Blackhawks riding with Scott Darling in Game 4 vs. Predators


Blackhawks riding with Scott Darling in Game 4 vs. Predators

Scott Darling has led the Blackhawks to victories in two of their last three games vs. the Nashville Predators. So it comes as no surprise that he’ll get the nod in Game 4.

Darling will start on Tuesday when the Blackhawks host the Predators in Game 4 of their first-round series. The Blackhawks have a 2-1 lead in the series thus far, with Darling collecting both victories (the first in relief, the second as the starter).

[MORE: Five Things from Hawks-Preds Game 3 - Darling stays hot]

Coach Joel Quenneville said after Game 2 that it was tough to make the change to Darling, given the fact that Corey Crawford has guided this team, and done it well, throughout the season. But with his second postseason victory, Darling is making the decision process easier.

“It’s tough to make a change when you like everything about his game and he’s played so well and is very deserving,” Quenneville said of Darling. “It was an easy choice.”

Darling takes this start as he has every other one he’s gotten.

“I’m just happy it’s been going well so far and we’re getting wins,” Darling said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Corey Crawford, meanwhile, was practicing with a few other Blackhawks at Johnny’s IceHouse West. He’s understandably frustrated with how he started the postseason, and the competitor in him wants to be back in the net. At the same time he can appreciate what Darling has done and how far he’s come in his career.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Crawford said. “He’s gone through a lot to get here and he’s been playing awesome. How can you not feel good for him? I have to encourage him, keep pushing him to be his best.”


— Asked if there would be any lineup changes for Game 4, Quenneville said, “we’ll see.”

— Quenneville was happy with the outing of Antoine Vermette, who played in his first postseason game with the Blackhawks after being scratched the first two. “I think he did a good job catching up to Game 3 pace is a challenge and I thought he did well,” Quenneville said.

— Daniel Carcillo (upper body) skated with several Blackhawks today at Johnny’s. “He looks like he’s on the path where he could be an option,” Quenneville said.

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule


Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that the team expects goalie Corey Crawford to be back next season around training camp. Bowman also mentioned that Crawford might speak about his status himself during the Blackhawks Convention.

“What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back,” Bowman said in a Thursday afternoon conference call. “We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen.”

According to Bowman, Blackhawks players, including Crawford, already have their eyes set on next season.

“At this point in the summer, all the players are preparing for next season,” Bowman said. “Corey’s in that same preparation mode.”

Crawford is nursing what has been labeled an upper-body injury by the team. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was put on the shelf for the rest of the season back in late December, and he has not seen the ice since he skated in a February practice.

“Nothing has changed,” Bowman said. “We expect him to be back and ready to go in training camp.”

The Blackhawks have chosen to keep any groundbreaking news with Crawford under wraps, which the organization has done with other player injuries in the past. Bowman spoke about his vagueness in this situation.

“We’ve never gone into specifics about injuries,” Bowman said. “I realize this probably gets more attention because he’s our starting goalie and he won the Stanley Cup.”

Fans will have to take a wait-and-see approach, because it is unlikely that there will be a significant update regarding Crawford’s health before the season gets closer to its start.

Last season, Crawford only appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-9 with 782 saves before going down for the rest of the year.