, and that was repeated in his statement on Thursday.

[MORE HAWKS: Patrick Kane won't face charges as rape investigation comes to a close]

On Friday morning, Kane didn’t want to talk about how difficult the last few months have been. He did talk, however, about trying to return to some semblance of normalcy.

“Yeah, that’s the goal, right? That’s the main thing,” Kane said. “But, you know, as far as everything goes, I’m happy I’m playing hockey, I’m happy to be here tonight. It’ll be fun to see some of the Blackhawks fans in the crowd and obviously play another game tonight. Try to do it as normal as possible.”

The NHL is having its own review of the matter, according to a statement released by deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Thursday. Asked if he’s had discussions with the league since that review began, or if he will going forward, Kane said, “I don’t know if that’s right for me to comment on that. So we’ll see.”

Kane’s teammates said Kane, in the room and on the ice, kept the focus on hockey.

“We’re just happy for him that it’s official now, that weight he’s probably been carrying around for a long time now is off his shoulders,” Jonathan Toews said. “He’s done an incredible job of focusing on his team, on himself and his job of playing great hockey, which he’s done so far. It’s hard to imagine the things that would’ve gone through my head or any other players in this room, had they gone through the same situation. He handled it very well and we’re happy he can just continue to focus on hockey and keep helping our team the way he has.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Said coach Joel Queneville, “I think everybody handled it as best we could. Kaner approached it every day coming to the rink, good attitude, his focus was in the right place and he played well. The consistency of his approach helped him through it. As a teammate, I don’t recall anybody ever discussing it or talking about it. It was always business as usual and the focus was on the next game and everyone has [his] own business as well. So it wasn’t the distraction it potentially could have been.”

Whatever Kane felt throughout the investigation, it didn’t appear to affect his game. Kane currently leads the team in goals (eight) and points (18).

“Like I said before, it’s one of those things where it’s kind of been my little getaway to play hockey and enjoy being at the rink. It’s what I love to do, I love being on the ice, I love playing hockey,” Kane said. “So I’m looking forward to getting a chance to keep doing that.”

Check out the Blackhawks reaction to Kane being absolved in the pair of videos below:

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period


Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks


Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

COLUMBUS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday:

1. Corey Crawford steals the show

The Blackhawks had no business winning this game. They were being outshot 28-15 through two periods, committed four penalties and gave up 18 high-danger chances in the game. 

But Crawford bailed out his team like he often has done in the past, and was zoned in from the moment the puck dropped. He finished with 37 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .974, picking up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017.

"Yeah, I felt good," Crawford said. "I think everyone was playing hard, rebounds, taking away sticks. That was a great effort by everyone."

"He was standing on his head for us," Patrick Kane said. "As Q would say, that’s a goalie win for us."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was vintage Crow."

2. Tic-tac-toe leads to go-ahead goal

The Blue Jackets were clearly the better team through two periods. The Blackhawks were fortunate to go into second intermission with the game still tied at 1-1.

The next goal was crucial, and they got it thanks to a Marcus Kruger redirection goal. The next one was the dagger, a beautiful give-and-go play by Brent Seabrook and Kane, who buried home a wide open net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead with 4:14 left in regulation.

Was Kane expecting Seabrook to pass it back?

"No. Not a chance," Kane said laughing. "That’s his wheelhouse, coming right down there. He scores a lot of goals from that area. Saw it was like a 2-on-2, he was coming late, he jumped in the play on the first goal, did a great job, jumped in the play on that goal. Made a great pass. When I saw it come back, I just tried to stay patient, settle it down and make sure I hit the net, because I knew I had the whole open net."

3. Busy night for PK

The Blackhawks penalty kill was very busy. It was also on it's A-game, partly because their best penalty killer was Crawford.

The Blackhawks spent 6:31 of the first 40 minutes killing penalties, allowing 11 shots total on it. But most importantly, they killed off all four penalties.

"We had some tough clears, but I thought we did some good things," Quenneville said. "We withstood some extended PK zone time there and found a way to keep us in the game. Obviously that next goal was huge and that second period was a big part of them having so much zone time, keeping us in our end. We'll say, hey good job, but Crow was the best penalty killer tonight."

4. Catching up with Kane on Artemi Panarin

Kane and Panarin spent only two seasons together, but they brought Blackhawks fans out of their seats on a nightly basis and it was amazing to watch the instant on-ice chemistry they shared. And most of it was non-verbal, which made it even more impressive. They were always on the same wavelength.

"Sometimes it takes time to build some chemistry but that was one of those things where it was like, I don't want to say instant chemistry, but after one or two preseason games we kind of new that maybe something special was going to happen," Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. "I think he scored in his first game in the NHL, we had a really good game, we had the puck a lot, we sensed that this could be a fun way to play hockey."

Off the ice, Kane said Panarin would use Google translate on his phone to communicate while Kane would try using a Russian accent while saying English words.

The two of them got a chance to hang out for a little bit on Friday and Kane still keeps tabs on his former linemate.

"I always really enjoy watching him," Kane said. "If we have an off night or something, he's a really fun player to watch."