Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk relieved to avoid another knee injury


Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk relieved to avoid another knee injury

The thought understandably ran through Trevor van Riemsdyk’s head as he hobbled to the locker room during Sunday’s game: not again.

More than a year after a shot off his left knee ended his regular season, van Riemsdyk once again took a shot off that left knee. This time, however, van Riemsdyk was back in a matter of minutes instead of months.

[MORE: Blackhawks receive some good news on Trevor Daley]

Van Riemsdyk said Monday that he felt fine after taking a Jacob Trouba shot off his knee in the Blackhawks’ 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday afternoon. Van Riemsdyk, who returned after missing just a few minutes on Sunday, was part of the Blackhawks’ optional practice and feeling no ill effects from the shot.

When it first happened, however, he feared the worst.

“Obviously with what happened to me last year, your mind starts to race a little bit and then you just go off as a precaution, start walking on it and realize it felt better than the last time,” he said. “Just had took a look at it and it was fine. Obviously it’s a relief when they tell you it’s all right because of how the last couple of years have gone for me. It was relieving, to say the least, that it was fine and feels good today.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Last November Van Riemsdyk took a shot to the knee by Trevor Daley, then with the Dallas Stars. He had surgery to repair a fractured patella a few days later and was out for several months. Van Riemsdyk said he was already going through the mental checklist when it happened again on Sunday.

“You get that shooting feeling down your foot. It doesn’t feel good. And you think back to what it felt like last time: ‘Oh, is this the same thing?’ Especially with it being a similar spot, same leg. Automatically your mind starts to race a little bit,” he said. "I just wanted to have it checked out and [after] they do that, miss as little time as you can. I think I missed 5-10 minutes? It was relieving to know that everything was all right.”

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


Blackhawks tie franchise record in 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 to the Lightning, 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."