Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Ryan Hartman bringing more 'bite' to his game

Blackhawks' Ryan Hartman bringing more 'bite' to his game

When the Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw in July, they started looking at possibilities within their system to replace him. One of the first names that popped up was Ryan Hartman.

As training camp continues, Hartman is showing he’s still under consideration for that gritty, net-front presence.

Hartman scored his first preseason goal in the Blackhawks’ 6-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday. It was the type of goal the Blackhawks are looking for: a shot from close range – in Hartman’s case, a backhand – off a rebound. The goal helps Hartman’s camp case but for a guy who grew up in West Dundee, it was a great personal moment, too.

“I don’t know how many games total, including regular season, preseason, I’ve played in since I was drafted. That was my first in a Hawks uniform, so it was pretty special,” said Hartman.

But this is more about Hartman making the team. As of now, his game has gotten positive reviews.

“I think he’s got a little bit more of that bite in his game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’re looking for more consistency pace-wise and tenacity and he’s got some good skills in those areas. We want to see him try to be a little faster in his overall approach. But I think the way he thinks and sees the game and competes in the game, we like the progression that he’s had in camp.”

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The Blackhawks will still be playing a good amount of their prospects in Saturday’s preseason finale in St. Louis. Hartman, who skated on a line with Alexandre Fortin and Marcus Kruger at Thursday’s practice, is likely among them. The spots are there, but so is the competition.

“I mean, there’s a lot of guys battling for very few spots, some are the same, some are different. But there’s definitely good competition. It makes us battle every day and pushes us to get better,” Hartman said. “We’re just trying to earn our trust with the coaching staff. Just do what you can and it should push you through.”

Forsling staying?

The Blackhawks have made it clear they like how defenseman Gustav Forsling has looked in camp. The way it looks right now, the young Swede could be with the Blackhawks this season.

“I think his play really has kept us on one topic, and that’s looking at him being around here,” Quenneville said. “That’s something that’s really been more on the forefront than the other discussions.”

According to generalfanager.com, this first year of Forsling’s contract will count, regardless of whether the 20-year-old plays here or in Sweden. While Forsling would be joining an already deep defense, the Blackhawks would get him in the lineup.

“If he's going to be here, he'd be playing,” Quenneville said.

Briefly

  • Quenneville said the Blackhawks “could” exercise the 10-game option with forward Alexandre Fortin. The 19-year-old just signed a three-year, entry-level contract on Sept. 25. If he plays in at least 10 games this season, that will burn the first year of his contract. Considering how Fortin has played, it may be worth it. “He's definitely been giving us something to think about each and every day. Loved his progression here and we love his speed; did some good things on the power play as well last game,” Quenneville said. “He's not making it easy on us.”
     
  • Marian Hossa did not skate on Thursday. He’s expected to do so on Friday.
     
  • Corey Crawford is expected to play the entire game on Saturday.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

Another night and another awful showing by the Blackhawks team defense, and this time, Robin Lehner let the team hear about it. Pat Boyle, Adam Burish and Scott King discuss the Blackhawks' ugly loss to the Coyotes and whether there should be some more line mixing happening soon. Plus, head athletic trainer Mike Gapski took part in his 2500th game with the Blackhawks and he sat down with Pat Foley 1-on-1 to re-live his 33 years with the organization.

1:13 - The odd-man rushes are piling up against this defense

5:54 - Is the power play getting going kinda maybe a little bit?

7:43 - Should Jeremy Colliton mix up the lines once again?

9:20 - The Kirby Dach playing-time dilemma

13:45 - Celebrating Mike Gapski's 2500 games with the Blackhawks

17:00 - Pat Foley's 1-on-1 interview with Mike Gapski

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

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USA Today

4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

The Blackhawks fell 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, giving them their third straight loss. Here are four takeaways:

Ex-Hawks Haunting

Former Blackhawks forward and Bartlett, Illinois native Vinnie Hinostroza helped dig the Hawks a three-goal hole to climb out of in the first period. Hinostroza picked up secondary assists on goals from Michael Grabner (2:56), Clayton Keller (5:03) and Brad Richardson (15:04) in the opening frame. 

Another former Hawk, Nick Schmaltz got past Patrick Kane and scored off a faceoff in Chicago's zone at 8:25 of the second period. 

D hurtin'

Calvin de Haan, one of the Hawks' more reliable defensemen this season, left the first period of Thursday's 5-1 loss against the Golden Knights in Vegas with a right shoulder injury. He could miss a decent amount of time as he had surgery on the same shoulder in the offseason, which sidelined him for several months. 

Chicago has given up 10 goals since de Haan left the lineup. His injury came with two-time Norris trophy-winning defenseman Duncan Keith (groin) not on the current three-game road trip which wraps up in St. Louis on Saturday. 

A positive for the Hawks' defense tonight was Dennis Gilbert getting his first NHL point by assisting on Jonathan Toews' second period goal, which came off a Dominik Kubalik rebound. 

Olli Maatta was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing the last four games with flu-like symptoms. Maatta had a +/- rating of 0 and recorded three shots. 

Top players on scoresheet

Another positive was The Captain, Kubalik, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat all finding the scoresheet. Strome scored at 12:58 of the third period on a power play, giving the Hawks their fifth straight game with a power-play goal. Kubalik got an assist on Toews' goal and DeBrincat has three goals and an assist in his past four games.

If the defense can find a way to tighten up a bit, the Blackhawks will be able to ride two very capable goalies and their top two lines, which are gaining some confidence. 

2,500 for 'Gapper

Blackhawks head athletic trainer Mike Gapski worked his 2,500th game with the Blackhawks Thursday. Gapski is the longest tenured trainer in the NHL. 

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Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.