Blackhawks

Blackhawks test out new 3-on-3 OT format during training camp

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Blackhawks test out new 3-on-3 OT format during training camp

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – As the Blackhawks wrapped up their two scrimmages on Friday they spent the final 10 minutes of each game playing 3-on-3.

In an attempt to cut down on the number of shootouts, the league will implement 3-on-3 in overtime hockey this season; the league designated 45 select games through the preseason to play 3-on-3 at the end of regulation, regardless of the score in those games.

Coach Joel Quenneville said he thinks it will be all right.

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“It’s hard to predict exactly how it will play out. But I think getting the guys familiar with maybe some plays that you can try to take advantage (of), some trouble spots, and defending is something you have to look at,” Quenneville said on Friday. “It’s something we haven’t played before, so it gives us an idea of what to look at, what to do as a team. I didn’t mind what the guys were doing, the creativity. Trying to score is going to be fun. Trying to be patient, trying to find that balance is what we’re looking for.”

Players liked their test run of it, too.

“It was something new for me. I haven't experienced it,” Marian Hossa said. “It feels like there is so much space and so much big windows for a great opportunity and also to get minuses too.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

NOTES

Marcus Kruger will not be at training camp at Notre Dame this weekend. Quenneville said the forward has a “visa issue,” and should be at camp next week. Kruger signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks last Friday.

Michal Rozsival, whose postseason ended with a fractured ankle against Minnesota last spring, should be on the ice next week. The same is true for Kyle Cumiskey, who Quenneville said had a procedure for an unspecified lower-body injury this summer.

The Blackhawks will make one round of roster cuts around the time they play back-to-back games against Detroit next week. The next round of cuts will be after the Blackhawks’ first four preseason games.

Andrew Shaw trying to find balance between toeing the line and not crossing it for Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw trying to find balance between toeing the line and not crossing it for Blackhawks

The Blackhawks brought Andrew Shaw back to Chicago because they lacked some bite to their game. He's already meeting expectations in the physicality department, leading the team with 23 hits.

But the other part of his game the Blackhawks have to live with is the amount of penalties he takes. Through six games this season, Shaw has taken at least one penalty in five of them and is tied for third among all NHL skaters with six minors. The only two skaters above him are guys who have played in two and four more games, respectively.

Because he plays on the edge, Shaw will occasionally cross it and he's trying to find that balance between toeing the line and not stepping over it.

"I find if I'm not playing on the edge, I'm not playing great," Shaw said. "I need to play physical. Even in preseason, I was just finishing checks — clean, shoulder-to-shoulder — and was getting penalty after penalty. Hockey still is a physical game. There's still hitting; it's still legal. So I'm going to go out there and play hard, make it hard on my opponents, make it hard on them physically, do what I do. Not going to change who I am now. I'm an old dog."

Shaw's reputation may also contribute to the matter. He's racked up more than 600 penalty minutes in his NHL career, including postseason, and the officials might be keeping a closer eye on him when he's on the ice.

"It's something he's got to be aware of, but I also think he's got a bullseye on him," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "If I go back through all the penalties he's taken, he probably earned a couple and he probably earned them five years ago. That's something he's got to deal with. We want him to play hard. I think we can handle the ones where he's running people over. We'll kill those off. Obviously the stick penalties and stuff we don't want. But he's playing hard for the team. That's a good thing."

Said Shaw: "The referees, no matter the history of the player, should call the game as it is. If there's a penalty, call a penalty. If there's not a penalty, you let it go. I mean, yeah, I might have been too vocal in my younger days. But the past three years I've been trying to clean it up a little bit. I just take my penalties when I get 'em. But I must have dug myself a really deep hole. Just trying to climb out of it since."

Still, Shaw knows he has to be smarter about the timing of his penalties and where they're happening. The ones that occur in the offensive zone are the penalties that must be eradicated from his game. The ones he earns from battling between the whistles and sticking up for his teammates, the Blackhawks can live with those.

"Obviously I don't want to take penalties, I don't want to put my team down," Shaw said. "I also don't agree with all of the ones I got. I think I got the short end of the stick on a lot of them. Bite my tongue, go to the box. Our PK's been working hard and competing and killing some penalties. Hopefully they start going my way, I guess."

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Robin Lehner to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights

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USA Today

Robin Lehner to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights

Robin Lehner will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they host the Vegas Golden Knights at the United Center on Tuesday, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after morning skate. It will be his third start of the season.

Lehner is coming off a game in which he stopped 37 of 39 shots for a save percentage of .949, which earned him the No. 3 star of the game in a 3-2 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. He was fantastic. 

Lehner is 1-0-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in two starts this season.

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